Risk factors for alcoholism include:
Dec. 05, 2014
- Steady drinking over time. Drinking too much on a regular basis for an extended period or binge drinking on a regular basis can produce a physical dependence on alcohol.
- Age. People who begin drinking at an early age are at a higher risk of problem drinking or physical dependence on alcohol.
- Family history. The risk of alcoholism is higher for people who have a parent or other close relatives who have problems with alcohol.
- Depression and other mental health problems. It's common for people with a mental health disorder such as anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder to have problems with alcohol or other substances.
- Social and cultural factors. Having friends or a close partner who drinks regularly could increase your risk of alcoholism. The glamorous way that drinking is sometimes portrayed in the media also may send the message that it's OK to drink too much.
- Mixing medication and alcohol. Some medications interact with alcohol, increasing its toxic effects. Drinking while taking these medications can either increase or decrease their effectiveness, or even make them dangerous.
- Saitz R, et al. Screening for unhealthy use of alcohol and other drugs. http://www.uptodate.com/ index. Accessed June 2, 2012.
- Hoffman RS, et al. Management of moderate and severe alcohol withdrawal syndromes. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed June 2, 2012.
- Alcohol and public health: Frequently asked questions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm. Accessed March 29, 2010.
- Gold MS, et al. Psychosocial treatment of alcohol abuse and dependence. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed June 2, 2012.
- Esser MB, et al. Binge drinking intensity. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2012;42:625.
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- Substance-related disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed June 2, 2012.
- Harmful interactions: Mixing alcohol with medicines. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets. Accessed June 3, 2012.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 14, 2012.
- Overview of alcohol consumption. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption. Accessed June 2, 2012.
- Underage drinking. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/special-populations-co-occurring-disorders/underage-drinking. Accessed June 2, 2012.
- Alcohol use disorders. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-use-disorders. Accessed June 2, 2012.
- Fetal alcohol exposure. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/fetal-alcohol-exposure. Accessed June 2, 2012.
- Beyond hangovers: Understanding alcohol's impact on your health. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Hangovers/beyondHangovers.pdf. Accessed June 2, 2012.
- College drinking. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Accessed http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/special-populations-co-occurring-disorders/college-drinking. June 2, 2012.
- Breast cancer. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/BreastCancer/DetailedGuide/breast-cancer-risk-factors. Accessed June 12, 2012.
- Public policy statement on the definition of alcoholism. American Society of Addiction Medicine. http://www.asam.org/advocacy/find-a-policy-statement/view-policy-statement/public-policy-statements/2011/12/15/the-definition-of-alcoholism-(ncadd-asam). Accessed June 25, 2012.
- Schneekloth TD (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 23, 2012.
- Thiamin. The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/nutritional_disorders/vitamin_deficiency_dependency_and_toxicity/thiamin.html. Accessed August 1, 2012.
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