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What Are the Common Causes of Alcoholism?

Alcoholism, now more commonly referred to as alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a severe and complex chronic condition affecting millions of people worldwide. The compulsive need to consume alcohol despite the negative consequences can destroy a person’s overall well-being and impact those closest to them. Understanding the common causes of alcoholism allows you to take measures to reduce the risk of AUD or get help if needed. 

If you or a loved one is misusing alcohol or dependent on the substance, Recovery Ranch PA can guide you back to the path to sobriety. Contact our team today at 717.969.9126 or through our online form to learn more about our alcohol addiction treatment program. 

What Are the Common Causes of Alcoholism? 

One of the best ways to prevent alcohol addiction is to become aware of the causes of this chronic disorder. Recognizing the contributors to addiction allows you to take action before alcohol misuse develops into a full-blown addiction. It may also provide the incentive needed to help you reduce your consumption or cut alcohol out of your life altogether. 

Three of the most common causes of alcohol use disorder are the following. 

Environmental Factors 

Your environment plays a significant role in whether or not you will drink alcohol, including whether you will participate in binge drinking or excessive drinking behaviors. Living within a community that normalizes heavy drinking or being influenced by your social circle to drink often can put you at risk of developing an addiction. The same goes for living in an environment that provides easy access to alcohol. 

Experiencing excessive stress in your home, work, or school environment can also increase the chances of drinking heavily and becoming dependent on alcohol. 

Genetic Factors 

A family history of alcoholism can increase your chances of developing an addiction. However, this does not mean that you will develop a disorder if you drink. It indicates a predisposition to the condition and is a sign to imbibe with caution. 

Cognitive and Mental Health Factors 

Variations in brain chemistry may make some individuals more susceptible to alcohol addiction. Lower levels of certain brain neurotransmitters—like GABA, dopamine, and serotonin—that correlate with depression or anxiety can make you more likely to self-medicate with alcohol. Using alcohol to compensate for these brain variations can ultimately lead to dependence and an alcohol use disorder. 

How to Overcome Alcoholism 

While it can be challenging to overcome AUD, it is possible to regain control and live a healthier, sober life. Here are some helpful strategies for overcoming alcohol addiction: 

  • Seek professional help from an addiction treatment center that offers therapy, support groups, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT). 
  • Build a strong support network consisting of friends, family, and peers in recovery who are supportive and understanding. 
  • Develop healthy coping mechanisms for stress and triggers, such as regular exercise, taking up a new hobby, spending time with people who do not drink, and practicing stress reduction techniques like meditation and breathing exercises. 
  • Tend to your mental health by eating a well-balanced whole foods diet, getting plenty of rest, and spending time in nature. 

Addressing all areas of your life is crucial to setting yourself up for a successful recovery. The best way to a substance-free life is to include a whole-person approach to overcoming alcohol addiction that supports your physical, mental, and emotional health.  

Get Started on Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Recovery Ranch PA 

Familiarizing yourself with the common causes of alcoholism empowers you to take the necessary steps to prevent or overcome alcohol addiction. By seeking professional help and making supportive lifestyle changes, you can successfully recover from AUD and move on toward a fulfilling life without alcohol. Contact Recovery Ranch PA online or call 717.969.9126 today to get the assistance you need for recovery. 

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