There are many factors involved in alcohol dependence. Some who are at high risk of developing alcohol use disorder (AUD) often worry about how easy it would be for them to become addicted. However, whether you’re at high-risk or low risk for alcohol addiction, it’s still possible to become addicted. It’s important to know the warning signs of alcohol addiction and what to do when you’re ready to seek treatment if you’re worried that you’re becoming addicted or dependent on alcohol. 

What is Alcohol Addiction?

Many people are shocked by the definition of alcohol addiction. Many believe that alcohol addicts spend all day every day drinking, and while that may be the case for some, it’s not the case for all. In reality, binge drinking (a type of alcoholism) is defined as consuming 4 or more alcoholic drinks for females in one or night or 5 alcoholic drinks for males in one night or on one occasion. 

Heavy drinking and alcoholism are defined as having 4 drinks on any day or more than 14 drinks in a week for men or having more than 3 drinks on any day or more than 7 drinks in a week for women. Both binge and heavy drinking can lead to patterns of alcoholism. 

Alcohol addiction usually occurs when binge drinking or heavy drinking continues for a sustained period of time, causing the body to become dependent on alcohol. This makes it harder to stop drinking and actually causes addicts to drink more in order to achieve the drunk feeling associated with alcohol. 

Factors that Lead to Alcohol Addiction 

There are many factors that can lead to alcohol addiction, including having a parent who’s addicted, experiencing a traumatic event, and more. These factors increase one’s risk of developing an alcohol use disorder. Many people are able to combat these factors by reducing the amount they drink, deciding to stay sober from the start, or speaking with a therapist. 


Many people who have alcohol use disorder or suffer from alcohol addiction have suffered from traumatic events either in the past or in recent years. Those who suffer from traumatic events and don’t have the proper coping mechanisms in place may turn to alcohol or drugs to help ease the pain they’re feeling. This can result in an addiction. 

Mental Health Disorders

Those with untreated mental health disorders also may be more likely to turn to alcohol or illegal substances to lessen the pain they’re experiencing in their daily lives. Not knowing how to cope can make it incredibly difficult, and many drink or use drugs in order to avoid facing their mental issues head-on. 

Family History

Having a parent who is addicted to alcohol is also a risk factor for developing alcohol addiction. Many children of addicts end up becoming addicts themselves if they don’t actively try to avoid it. 

Young Drinkers

Those who start drinking young may be more susceptible to alcohol use disorder or addiction. This is because they start building up their tolerance at a young age, requiring more alcohol than others to get intoxicated. Not only that, but alcohol changes their brain chemicals, and dependence is much easier. 

How Long Until I’m Addicted? 

If you’ve been drinking alcohol heavily in recent weeks and you’re worried about alcoholism, it might already be time to seek treatment. There’s no set timeline for developing an alcohol addiction, but if you’re having trouble quitting or you’re drinking more to accommodate for tolerance changes, you may be developing a dependence. 

To learn more about Asheville Recovery Center and how we can help you get sober, call one of our addiction specialists today. We are here to help.  

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