Anormed UK

What Causes People To Have An Alcohol Addiction

Millions of people suffer from alcoholism, alcohol addiction can be one of the hardest vices to break free from due to a number of reasons such as easy access plus it is not associated with harder drugs such as cocaine, ketamine, heroin and more. Unfortunately, there is no fixed answer to say why a person has an alcohol addiction but there are a few common factors that we can take into consideration. Each person is unique and has their own reasons why they went down the path of alcoholism.


People with alcohol addiction will have alcohol use disorder which is a medicial condition where an individual is unable to control their frequent or heavy drinking. They will continue to consume alcohol in this unhealthy manner regardless of their behaviour and actions that have led them into trouble or future consequences that could affect them.


Alcohol use disorder will develop when an individual’s brain chemicals start to change due to their heavy drinking habits. This will ultimately lead to an alcohol addiction further down the line where they will start to experience physical and mental symptoms which can be extremely painful and force people to continue to drink in order to function and stop the symptoms. People have found success in breaking free from their alcohol addiction through rehabilitation where they can be medically detoxed and undergo various types of therapy tailored to the person in order to learn more about themselves and get to the root of their addiction.


Through this article, we are going to go through various factors that cause people to seek out alcohol and later lead down to an alcohol addiction further down the line. While there is no one certain factor that causes people to have an alcohol addiction, there are factors that can contribute to someone developing an alcohol disorder.

High Level Of Stress

Stress is a natural reaction that every human will deal with in their life but some stress levels can feel unbearable with no escape. Whether you are having a high amount of stress levels from your work or current home life, stress can cause people to develop an alcohol addiction. Some people after a hard day’s work will have one drink to unwind as they sit back and relax. However, people will start to use alcohol as a coping mechanism and they find that they feel unstressed when intoxicated. Over time, people who use alcohol as a coping mechanism for their stress will start to do it more frequently and begin to up the amount they are drinking. 


Heavy drinking to combat your stress levels is never a good idea. Finding better ways that you can deal with stress through learnt techniques, exercise and more can help you manage your stress levels in order to stop reaching for a drink.

Mental Health Conditions

People that have underlying mental health conditions such as bipolar, PTSD or depression are at more of a risk of developing alcohol addiction. People suffering from mental health conditions will turn to drink in order to combat the symptoms that they face on a daily basis as a way to cope with them but if you are drinking alcohol on a daily basis then you will be a tolerance which will always lead to a dependency and fully-blown alcohol addiction.


In these types of cases, you will need a dual diagnosis where a medical professional will focus on help treating your mental health condition while helping you recover from your alcohol addiction through detox and therapy.

Past Traumatic Experiences

Past traumatic experiences can cause people to turn to drink due to what they’ve experienced. That’s not to say if you have lived through a traumatic time in your life that you’ll become an alcoholic but you are at a much higher risk of developing alcohol addiction. Many people who have served in the army where they have experienced war will drink as they are unable to fully process what they saw while serving. This can develop into an alcohol addiction as it will become a physical and emotional dependency to help them cope with what they see.


Someone who is suffering from past traumatic experiences can benefit from reaching out to mental health professional in order to get therapy to help them process the events and find healthy ways of dealing with their trauma. Through rehabilitation, you can get treatment for alcohol addiction while working through your traumatic experiences.

Low Self-Esteem Issues

A person who is starting to not love themselves or feel they are ‘worthless’ then they may start to heavily drink in order to gain fake confidence and essentially kill any negative thoughts they have of their self-esteem. When a person is suffering from a negative self-image, they are at more of a risk of drinking heavily and frequently in order to feel better about themselves.


Through alcohol rehabilitation, you can undergo certain therapies such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) as it can help them start to change their narrative about themselves and become more comfortable with their appearance and personality. Rehab helps people start to gain more control over their lives and helps them start to realise their true potential. You do not have to let alcohol rule your life forever and there is always support out there.

Family History

This relates to both a genetic and environmental level as family history is a massive factor when it comes to people developing alcohol addiction. There has been scientific research to find out more about how alcohol addiction can be genetic and it was found that the genes ADH1B and ALDH2 which control alcohol metabolism are big factors in someone developing an alcohol addiction along with several others.


Again that does not mean that you will become an alcoholic in the future but it will increase your risk of developing alcoholism. People who have grown up in households where heavy alcohol drinking is encouraged and normalised. This can cause people to heavily drink alcohol as they believe this is normal and have been brought up in that type of atmosphere.

Free 24/7 Callback Service

Start your journey today on the road to recovery by reaching out to our friendly addiction managers who will be able to tell you the best next steps in treating your addiction.

Free Callback Service

Our trained addiction counsellors are available 24 hours a day to help you