Alcoholism or alcohol addiction is a recognized disease in which people are addicted to alcohol as an addictive substance. The disease has a progressive course – that means that the thoughts of those affected are more and more about getting the next alcohol to satisfy their addiction and so they slip further and further into addiction. However, acute alcohol abuse must be distinguished from chronic alcoholism.

The former can occur once or a few times, while chronic alcoholism usually lasts for a long time – often years. For some people it lasts until the end of their lives. It is not only genetic factors that play a role, but also social factors that can trigger an alcohol addiction.

In other words, whether or not an alcohol addiction is developed also depends to a large extent on the environment. As mentioned at the beginning, the environment where people grow up or are still in their adult life is a great indication of whether or not they will become alcoholic. Children who grow up with one or both parents always or often being alcoholized are much more likely to be unaware of their own limits than those who have learned to deal with alcohol normally.

Especially in difficult situations, such as the loss of a close relative or losing one’s job, can be the trigger for an alcohol addiction. Those affected drink their worries away, so to speak, in order not to be constantly reminded of them. In addition, alcohol makes people loose and self-confident, this is certainly a factor that is added especially with insecure and shy people.

However, it should be mentioned at this point that there are also children from alcoholic families who do not take their parents’ behaviour as an example, but take the opposite direction. As in many other areas, this simply depends on the individual person and nothing can be generalized. Another important point is the substance dopamine, which can be found in our brain and is just as closely related to the topic of addiction.

Dopamine conveys satisfaction and desire. It has been found that there are big differences in dopamine levels between alcoholics and non-addicts. It is said that among addicts, the level is even said to be twice as high.

The problem with dopamine is that, of course, we always want to satisfy our needs, and excessive consumption of alcohol makes the dopamine receptors very insensitive and demands more and more. That is why those people are drinking more and more in order to get satisfaction. Finally, there is also the fact that there are serious differences in how much alcohol an individual can tolerate.

There are not only differences between men and women, but also striking differences between the individual continents. It can be said, for example, that Asians can drink significantly less on average, while Europeans can sometimes consume very large quantities of alcohol. Women also generally tolerate much less alcohol, as their body resists it much earlier.