It’s difficult to understand why some people drink alcohol with little or no negative effects, but others develop an addiction. The reasons are complex, but learning more about alcohol dependence can help. Fortunately, recovery is possible no matter what factors are at play.

The Science Behind Alcohol Dependence

man drinking on sidewalk has alcohol dependenceFirst thing first, it helps to know a little more about how alcohol impacts the brain and the body. While most people know that too much alcohol can have negative effects, they don’t always understand why excessive consumption can lead to addiction.

When you drink alcohol, it floods the brain with chemicals like dopamine. These make the body feel good, at least temporarily. For many people who drink in moderation, this isn’t a significant problem.

If you binge drink, or if you drink alcohol on a consistent basis, then your brain can get used to the chemical flood that happens. Your tolerance to it increases, and the body starts to crave more. Instead of feeling relaxed or happy after two drinks, you might turn to three. The more you drink, the more the cycle continues.

Once that tolerance exists, you’re already on track to alcohol dependence. It’s very easy to develop an addiction at this stage. The only way to effectively overcome this dependence is through treatment.

Why Some People Become Dependent on Alcohol

By some estimates, more than 80% of the adult population consumes alcohol during any given year. However, just a small portion of these individuals have a substance abuse disorder. So what, exactly, causes some people to become dependent on alcohol? There are a wide range of reasons, some of which include genetics, social environment, mental health and personality type.

Scientists now largely agree on the fact that addiction is often genetic. That means that some people have a biological predisposition to developing an addiction. If someone else in your family has an addiction to drugs or alcohol, then your risk increases.

Mental health also plays a role in addiction. People who struggle with mental illnesses are more likely to also struggle with substance abuse. This can happen because alcohol seems like a potential way to reduce anxiety or stress. Unfortunately, alcohol abuse often makes the problem worse.

Personality type can also play a role. Some people are more prone to experimentation. They’re likely to take bigger risks, drink earlier in life and drink more often. Others may be perfectionists with no healthy way to manage stress, so alcohol becomes the way to unwind.

The Vicious Cycle of Alcohol Abuse

Some people who don’t understand alcohol dependence might suggest that individuals simply cut back or stop drinking. Of course, it’s not that simple. Once you have a dependence on alcohol, reducing consumption means withdrawal symptoms.

Feeling bad thanks to withdrawal symptoms often reinforces the belief that alcohol is a necessity. It will take drastic action, and possibly even an intervention, to make the changes necessary for sobriety.

How to Overcome a Dependence on Alcohol

At Silver Pines Treatment Center, you can overcome your dependence on alcohol. A combination of detox and alcohol rehab can prepare you for a lifetime of sobriety. We offer a wide range of treatment methods and programs, just some of which include the following:

It’s entirely possible to overcome an alcohol dependence if you have the right tools, resources, and expert support. At Silver Pines Treatment Center near Hazleton, Pennsylvania, you’ll be able to break free from your alcohol addiction. Call 866-345-2147 and begin your journey to sobriety, health and happiness.