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What Contributes to Alcoholism?

Written on: March 20th, 2009 By:

What Contributes to Alcoholism

Alcohol addiction is a serious problem.  What starts off as a few casual drinks can lead into years of alcohol dependency before crossing the line into alcoholism.  There are not universal causes of alcoholism but rather individual experiences and circumstances that lead one down to the destructive path of alcoholism. Many people who suffer from alcohol abuse may enter alcohol rehab centers yet wind up back on the road to relapse. This is the unfortunate nature of the disease of alcoholism.

In order to best arrest alcoholism, it is important to find an alcohol rehab that addresses all levels of alcohol addiction. There are many alcohol rehabs that treat the physical aspect and may even touch upon the psychological aspect of alcoholism, but unless the root cause is addressed at its deepest level it’s highly likely an individual will relapse and drink again.

Physical Aspects of Alcoholism

At its most basic, an individual who has crossed from alcohol dependency into alcoholism has effected an allergy to alcohol. Alcoholism is thought to be genetic. Many doctors have defined alcoholism as a biological and genetic disease while others have accepted one’s social surroundings as a predisposition to alcoholism. Doctors have found that there is a certain gene called the D2 dopamine receptor gene which causes people to be more susceptible to alcoholic tendencies and is normally inherited when both parents are alcoholics.
Physically, the bodies of alcoholics process alcohol differently than their peers who may drink and drink heavily, but do not have alcoholism. An individual with alcoholism develops an obsession in the mind to drink that is at times impossible to resist. It sets up a craving in the body for alcohol and once that first drink is taken, the craving often becomes insatiable. Individuals in the grip of alcoholism have lost the power to control their drinking. Alcohol becomes more important than relationships, careers, opportunities and health. For somebody with alcoholism, getting and maintaining their supply of alcohol becomes the only thing that matters.

Social Factors Contributing to Alcoholism

Besides the genetic predisposition to alcoholism, social factors can also play a role in contributing to alcoholism.¬† Growing up in an alcoholic home where children witness parents drinking and the effects of alcoholic behavior can create the idea that alcoholism is “normal.” Access to alcohol, developing a routine around alcohol or giving into peer pressure may not seem as unusual for children who grow up in an alcoholic home.

Emotional Aspects of Alcoholism

In addition to the physical and social aspects of alcoholism, people turn to alcohol for many reasons. It may be to handle emotional stress and/or duress, difficult life situations or transitions, relationship issues or simply for the escape from reality it offers. People who have suffered a great tragedy or that are psychologically imbalanced due to a mood disorder may rely on alcohol as a way to numb any pain or feelings, or self-medicate to alleviate anxiety or depression. It’s necessary to explore the underlying issues for turning to alcohol so they can be resolved and healthier methods of coping can be formed. All too often people leave alcohol rehab without learning the tools they need to avoid drinking when the going gets tough, as it inevitably will, and they pick up a drink again. If they are true alcoholics, that one drink can easily lead them right back to alcohol rehab for another round.

SouthCoast Recovery Treats all Aspects of Alcoholism

While doctors still don’t know what causes alcoholism, there are a significant number of factors that need to be addressed during alcohol treatment. A good alcohol rehab program not only physically addresses the symptoms of alcoholism, but also addresses the psychological and spiritual nature of the disease. SouthCoast Recovery is the leading alcohol rehab facility in Orange County, and one of the top in the nation. We treat all aspects of alcoholism and offer 30, 60, 90 days and 6 month residential alcohol treatment in Dana Point, California. Alcoholism is very private and individual and for this reason we tailor an alcohol rehab treatment program for each individual that consists of clinical therapy, drug and alcohol counseling, education and holistic therapies for overall mind, body and spirit renewal. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Once alcoholism has set in, it’s only a matter of time before negative consequences follow. Call today.


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