What Are The Risk Factors For Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

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What Are The Risk Factors For Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism?

Did you know that children of alcoholics are four times more likely to develop alcoholism than kids with non-alcoholic parents? According to the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), they state that “Many scientific studies, including research conducted among twins and children of alcoholics, have shown that genetic factors influence alcoholism.” Your family history is just one of many risk factors that could lead to alcohol abuse and alcoholism. A risk factor can be defined as something that will increase your chance of getting a disease. The NIAAA classifies alcoholism as chronic disease that will last an entire lifetime. However, alcohol abuse and alcoholism are two completely different things.

In a nutshell, alcohol abuse refers to drinking too much, too often while alcoholism is the inability to quit drinking despite seeing the damage it’s causing to themselves and the people around them. While it is possible to become addicted to alcohol without the risk factors that we mention below, the more you have, the higher are your chances that you could suffer from alcoholism. If you are wondering ‘what are the risk factors for alcohol abuse and alcoholism?’ continue reading to find out all the necessary information.


Did you know that alcohol affects men and women differently? The NIAAA states that women’s bodies react differently to alcohol than men’s.
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Males have a higher likelihood to become binge drinkers than females; however the numbers of women that have become addicted to alcohol have been on the rise over the last three decades. It’s also been found that women tend to become addicted to alcohol at a later stage than men, but the progression of the illnesses develops much faster in females.

Genetic Make-Up

Research suggest that the way an individual’s body processes and reacts to alcohol is an influential risk factor on whether someone will become an alcoholic or not.

Cultural Background

Alcoholism is a bigger problem in some cultures than in others. For example, in Europe and North America, drinking alcohol is socially accepted, making alcoholism statistics in these areas much higher. Religion is another key aspect in the prevalence of alcoholism. For example, in religions such as Islam, where the use of alcohol is prohibited, one will find a minimal alcoholism rates. Peer pressure and social circles also play a big role in alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

Mental Weakness

Mental weakness is another common risk factor that comes with alcohol abuse and alcoholism.
These psychological issues include:

  • Unrealistic self-expectation
  • Feeling unable and unsure to do certain duties
  • Constantly searching for recognition
  • Becoming impulsive and hostile

Mental Illnesses

People that suffer from depression, anxiety, stress, schizophrenia are more likely to abuse alcohol and eventually develop alcoholism than those who do not have these mental illnesses.


If you or a loved one abuse or is addicted to alcohol, then it’s important to get help as soon as possible as it’s a disease that will only get worse over time and continued use. We provide access into the best private alcohol treatment centres in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Thailand.

Call us now and let one of our qualified addictions counsellors assist in finding the best rehabilitation clinic for you or a loved one.

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