Early UseSmoking, especially non-daily smokers Easy access Peer drinking Low self-esteem DepressionMedia and advertising How the body processes (metabolizes) alcohol
Another risk factor for addiction is the age at which the use or behavior started. Research has shown that the younger the user is, the more likely he or she is to become addicted. Addictive behavior in younger years can also have an impact on brain development, making young people more prone to mental health disorders as the addiction progresses into their later years. The age of first alcoholic drink – a study found that people who started drinking alcohol before the age of 15 were much more likely to have an alcohol problem later in life. Underage drinking in the USA is common – 26.6% of Americans under the legal age for alcohol consumption are drinking, a new report issued by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services) informed in a new report. The authors explained that although some progress had been made in the short term to reduce underage drinking, especially among children aged up to 17 years, underage drinking rates are still excessively high in the USA. Of the 12-20 year olds who said they had drunk alcohol during the previous four weeks, 8.7% had bought it themselves. Despite all of these risk factors, many people are able to combat or avoid addiction completely. Risk factors do not guarantee someone will be an addict, merely that their chances may be greater. When risk factors are present, abstinence may be the best solution.
A study by Yale University researchers found that non-daily smokers are five times more likely to have a problem with alcohol compared to people who have never smoked.
Experts say there is a correlation between easy access to alcohol (cheap prices) and alcohol abuse and alcohol-related deaths. A US study found a strong link between alcohol tax increases in 1983 and 2002 and a significant drop in deaths related to alcohol use in one American state – the effect was found to be nearly two to four times that of other prevention strategies such as school programs or media campaigns. Stress – some stress hormones are linked to alcoholism. If our levels of stress, anxiety are high some of us may consume alcohol in an attempt to blank out the upheaval. Military service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are likely to experience posttraumatic stress disorder and alcohol use disorders simultaneously, according to researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
People who have friends who drink regularly or abuse alcohol are more likely to drink excessively and eventually have an alcohol problem.
Experts say that people with low self-esteem who have alcohol readily available are more likely to abuse it.
People with depression may deliberately or unwittingly use alcohol as a means of self-treatment. On the other hand, a statistical modeling study suggested that alcohol abuse may lead to depression risk, rather than vice versa.
In some countries alcohol is portrayed as a glamorous, worldly and cool activity. Many experts believe that alcohol advertising and media coverage of it may convey the message that excessive drinking is acceptable. The Royal College of Physicians is asking for a European Union ban on alcohol advertising to protect children.
People who need comparatively more alcohol to achieve an effect have a higher risk of eventually having an alcohol problem, a study carried out by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, found.