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Tag Archive: mental health problems

Risk Factors for Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse is an all-too-common problem in our society. Alcohol is ubiquitous – it can be purchased at stores across the nation, advertisements for alcohol are displayed everywhere, and the movies portray drinking as something desirable and entertaining.


This might lead someone to think that everyone is vulnerable to alcohol addiction – and this is, unfortunately, the case. However, some people are more likely to develop problems with alcohol abuse than others.


Understanding the risk factors for alcohol abuse can be one of the best ways to prevent or prepare for potential alcohol problems. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the most common risk factors involved in alcohol abuse.

Common Risk Factors

Many people are in danger of alcohol addiction because of a number of risk factors. Some of the most common risk factors that could lead someone down the road to alcohol addiction include:


Family History of Alcoholism

People who have a family history of alcoholism are more likely to experience problems with alcohol abuse. This can be because of the time spent with alcoholic parents, grandparents, or siblings. There is also some evidence that alcoholism can be hereditary, meaning that it may be more likely for someone born to alcoholic parents to become an alcoholic even if the parents no longer drink.


Anxiety, Stress, Depression

Many people use alcohol as a form of self-medication. These people are often unaware that they have mental health problems as well as an addiction, or they simply prefer to self-medicate rather than seek help from a doctor.


In some cases, these people may reside in an area where there are no medical facilities or doctors. In these situations, alcohol may be one of the only forms of medicine available. This leads us to our next risk factor:



Many people who live in poor or impoverished areas are more likely to turn to alcohol. People living in poverty often struggle with many problems related to health, education, social security, and safety. These problems can make someone more likely to develop a problem with alcohol.


An individual’s environment can affect the likelihood of developing an alcohol problem. The environment can heavily influence people at any stage of their lives, not just during childhood.


Children who grow up in unhealthy or toxic environments are particularly likely to develop problems with alcohol abuse, as they may develop issues related to trauma. Children who live in houses or neighborhoods where alcoholism is prominent may also be more likely to develop alcohol problems.


Alcohol abuse is a very common problem, and anyone can fall victim to the dangers of alcoholism. Unfortunately, some people are more likely than others to develop problems with alcohol abuse.


If you or any of your loved ones or friends meet the criteria for some of these risk factors, it could be a good idea for you to seek help from a rehab facility or from a counselor. These can help you better understand the problem and prepare for any dangers that may be lurking around the corner.


Written By Nigel Ford

What are co-occurring disorders and addiction?

If you have lived or worked with someone struggling with drug addiction, you may have noticed that they often struggle with other mental health problems. Many drug users are frequently afflicted with problems like depression, anxiety, or unaddressed trauma.


When addiction occurs in conjunction with another mental health problem, the issues are collectively referred to as co-occurring disorders. Understanding the nature of co-occurring disorders can be immensely useful for helping people overcome their issues, and for assisting professionals to address these issues properly.

Why Does Addiction So Often Occur With Other Conditions?


It’s no secret that many drug addicts also struggle with other mental health problems. There are several reasons that this may be the case.

Co-occurring disorders are a fairly common issue among people who use drugs

One of the main reasons for this is because many people turn to drugs because they already have a mental health problem that they are unable, or unwilling, to manage.


People who live in disadvantaged areas, for example, often grow up with mental health problems simply because of the way that they are raised. A lack of services, proper parenting, or other factors could lead people to develop issues like anxiety and depression.


Unfortunately, in this particular instance, the problems would not stop there. Because of the lack of services and facilities available for people in disadvantaged areas, these people wouldn’t be able to seek treatment for these issues. They likely wouldn’t receive proper education about mental health problems, either.


For many people, it’s merely the easiest to turn to illegal drugs as a form of self-medication than it is to find treatment for mental health problems. Even people who live in suburban areas may find that they would rather use illegal drugs than deal with the medical or psychiatric system – for fear of judgment or something similar.


Another reason that co-occurring disorders are so common is that drugs tend to cause mental health problems (or at least bring about underlying mental health issues). People who abuse stimulant drugs, for example, are liable to develop issues with depression. People who abuse anxiolytics, such as benzodiazepines, may develop crippling anxiety problems.


How to Manage Co-Occurring Disorders


One of the most important things for a trained addiction counselor or psychiatrist to recognize is the importance of co-occurring disorders. Understanding how a patient’s disorders interact is key to helping them overcome their problem.


For example, an individual struggling with severe social anxiety and drug addiction would benefit from a different treatment plan than, say, someone struggling with PTSD.


The individual with social anxiety may need to seek treatment in a more isolated setting and develop the tools and skills to help them learn how to engage socially. The individual with PTSD would need to learn about their trauma, their triggers, and what mechanisms cause them to indulge in drugs.


In Conclusion


Co-occurring disorders are a fairly common issue among people who use drugs, and the best thing that you can do to help the issue is to learn to understand both issues. If you or a loved one struggles with a co-occurring disorder, you should seek treatment as soon as possible.


Written by Nigel Ford