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How Others Influence Your Alcohol Use

With the exception of extreme cases of abuse or control, individuals have some choice in whether or not they drink alcohol. However, there are several influences on alcohol abuse and alcoholism that many people may not consider. Alcoholism is a disease, and brain chemistry and genetics can influence alcoholism. Everyday alcohol use can be influenced by families, culture and a number of other outside influences. Understanding more about the alcohol influences in your life can be an important step to making healthy decisions.

Family Influences on Alcohol Abuse

An individual’s family can influence alcohol or drug use in a number of ways, including the following:

  • An inherited tendency toward addiction: Studies have repeatedly shown that addiction has inherited or genetic components. Children of alcoholics are more likely than others to eventually experience addiction or alcohol abuse themselves.
  • Stress and emotional strain: The ability to cope with sometimes overwhelming stress and strain can impact alcohol use. People who have experienced trauma, loss, abuse or even financial strain are more likely to use alcohol than those who have not. Alcohol abuse impacts people of every income level, every race and every gender, for all are susceptible to very real worries in life. Family stress is a huge contributor to alcohol consumption.
  • Personal factors: Some people seem more prone to alcohol use than others for a number of reasons. Some people simply have a more risk-taking personality. Others have friends that drink more socially than others. Many people who drink have siblings or cousins that they have looked up to, who may have introduced drinking behavior. Some people seek ways to self-soothe or relax by using alcohol.

There are a wide range of factors that can influence an individual’s decision to abuse alcohol.

Alcohol in Social Situations

Well before the legal drinking age of 21, many young people are exposed to alcohol in social situations. The pressure to drink is extraordinarily high for both young and old individuals. It seems that culture is often wired to associate drinking with good times, friendships and connections. This mistaken ideal about alcohol is pervasive throughout the world.

Individuals may be truly surprised to find out how possible it is to continue to interact socially and not drink. The use of sober buddies and understanding friends who accept individuals for who they are and do not pressure them is a key step toward eliminating alcohol consumption in social situations.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Help

If alcohol abuse has turned into addiction in your life, there are ways to break the pattern. You may want to consider a number of options, including the following:

  • Family addiction counseling
  • Inpatient or outpatient rehab
  • Drug or alcohol detox programs
  • Family intervention services
  • Individual counseling
  • Support groups

We offer a toll-free helpline that is staffed 24 hours a day by dedicated recovery professionals. We can help you find a solution that fits your needs and your budget. We even work with most insurance providers to ensure coverage for assistance. Call now.