December 14, 2007
Alcohol Abuse and Dependence – What Increases Your Risk
You are more at risk for developing alcohol abuse and dependence if you:
- Have a family history-this includes a genetic link-of alcohol abuse and were exposed to alcohol in your home as you grew up.
- Use alcohol at an early age. The younger you are when you first drink alcohol, the higher your risk of developing alcohol use problems later as an adult.
- Are male. For every woman who develops alcohol use problems, three men develop them.
- Have a history of mental health conditions, including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders. It is common to use alcohol to try to self-medicate these conditions.4
- Use or abuse other substances such as tobacco, illegal drugs, or prescription medicines.