Alcoholism is a type of dependency or addiction on alcohol. The person will have a strong craving to take alcohol along with withdrawal symptoms. The affected person will have lack of control and he may have both psychological and physical dependency on alcohol. The affected person will drink alcohol despite the consequences that happen in his personal, social, legal or physical life. Alcoholism will ultimately leads to internal bleeding, liver complaints, brain deterioration, kidney diseases, alcohol poisoning and even suicides.
Causes of Alcoholism
The major cause for alcoholism is the physical dependence and in a person who takes alcohol loses the balance of certain chemicals present in their brain. Chemicals like gamma- amino butyric acid that inhibits impulsiveness, glutamate that excites nervous system, dopamine which is responsible for the pleasurable aspects etc lose their balance. The level of these hormones may increase or decrease and thus increase the craving of the body towards alcohol and there by reestablish the good thoughts and to ward off the negative feelings. Every time the person needs more alcohol to meet this state of body.
Risk Factors of Alcoholism
It is found that kids of alcoholic parents have a tendency to develop alcoholism. It is also noted that if a person inherited a gene D2 or dopamine receptor gene, then his chance for developing alcoholism are more.
Those who are suffering from depression, low self esteem etc have a greater risk for developing alcoholism.
If you have a society or culture that promotes alcohol and alcohol is easily available in your society then it may increase your drive to use alcohol.
If a person have too mush stress, emotional pain, anxiety then he may take alcohol as a device to get over these problems. Certain stress hormones are also found to increase the urge for alcohol. Hence certain people use alcohol as a mask for their emotional pain and sometimes to control their physical pain too. In time they become addicted to alcohol.
While having a tendency to alcohol keep in mind that the abuse of alcohol for a long period may reduce your control over it and ultimately leads you to alcoholism.