Causes of Alcoholism and Alcohol Addiction That You Should Know

Alcohol has a corrosive action on liver, and may also lead to complications of brain, heart, stomach, pancreas and other important organs of the body. A person becomes alcoholic when excessive intake of alcohol throws certain chemicals in the brain out of balance. This article briefly describes the major causes and ill-effects of alcoholism or alcohol addiction.

For instance imbalance in the brain chemicals such as gamma-aminobutyric acids and glutamate may increase a person’s craze for alcohol. The victim under such circumstances would invariably need alcohol to feel good or bar the advent of negative feelings. The victim suffers from severe withdrawal symptoms if he or she is kept away from alcohol. The treatment should start with cutting down the physical dependency on alcohol, and then taking necessary precautions to check relapse. Victim may go for rehabilitation programs to get rid of his or her addiction.

Causes of Alcoholism

1. Research gives an evidence of biological factors and genes promoting alcoholism. Inheritance of D2 dopamine receptor gene in a specific form may make a person vulnerable to alcoholism.

2. Family influence and craze for picking up high-profile and glamorous life habits as shown in advertisements and through the entertainment media sends a wrong message to people, thereby promoting alcoholism.

3. Certain stress hormones promote alcoholism. High levels of emotional upheaval, stress, depression and agony can cause a person seek peace in alcoholism. Such addiction grows out of mental turmoil.

4. Having poor self-confidence and suffering from depression may cause a person to become addicted to alcohol.

5. Frequent partying with friends or being in close contact with people who consume alcohol accelerates the risk of falling prey to alcoholism. The habit in this context grows through enablers

6. Studies show that youthful drinking of alcohol may lead to addiction in future. The earlier a person starts drinking, the more he is at the risk of becoming a prey to alcoholism.

Hope this article has helps you to understand the major causes and bad effects of alcoholism. It is also true that if someone is fully determined, it’s not impossible to overcome alcoholism.

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Disclaimer: This article is not meant to provide health advice and is for general information only. Always seek the insights of a qualified health professional before embarking on any health program.

Understanding Contributing Factors and Causes of Drug Addiction

Drugs are basic elements of modern medicine. It’s difficult to imagine how infections can be treated, pain relieved, and depression alleviated without drugs. Each day, many lives are saved because of drugs. Even the seemingly insignificant problem of not being able to sleep can be solved with the use of drugs.

Indeed, drugs are life savers if used properly. But when abused or used illicitly, they can be “life takers.” The effects of drug addiction bring havoc to the user himself, to his family, and to society in general. While it’s true that the drugs which are subject to abuse keep getting stronger, even the prescription medications are not spared by illicit drug users.

Drug addiction causes severe harm to the body. This is an oft-repeated statement and no one disagrees with it. But what exactly are the causes of drug addiction?

In many respects, the answers to this question – which are supposed to shed light on the nature of the problem – are rather complicated. It is known that repeated use of certain substances can result to the user becoming dependent on them. This is most certain in the case of illicit drugs.

There are basically two kinds of dependence associated with drug addiction; physical dependence and psychological dependence. In physical dependence, the drug user has developed tolerance to the drug. This means that the doses the user takes become larger and larger, so that the level of “high” he experiences remains the same. The opiates (morphine and heroin) are perfect examples in this case.

Psychological dependence on a drug, on the other hand, is characterized by a compulsive emotional need for the drug. The cannabis (marijuana and hashish) may be used as examples in this instance.

Medical and scientific researches have come to the conclusion that drug addiction is both physical and psychological dependence; both have a biochemical basis on the brain, although the distinction between them is not very clear. This, perhaps, is the reason why today’s interpretation of the term “drug addiction” has been made rather easy to understand: It relates to a behavioral pattern that is characterized by compulsive use of a drug and an extreme concern with obtaining it.

There are also suggestions that having an “addictive personality” may contribute to a person becoming addicted to drugs. This means that a person’s tendency towards drug addiction may be determined by his physiological and biochemical makeup. In other words, the said tendency can be genetically inherited. But this factor needs further explaining; thus, a person with an addictive personality has probably inherited some factors that heighten vulnerability but do not make it inevitable that addiction to drugs will happen.

Psychological and environmental factors are those often linked to the occurrence of drug addiction. We have heard of many cases of people being driven to drug abuse because of problems in the family, poor living conditions, lack of confidence in oneself, social pressures, and stress. Of course, these factors alone do not make drug addiction incapable of being evaded.

What Causes Addiction?

Addiction causes are not yet fully understood.

The prevailing attitude toward addiction has been disapproval as addiction was seen as personal failure, resulting from moral  weakness and a lack of discipline. The stigma has not been entirely lost and scientific evidence suggests that addition is primarily a biological phenomenon.

In some circles addiction has been described as a disease of the brain.

Addiction researchers have asserted that alcoholism and other dependent states have a genetic bases. Alcohol dependence was thought to be influenced by genes as well as the environment as the risk for alcohol related problems seemed to be higher in the children of alcoholics.

While studies may support the genetic predisposition, identifying the specific genes that lead to the increased risk of addiction has been laborious, but it has been confirmed that that people with a different form of a certain gene are more susceptible to addiction. It is hope that further research into gene therapy can actually lead to the development of new treatment for alcoholics and other drug dependencies.

Research documenting the impact of drugs on the brain may shed some light on why some people may be more prone to addiction than others.

Drug abuse along with other potentially addictive activities such as gambling, sex, or some cases shopping causes the brain to brain to release dopamine, a chemical involved in experiencing pleasure. The surge in dopamine production appears to be powerful enough to compel the user to keep taking the drug or engaging in the behaviour. With prolonged use, the drugs can alter the brain so that experiencing pleasure without the drug is near impossible. and at this point the drug is used to stave off painful withdrawal symptoms. Based on the research, the theory has been surmised that people who are deficient in dopamine are more likely to become addicts.

While most agree that biology may play an important part in addiction, there is still some division, as one group believes that addiction is primarily a behavioral problem that is influenced by biology. They contend that labeling addiction as medical condition similar to diabetes or heart disease can create a false impression that addicts have no control over their own behavior. In the view of this group, people become addicts mostly because of their behavior and not brain chemistry.

There is still very much to learn about how the brain actually works and research is continuing and questions are still being asked.

Critics contend the medical theory of addiction may be flawed, because most people who take drugs do not become addicted.

Addiction to nicotine, which is purportedly more addictive than heroin, can be kicked solely on willpower. The dopamine theory has also come under some criticism with the assertion that the range of activities that stimulate the pleasure centers in the brain far too wide to denote any behavioral tendencies. Addiction to sex, chocolate,work or eating are not related. “Chocolate stimulates the pleasure centers, but only a few people may compulsively eat chocolate or gamble”

The contrasting perspectives on addiction, biological or behavioral has influenced debate over the best treatment for addiction.

Counseling and medication is favored by those who believe that addiction is a disease and believe that controlled abstinence may be  the best way to break the habit.

In contrast,opponents of the disease model may insist that addiction can be treated without any psychological or medical intervention.

Research and studies continues to be warranted into finding the best and most effective treatment for addiction.