Study shows more exercise means more alcohol consumption

Researchers from Northwestern University found that people are the most active between Thursday and Sunday. They also drink the most during these days. Subsequently, the more people exercise, the more they drink. The findings were published in the journal Health Psychology.

Social days’ effects vs. working days

“Monday through Wednesday people batten down the hatches and they cut back on alcohol consumption,” said lead study author and Northwestern professor David Conroy. “But once that ‘social weekend’ kicks off on Thursdays, physical activity increases and so does alcohol consumption.”

Finding a happy medium

Small amounts of physical activity and drinking alcohol are linked to several health issues. However, significant amounts of activity coupled with excessive alcohol consumption is also detrimental to health.

“We need to figure out how to use physical activity effectively and safely without having the adverse effects of drinking more alcohol,” Conroy stated.

Taking it day by day

The study included 150 participants who ranged between ages 18 and 89. The participants recorded their activity levels for 21 days in a row at three different times throughout the year. The researchers asked each participant to report his or her own daily activity using a diary and a smartphone.

This is not the first study to find a positive correlation between physical activity and alcohol consumption. One 2012 study found that heavy drinkers exercise 10 minutes more per week than moderate drinkers.

The strong presence of binge drinking

Binge drinking is a nationwide problem. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that 1 in 6 U.S. adults binge drink about four times a month, drinking about eight drinks each time. Binge drinking is a dangerous habit that can lead to substance abuse and addiction.

However, previous studies on activity and alcohol consumption only asked participants to record their activity and drinking levels once in the past 30 days, unlike this study.

Conroy noted that his study’s method was better. Self-reporting can sometimes carry biases and memory problems if done the wrong way. Instead of participants potentially forgetting some of the days they were active or drank, they can record it a day at a time, Conroy stated.

These past studies stated that physically active people drank more alcohol, which this study did not find.

Avoiding generalizations and taking a closer look

The researchers stated their day-to-day approach helped them get an up-close look at the behavior of participants. They realized drinking levels do not have to do with whether a person is physically active overall. People drink on the days that they are more active and drink less on the days they are not active. Conroy hopes that he and his colleagues can discover what causes people to drink more on days they exercise.

“Perhaps people reward themselves for working out by having more to drink or maybe being physically active leads them to encountering more social situations where alcohol is consumed – we don’t know,” Conroy said. “Once we understand the connection between the two variables we can design novel interventions that promote physical activity while curbing alcohol use.”

Researchers discover genetics cause people to like alcohol

Researchers from Pennsylvania State University found that people may like the taste of alcohol thanks to their parents. These genetic factors play a role in whether people like and drink alcohol regularly. The findings were published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Excessive alcohol use is common in the U.S., the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated. Approximately 92 percent of people who drink significant amounts of alcohol reported binge drinking in the past 30 days.

Taste variations of alcohol

People vary in their taste sensations for any food or beverage, and alcohol is no exception. These perceptions of taste all come back to people’s genes. When it comes to beer, some people taste more bitterness and less sweetness.

“In general, greater bitterness relates to lower liking, and because we generally tend to avoid eating or drinking things we don’t like, lower liking for alcoholic beverages associates with lower intake,” said assistant professor of food science John Hayes in a statement. “The burn receptor gene TRPV1 has not previously been linked to differences in intake, but we reasoned that this gene might be important as alcohol causes burning sensations in addition to bitterness.”

So, when people taste alcohol they taste different levels of bitterness. This is because of which version of a bitter receptor gene the person has.

The researchers collected participants’ saliva samples to determine which receptor gene each person had. The participants were of various races and ranged from age 18 to age 45.

The influence of bitterness

Historically, evolution has proved that people are fond of sweetness and dislike bitterness. As a result, we make food and beverage choices based on these preferences. However, people vary in how much bitterness they can tolerate, which is because of genetic differences.

In many foods and beverages, bitter and sweet tastes will overpower each other. Since genetic differences influence how we perceive bitterness, it could have an effect on sweetness perception too.

“Prior work suggests greater bitterness and less sweetness each influence the liking of alcohol beverages, which influences intake,” said lead researcher Alissa Allen. “Here we show that the bitterness of sampled ethanol varies with genetic differences in bitter taste receptor genes, which suggests a likely mechanism to explain previously reported relationships between these gene variants and alcohol intake.”

The study authors concluded that the dynamic between burn and intake is complex, and personality traits can also play a role in food choices. This is the reason why some people love the burn of a jalapeno and others do not.

However, the researchers believe that most people dislike the burn from alcohol. Yet that would mean people are less likely to drink alcohol, which is not true. The study only used ethanol mixed with water, so the researchers are still unsure about how the results compare for actual alcoholic beverages. The study authors noted that something like a flavored malt beverage may reduce bitterness in a drink while a beer with hops will enhance the bitterness.

The researchers believe that once a person has an alcohol addiction, genetic factors do not play a role in alcohol intake. However, genetic factors may play a role in how fond a person becomes of alcohol, especially when he or she tries it initially.

Moving forward

Prior research from the study authors found a strong correlation between alcohol intake and bitter receptor genes. The researchers concluded that further research is needed on the topic to determine what role these genetic preferences play in alcohol use and abuse. They also believe that people can still make a choice about their alcohol consumption despite a genetic predisposition. A person could overcome his or her dislike of bitterness to consume significant amounts of alcohol, and others who do not experience bitterness may choose to avoid alcohol.

Does alcoholism run in families?

What can parents do to keep from passing on alcoholic patterns?

Alcoholism has been a part of culture for hundreds of years. Many people thinking alcohol abuse isn’t a problem are in complete denial because they are victims of its deadly influence on their lives. Alcohol related deaths outnumber deaths from other drugs by a four to one margin. It is one of the gateway drugs that open the door for victims to try heavier drugs.

Many people wonder why others seem to be drawn into drinking alcohol. Peer pressure to drink from friends and binge drinking are serious problems that only continue to worsen unless others step in to help. Another reason does exist for those who develop the taste for alcohol.

Alcoholism in the Family Unit

The problem with alcoholism is that it starts with that first drink. Most people that do drink will explain to you how nasty the first drink tasted. The reason for that taste is based on the type of alcohol they consumed. The ethanol in alcohol varies from 4-6 percent in beer to 40-50 percent in distilled spirits.

Over time, people will build up a tolerance to the effects of alcohol. They will begin to consume more each time they drink. The brain is affected from the effects of drinking as with the rest of the body. The medical community knows through research that genes play a role in why alcoholism is inherited through other family members.

Most people who have severe problems with drinking have other members of the family with the same issues. Heredity does play a role in the development of alcoholism. Parents that consume heavy amounts of alcohol can influence their children by being role models that they follow. Once the parent realizes that their children are drinking, they of course try to find ways to prevent alcoholism.

Parents who drink excessively are allowing their children to see and do as they do; they could be classified as enablers. Some parents have even been accused of furnishing alcohol to their children. This all plays into why alcoholism is believed to be an inherited disease from others in the family.

Breaking the Pattern of Alcoholism

There can be only one solution to stop the vicious cycle of hereditary factors to consuming alcohol: parents who deal with alcoholism must realize that they have a serious problem and seek help to stop using it. Unless they recover, the same pattern might follow one of their children into adulthood. It will be a continuous cycle until one of their own children becomes afflicted with the woes of alcoholism.

The first two steps in curbing alcohol abuse is for parents to admit that they have a serious problem and are committed to seek treatment to cure the urge to drink. Many programs are available to treat those with a dependency on alcohol. Alcoholics Anonymous is one helpful program that has taken many people from the road of drunkenness to a life of sobriety.

Another option might be an alcohol rehab center if the funds are available to afford it. Most of these centers offer services through payment from an insurance company and the balance worked out between the parties involved.

It is important to remove all traces of alcohol-related products, glasses and empty bottles from the home once treatment is completed. Children that know and see what a parent has gone through will most likely never touch alcoholic beverages. Parents that have realized they needed help have taken the necessary steps to ensure that their children don’t follow in their footsteps.

Are there different levels of alcoholism?

Alcoholism is sometimes a difficult problem to recognize. Once people hit a legal drinking age, it is completely normal for them to go out and have some drinks or even keep alcohol at their house. There are certain signs to look for if you or someone you love may be an alcoholic. Some people may get drunk on the weekends, or they may even drink on a daily basis. Although a person may be a frequent drinker, this does not necessarily make them an alcoholic.

There are different stages of alcoholism; and the earlier that the person seeks help for this disease, the more likely they are to recover. An alcoholic suffers from two primary problems: mental obsession and physical craving. These two symptoms make it virtually impossible for the person to control their drinking because they have lost the power of choice in the situation. Once they begin drinking, they will not stop until they run out of alcohol, run out of money, or simply become unconscious.

It is a common misconception that an alcoholic is the stereotypical person who has become homeless and has lost everything. If this were true, then anyone who reached a rough patch in life would be considered an alcoholic. People who do not have a problem with alcohol lose jobs, have divorces, or are financially unstable. The main difference between an alcoholic and non-alcoholic is that an alcoholic cannot change their ways if it is the source of all their problems.

When should someone get help?

Someone who is a daily drinker is going to be able to stop drinking when their job might be threatened, they have health issues, or their spouse is about to walk out on them. They can understand the consequences of their drinking and change their ways. An alcoholic is suffering from a disease that does not want them to recover, and they will rationalize and justify their behavior until the bitter end. They believe that their drinking is not the problem, but that they are having bad luck or the rest of the world is the problem. Their mind tells them that maybe they just shouldn’t go out and drive when they’re drunk, or they just shouldn’t drink around other people because that’s the problem. The truth is that they have become dependent on alcohol and cannot stop drinking.

The disease of alcoholism is progressive and can get much worse over time. The person has a much better chance for their body to heal if they’re able to seek help before years of continuous alcohol abuse. Over time, the person’s internal organs are drastically affected by alcohol. The liver, kidneys, and heart are the main organs that alcohol can damage, and sometimes they reach a point where they can be permanently damaged. The liver can fail to process toxins properly, or the person can suffer from a variety of types of heart disease increasing their chances of heart attack or other issues. Long-term alcoholism also takes its toll on the brain causing damage that is sometimes permanent.

Typically, the person suffering from the disease can recover only when they finally realize they have a problem. This can come from the help of their loved ones; but if they don’t fully concede to the fact that they have this disease, then they will most likely not stay sober. Treatment facilities help these individuals become educated on the disease of addiction and teach them a new way to live without the use of alcohol. It is never too late to recover from alcoholism. Call us today for more information.

Family History May Indicate Higher Risk for Alcohol Abuse

If you are one of the millions of people in this country who are going through alcoholism or have a parent, grandparent, or close relative that is experiencing it, you may wonder what is alcoholism in your family history means for you. Is alcohol abuse a part of your future? Is the risk of you becoming an alcoholic greater than for people who do not have a family history of alcoholism? If so, how can you lower this risk?

Genetics

Many scientific studies have shown that genetic factors have an influence on alcoholism. These studies included research conducted among twins and the children of alcoholic parents. The findings of the studies have shown that children of alcoholics are about four times more likely to develop alcohol problems than the general population. Said children are also at higher risk for other emotional and behavioral problems. However, alcoholism is not determined only by the genes inherited from parents. In fact, more than half of all children of alcoholics do not end up becoming alcoholics. Research shows that many other factors contribute to the risk of developing alcoholism. Some factors increase the risk while others lower it.

Family History

Genes are not the only thing children inherit from parents. How a person’s parents act and how they treat each other and their children has an influence on the children growing up within the family. These aspects of family life also have an effect on the risk of alcoholism. Researchers have the belief that a person’s risk of alcohol abuse increases if they’re a part of a family with the following dysfunctions and difficulties:

  • Conflict leading to aggression and violence in the family
  • Both parents abuse alcohol and/or other drugs
  • The parents’ alcohol abuse is severe
  • A parent suffering alcoholism is depressed or going through other psychological problems

The good news, however, is that many children of an alcoholic, even from the most troubled families do not develop alcoholism. Just as a family history of alcohol abuse does not guarantee that you too will become an alcoholic, neither does growing up in a troubled home with alcoholic parents. The risk may be higher due to certain factors, but the alcoholism is not an automatic issue. If you have worries that your troubled family life or your family history of alcoholism puts you at risk of following the same path, there are some common sense tips to help you avoid falling into alcohol abuse:

  • Avoid underage drinking
  • Drink only in moderation as an adult

People with a family history of alcohol abuse should approach moderate drinking carefully. It may be harder for them to maintain moderate habits when it comes to drinking than for people who don’t have a family history of drinking problems. If you or someone in your family has a drinking problem, get help as soon as possible. Talk with a healthcare professional about problems or concerns about risk. They can recommend organizations or groups that can help you avoid or address alcohol problems.

Alcohol Detox – 3 Things You Need To Know

The results of alcohol abuse are usually not apparent until there is a serious issue that has affected other parts of the user’s life. If you find that you or a loved one has chosen to address an alcohol addiction, there are some things that one should prepare for during an alcohol detox.

 Alcohol Statistics

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2011 there were over 16,000 deaths linked to alcoholic liver disease and over 26,000 alcohol-induced deaths – excluding accidents and homicides. Alcohol abuse is a huge issue in America and all over the world. Though seemingly innocent, alcohol can be just as dangerous as drugs that are more socially considered more dangerous such as heroin or crack cocaine. Recreational use can fast become an addiction, and often times is justified as just a college phase, or chalked up to the idea that, “boys will be boys.”

3 Things You Need To Know About Alcohol Detox

1. Withdrawals are not all made equal. The severity of withdrawal symptoms depends on the amount and how long the user has been abusing alcohol. If the user is a mild drinker, withdrawal symptoms will be much more manageable than if they have been abusing alcohol for many years. That being said, because alcohol detox can be very dangerous, it is recommended that all individuals should consult with a physician before undergoing a detox to ensure proper care.

2. You may be treated in an outpatient or inpatient basis depending on the severity of your withdrawals. If your alcohol abuse has been very mild, you are in a good health condition and you have a strong support system at home, outpatient services may be good for you. But if you are pregnant, have other health or mental health issues, do not have appropriate support at home or have had a more prolonged abuse of alcohol, inpatient services are preferred. Inpatient services are focused on:

  • helping your body through the physical side effects of withdrawal
  • preventing or mediating complications
  • teaching skills and lending support for life long alcohol abstinence

3. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms may last from a few hours to a year and go through certain stages. A mild drinker will almost never experience all of the stages, but for other that do, they can be very dangerous without proper medical attention. The stages are as follows:

  • Tremulousness: This stage begins 6-12 hours after not drinking and is finished after one day. This stage is marked with “the shakes” that often include night sweats, anxiety, headaches, and insomnia.
  • Seizures: This stage may begin 6-48 hours after not having a drink. Though over 90% of seizures happen within the first 48 hours, some can happen over a few weeks at different intervals
  • Hallucinations: This stage occurs as the same time as seizures. Hallucinations usually consist of what patients describe as bugs crawling all over their body.
  • Delirium Tremens: The most dangerous stage begins 72-10 days after your last drink and can last from seven to ten days. This stage is marked with strokes, heart attacks, confusion, auditory and visual hallucinations and perception that something or someone is threatening, and high blood pressure/heart rate.
  • Protracted Withdrawal: This stage can last for up to a year after drinking and involves shakiness, depression, hallucinations, poor memory and lack of concentration.

Despite the severity of alcohol withdrawal, helping your body rid itself of its dependency will only help you and the ones around you.

Death and Mortality from Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a devastating disease, and the extent of pain and damage it is capable of causing cannot be realized by anyone who hasn’t struggled with it personally or seen a loved one do so.

Mental-health experts define alcoholism as a chronic and often progressive disease characterized by an inability to control one’s drinking, a preoccupation with drinking alcohol, continuing to drink alcohol even when it poses clear problems to one’s health or personal and professional life, a physical and psychological tolerance to alcohol requiring one to consume more and more to achieve the same intended effect, and withdrawal symptoms from stopping or reducing alcohol consumption.

The damage alcoholism is capable of causing to one’s health, relationships, and career is well documented. But alcoholism’s destructiveness doesn’t end there. This is a disease capable of causing death to those who let it reign untreated.

Here are some sobering statistics about death and mortality from alcoholism.

  • Between the years of 2007 and 2010, excessive alcohol use resulted in approximately 88,000 deaths in the United States. There were over 2.5 million potential years of life lost due to excess drinking during that four-year period. In working-age adults between the ages of 20 and 64, one out of every ten deaths was related in some way to excess alcohol consumption.
  • Things haven’t slowed down at all since 2010. The final results from 2011 have been released, and there were a total of 26,654 alcohol-induced deaths in the United States. This includes accidents and homicides that were fueled by alcohol.
  • Alcoholic liver diseases alone, such as cirrhosis, were responsible for 16,749 of those deaths.
  • Worldwide, there are over 2.5 million deaths annually which are caused by excessive alcohol consumption. This amounts to almost 4% of all deaths around the world each year.
  • Excessive alcohol use is one of the four leading risk factors for developing any of the four leading noncommunicable deadly diseases: cancer, chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. The other three risk factors are tobacco use, physical inactivity, and poor diet.
  • Alcohol causes many more deaths among men than it does women. The percentage of male deaths worldwide which are caused by alcohol is 6.2 while the percentage of female deaths is 1.1.

Finally, excessive alcohol use has been shown in studies to increase one’s chances of contracting HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases — some of them deadly — and to worsen these diseases among those who already have them. This is because of its ability to reduce the user’s judgment and inhibitions and because poisoning the body with too much alcohol has a severely negative effect on the immune system.

In conclusion, alcoholism is not only a disease that can ruin your career, drive your family and friends away, and cause you to lose everything for which you’ve worked hard in your life — it can also kill you, as it does millions of people around the world every year.

If you or someone you love is struggling with alcoholism or you suspect they may have a problem with alcohol, don’t keep it to yourself and don’t wait to get help. Alcoholism is like a ticking time bomb, and every day you wait to deal with it is a day it could go off. Take action today and call for help.

5 Biggest Challenges to Recovery from Alcoholism

These days, alcoholism has become an epidemic that many addicts feel they cannot overcome. Yet by attaining more knowledge about challenges to recovery, addicts can arm themselves with the information necessary to become sober and lead a fulfilling life. Below you will find five of the biggest challenges to recovery from alcoholism:

1. Denial.

The first step to recovering from an alcohol addiction is openly acknowledging that the problem exists. Yet in many cases, alcohol addicts are not willing to take this transformative, monumental step. Instead, they will often make excuses in their mind or recite statements like “I can stop any time I want.” By continually operating in this sphere of denial, alcohol addicts preclude themselves from feeling the need to devise an action plan that would put them on the path to permanent recovery.

2. Detoxification.

As many addiction recovery experts know, alcoholism is a physiological addiction that involves the addict becoming used to the drug existing within the body. When a former addict begins the process of detoxification, his or her body will almost always react to the absence of alcohol with a plethora of mentally and physically taxing detox symptoms such as lethargy and irritation. In many cases, alcohol addicts would prefer to go back to their world of consuming alcohol as opposed to completing the detoxification process as a result of the fact that withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable.

3. Lack of Support from Family and Friends.

Although some alcohol addicts receive a great deal of support from family and friends, some do not. There are many reasons why an addict’s family and friends might choose to dissociate from their recovering loved one, including anger or bitterness regarding the negative impact that alcoholism may have had on everyone. If a recovering addict feels that she or he is not receiving support and unconditional love from family and friends, this will oftentimes give rise to a relapse into the world of addiction.

4. Former Social Networks.

One of the biggest challenges that individuals face when they attempt to recover from alcoholism is a refusal to give up their former social networks. Typically, these social networks are comprised of individuals who helped the recovering addict engage in the unwanted behavior. And while recovering addicts may recognize that ending relationships with these people is important and necessary, they oftentimes find it difficult or impossible to do. This can be the case for many reasons, including the fact that many enablers may have still been a somehow positive light in the addict’s world.

5. Asking For Help.

In many cases, the biggest challenge that an individual recovering from alcoholism will have is asking others for help. Oftentimes, the addict may feel as if she or he is a “problem” and that asking other people to spend resources that facilitate the recovery process will be annoying. In fact, some addicts may feel that asking for help will result in them being alienated from their friends and family members. Yet asking for help is exactly what recovering alcoholics need to do in order to get better. No person is an island. Addiction didn’t begin in isolation, and recovery should not either.

Conclusion

Although addiction to alcohol can seem like an insurmountable reality to grapple with, solutions exist. If you or a loved one are currently struggling with addiction to alcohol, call our hotline right away for answers or guidance toward recovery, or contact a medical professional immediately so that you can receive the professional care you need.

Recognizing Risk Factors and Preventing Alcoholism

Most adults in the United States drink alcohol at some time during their life. According to statistics from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), over 87 percent of people 18 or older drink alcohol. Many people also engage in binge drinking. Approximately 24 percent of people 18 or older have participated in binge drinking during the past month. On average 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes each year. Driving fatalities from being alcohol impaired account for over 10,000 deaths annually. Alcoholism is a growing problem in the United States.

Alcoholism

When an individual is dependent on alcohol, it is known as alcoholism. This happens when a person drinks so much during a period of time, their body develops a dependency on alcohol. They become addicted and are an alcoholic. A person suffering from alcoholism will continue to drink no matter what negative consequences they experience. This could be everything from losing a job to damaging a close relationship and more. Even when an alcoholic understands their addiction is hurting others and themselves, they continue to drink. It is a tremendous struggle for them to stop abusing alcohol.

Risk Factors

There are a variety of risk factors associated with alcoholism. When a person regularly engages in binge drinking, they can become physically dependent on alcohol. Individuals who start to drink at an early age have a higher risk of becoming a problem drinker. If a person’s family has a history of alcoholism, there is also a higher risk of them becoming an alcoholic. Individuals with depression and a variety of other mental health problems are more likely to abuse alcohol. When a person has friends and a social network of people who abuse alcohol, they are more likely to become an alcoholic.

Early Intervention

An effective way to lower rates of alcoholism is to conduct early intervention with teens. When teenagers are made aware of the signs and symptoms associated with alcohol abuse, it makes a difference. Parents of teenagers must be a good example for their children. They must be responsible with their own use of alcohol. It’s important that parents are involved with their children’s lives. Parents need to intervene if their teenager has a loss of interest in hobbies and activities, or if their teenager has bloodshot eyes, slurred speech or decrease in personal appearance. Other signs of abuse are frequent mood changes or problems in school and declining grades.

Treatment

There are a number of treatments for people who want to be cured of their alcohol addiction. Treatment will happen in stages and can include a variety of different activities. Detoxification or withdrawal will eliminate a person’s body of alcohol. Rehabilitation will help a person develop coping skills and behaviors to handle their desire for alcohol. Counseling will help a person address emotional problems that created their desire to abuse alcohol. There is also medical treatment for any health problems that result from alcoholism. Specific medications can also be used to help individuals control their alcohol addiction.

Outlook

It is understood that recovery from alcoholism is not easy. Success will depend on a person’s ability to stop using alcohol. A study from an independent treatment center in Minnesota showed that 60 percent of people are able to maintain alcohol abstinence for the first year. When they regularly attend a support group, the rate climbs to over 72 percent. Many people are able to overcome their addiction to alcohol. A person’s health issues resulting from their drinking could impact their recovery. Success will also require lifestyle changes. Alcohol must be removed from a person’s home. They must not go to places such as bars. It’s also essential they avoid being with people who abuse alcohol. Events where alcohol will be served should be avoided if possible and more.

5 Risks of Alcohol and Depressant Addiction

Alcohol and depressant addiction are prevalent in all societies and can appear in the most surprising of places. Addictive personalities don’t only succumb to alcohol or depressant addiction, but can find themselves addicted to gambling, sex, eating, shopping and anything else. In each case excess causes harm.

Some individuals are more vulnerable based on variables such as gender, genetic makeup, or early introduction to substances at a young age. Any one may fall victim to the vices of addiction, but the following five characteristics may increase your susceptibility to having an addictive personality.

1. People with inherent mood disorders or issues.

Scientists have discovered a strong correlation between those who experience anxiety, borderline personality, depression or high levels of stress and those with an addictive personality. Many people use alcohol or other depressants as self-medication devices, helping them relieve stress. Others use alcohol to forget their problems or ignore what is happening in their lives.

2. Isolation.

People who generally isolate themselves for one reason or another often find solace in drinking or taking other depressant substances. Usually drinking or drugs are a substitute for the lack of social interaction or shared experiences.

3. People who lack control.

Those who just can’t control themselves with seemingly harmless things like watching television or cleaning the house exhibit behavior that can often escalate into substance abuse and alcohol or depressant addiction. Often people who have control issues find results in “black and white thinking” or an, “all or nothing mindset.” Of this group, either they feel the need to be in control at all times and don’t drink at all, or they prefer to be completely powerless. The latter group of individuals has a higher vulnerability to becoming alcoholics or addicts.

4. People who are leaders.

The surprising conclusion of many scientists and psychologists has shown that many people with addictive personalities are actually natural leaders. People who become addictive to risk-seeking behavior often times develop strong leadership skills. Because one part of their personality thrives in the addiction, the darker side of addiction often times remains hidden for a long time.

5. People who are non-conformists.

Those who place higher value in being different from the status quo and who prefer to not invest time or energy in socially acceptable or rewarded behavior often are predisposed to addiction. Scientists have linked this phenomenon with artists and writers who hold a strong distain for mainstream life.

Though these are strong factors that may contribute to an alcohol or depressant addiction, they are not absolute. There are many isolated leaders, non-conformists, and introverts who live life successfully by maintaining a balance in the things that they do. If this balance proves to be difficult for you, it is never too soon or too late to ask for help.