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Who Is Most at Risk of Alcoholism?

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Some people are at an increased risk of alcoholism, including:

  • People who have a close family member that is an alcoholic (there is a genetic link to alcoholism)
  • Men (men are statistically far more likely than women to become alcoholics)
  • People who start drinking in their early teens
  • People who need a lot of alcohol to start feeling intoxicated
  • People who drink heavily/daily

I’ve Got a Good Job and Take Care of My Family – I’m Not a Drunk or a Bum

Although we often think of the homeless when we envision a ‘typical’ alcoholic, this skid-row image is far from typical. In fact, very few alcoholics end up homeless, most have jobs and families and some even excel professionally – so called high functioning alcoholics.

Although alcohol can harm a person’s work performance, career success does not prove the non-existence of alcoholism, and although you may excel at work despite your drinking habits, career success does not protect your body, mind and relationships from the eventual toll of chronic heavy drinking.

You may also argue that you only drink beer or wine - not hard liquor, so how can you be a drunk? Well, the type of alcohol you consume matters far less than the amount and frequency you imbibe, and as far as your body’s concerned, an ounce of alcohol from liquor does about the same as an ounce of alcohol from a couple of beers or a big glass of wine.

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Page last updated Aug 05, 2010

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