Can You Prevent Alcoholism?

Can You Prevent Alcoholism?Alcoholism is a devastating disease that is entirely preventable. People become alcoholics due to a variety of genetic, environmental, situational and psychological factors. It is critical to be aware of your own risk factors for alcoholism and to avoid situations that may trigger alcoholic tendencies. Education, community involvement and the cooperation of various organizations can help reduce alcoholism. Finally, if you are already an alcoholic, seek treatment to break the cycle and prevent the destructive consequences of alcoholism in your future.

Risk Factors for Alcoholism

Certain factors put people at a greater risk for developing alcoholism. These factors include but are not limited to the following:

  • Genetic predisposition. Research indicates that there is a gene for alcoholism or addiction to substances in general. A history of alcoholism in the family is a good indication that you may be genetically predisposed to alcoholism.
  • A history of substance abuse or addiction to other substances. If you have ever been addicted to illicit drugs, prescription drugs or even tobacco you may be at increased risk for alcoholism.
  • Mental health issues or conditions such as depression.
  • Environmental factors. Certain environmental conditions can lead to an increased risk for developing alcoholism. The possible environmental triggers are infinite, but may include growing up in an alcoholic household or experiencing abuse or trauma as a child. In addition, being around alcohol on a regular basis may contribute to situational alcohol abuse, which can develop into full blown alcoholism.
  • Situational factors. Chronic financial stress or any stress disorder, marital difficulties or problems at work can all contribute to the development of alcoholism.

If you recognize any of these factors in your own life, you may be at a higher risk than others for developing alcoholism.

Ways to Prevent Alcoholism

Awareness of your own risk factors is the first step in preventing alcoholism. If you are at risk for alcoholism, avoid situations and environments that will increase your risk or that will trigger problem drinking. If you are a parent, your children likely share your risk factors, so be open regarding alcoholism and make your children aware of any predispositions you have. Living without abusing alcohol will help prevent alcoholism in them. If you are an alcoholic parent, seek treatment and recovery to set a good example of how to respond to a negative situation.

On a community level, many programs educate young people and the public about the dangers of alcohol abuse and ways to avoid alcoholism. Education about the dangers of alcoholism reduces the incidence of alcoholism. Programs that encourage health (like sports, the arts, outdoor pursuits, volunteerism, community improvement and etc.) can keeping people, especially young people, away from drugs and alcohol.

Treatment for Alcoholism

Call our 24 hour toll-free helpline for instant support. We are here to talk about your or a loved one’s alcohol use and to discuss options for preventing or ending addiction. Please call today.