Individuals may drink to cope with their issues, whether external or internal. However, most do not realize that large consumption of alcohol creates problems and worsens existing issues.

Knowing someone you love is struggling with alcoholism can be shocking as you will find yourself being bound by a tough-love alcoholic. Unfortunately, alcoholism does not happen overnight. There are many reasons why people turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism for their problems. Understanding alcoholism can help understand how to treat and face this disease.

What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism, also known as an alcohol use disorder (AUD), is classified as a person being addicted or dependent having uncontrollable drinking. Their thoughts become focused mainly on alcohol, and they will continue using despite any physical, mental, or life problems. Those addicted to alcohol, when attempting to stop drinking, may not have the ability to control the use and may have withdrawal symptoms. 

For most people, a sip or two can be a way to celebrate an occasion or compliment a nice meal. Others may not enjoy alcohol at all. For the reason that they do not like the taste, they do not like the sensation of being tipsy, or they do not like feeling out of control. 

Causes And Risk Factors

Causes of alcoholism range from environmental and social to psychological and genetic factors. There are individual causes and risk factors. However, common signs may lead to progressing an AUD. While these risk factors do not always mean a person will likely develop an addiction to alcohol, it is essential to be aware of them. 

The risks can include some, if not all, of the following:

  • Starting early
  • Family History of alcohol abuse
  • Trauma
  • Mental Health Problems
  • Regular Alcohol Consumption
  • Environmental Factors 

The “Effect Produced” by Drinking Alcohol

In the primary stages of drinking, people often become aware that alcohol produces pleasant effects. These effects are often so elusive that people continue to drink even after drinking has become “a problem.” Here are a few of those effects noted by alcoholics and moderate drinkers alike.

Stress Relief. For both alcoholics and moderate drinkers, alcohol has wonderful anxiolytic (“anti-anxiety”) properties, meaning it can inhibit anxiety or the feeling of stress. For example, it is a common way for people to unwind after a long day’s work.

Peer Pressure and Camaraderie. Many people drink when others around them are drinking. Most non-alcoholics tend to drink in social situations, such as football games or weddings, where alcohol is considered a part of the event. Though the term “peer pressure” is often associated with young people, it is not limited to those in college, high school, or junior high. Drinking is prevalent in one’s culture, legal, and socially accepted. Peer pressure, unfortunately, to drink alcohol can exist at any stage of life.

Losing One’s Inhibitions. Face it. There are many shy people out there. Large parties and first dates filled with strangers are typical examples. People often drink alcohol to lose their inhibitions in these settings, as alcohol is their “liquid courage.” For many non-alcoholics, it is a beautiful, temporary “social lubricant.”

A Rebellion Act. Certain people will consume alcohol in the act of rebellion to defy stated or perceived rules and demonstrate they are different from others. This is often seen among young adults (particularly teenagers) who act out of adolescence.

Family History of Alcoholism. Heavy drinkers can sometimes pass their drinking problems down to their children. People with a family history of drinking alcohol are at a higher risk of having a drinking problem.

Avoidance of Pain, Guilt, and Mental Issues. To some individuals, alcohol helps them not think about their life or problems. They can ignore the pain when they are under the influence of alcohol. Also, if someone has a mental health disorder, they may use alcohol to cope with it. 

A Spiritual Solution

Freedom from the obsession, therefore freedom from the allergy, cannot be accomplished by behavioral changes alone. In short, simply being aware that one can no longer drink effectively will not produce sobriety. Alcoholics pursuing sobriety must grow and maintain their connection to a power greater than themselves. This is inclined to be the “spiritual solution .” When the emotional, mental, physical, and psychological influences that exacerbate alcoholism are addressed, people can open up to a spiritual awakening that leads to permanent recovery.

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