Alcoholism: Are You at Risk?



Published:

Rebecca Abell

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and HealthDay News, there are five risk factors that make a woman more likely to become an alcoholic as an adult. They are:

1. A parent or guardian with a family history of alcohol abuse or dependence. Children of alcoholics are four times more likely to develop alcohol problems than other children.

2. Friends or peers who encourage heavy drinking. This can be done directly, or friends may drink around you to influence you. This is most common in teenage girls, who are beginning to drink at younger ages. By the early 1990s, 31 percent of 10- to 14-year-old females used alcohol. Girls who start consuming alcohol before the age of 21 are more likely to become alcoholics as adults than those who wait until the age of 21 to start drinking.

3. Feelings of depression, anxiety or lowered self-esteem. It is common that alcohol is used to ease the pain of these conditions or situations. Women who drink at home alone are more likely to have drinking problems later. Also, 40 percent of alcoholic women attempt to commit suicide, compared to 8.8 percent of nonalcoholic women.

4. Significant stress at home, at work or in relationships. Women who have trouble with close relationships, have never married, are living unmarried with a partner, or are divorced or separated drink more than other women.

5. Genetics. Some people really do have a genetic predisposition to alcohol dependency. Children who have alcoholic parents have the highest risk of becoming alcoholics themselves when they become adults. Also, children who are adopted into alcohol-free families but have biological parents who were alcoholics have a greater chance of becoming alcoholics themselves.

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