The best definition of alcoholism describes the issue as the regular consumption of alcoholic beverages. This causes lack of control over ones drinking behavior. There are several factors leading to alcoholism. They include social, genetic, and emotional factors.

Genetic factor is a highly disputed one, for many people deny its contribution to the alcoholism. However, there is convincing scientific evidence suggesting the role that it plays in forming of alcohol habit. It has been suggested that there exist a great possibility of transmission of alcoholism to family members despite other environmental causing factors (Wekesser, 1994). Despite this evidence, it has also been revealed that not all children who are born into alcoholic families become alcoholics. Thus, one cannot conclude that genetic components are the only causes of alcoholism, implying that even if a person is born in a family having long history of alcoholism, he or she will eventually become an alcoholic.

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Other factors causing alcoholism are emotional issues such as mental issues (low-self esteem or depression) and sexual/physical issues. That means that people suffering from sexual or physical abuse tend to turn alcohol as a way of anesthetizing the internal pain which they are experiencing. This strategy works only as long as the alcohol does not reach a point of becoming a problem to the consumer.

Depression is another mental issue that leads people to prefer alcohol consumption to release stress and feel better. This only gives desired result for a short while, since as a person continues consume alcohol, it starts deepening the depression, which, eventually causes more harm than the person would experience without the consumption of alcohol. Also, those people suffering from low-self esteem turn to alcohol consumption in order to gain liquid courage. This acts as a double-edged sword, since continuous consumption of alcohol will lead to participation in activities that are contrary to those in which people would participate being sober.

Social and peer pressure are other factors leading to alcoholism. In this case, people start drinking with others and progressively develop alcohol abusive relationship. Among youths, peer pressure is the main cause of alcohol abuse. This often occurs among the students in high school and colleges and leads to development of irresponsible and uncontrollable drinking behavior as a way of interacting socially.

From the above explanation, it is clear that it is not a desire of a person to become an alcoholic but something that gradually grows over time and leads to many poor choices being made along the way. This often leads to the person expecting alcohol on many occasions.

Despite the different factors leading to alcoholism, all they have the same outcome, and as a result, people relying mostly on alcohol will eventually suffer socially, emotionally, and physically due to addiction.

Alcoholic stressors are factors that largely contribute to stress, which, in turn, leads to alcoholism. Stressors entail different occasional stressing events and chronic stressors, which include unfavorable marital status, financial difficulties, and unfavorable employment status (Glass, 1972). Those that are categorized as life events include divorce, demotion in work place to a lower position as well as being a victim as in case of a crime. Stressors like unfavorable employment status as well as unfavorable marital condition result to stressful conditions that increase the chances of the victim to consume alcohol more heavily rather than within usual drinking behavior. Chronic stressors and stress causing life events are the key factors that lead to alcoholism and alcohol abuse in the real life situation (Pittman, 1967).

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Unfavorable Marital Status

There exists a direct relationship between marital status/condition and alcohol consumption. In a research that was conducted a while ago, it has been revealed that there is a continuous increase in the level of alcohol consumption with regard to divorce in comparison with those who had not divorced.

The question whether a person is married or not has a considerable impact on alcohol consumption and its amount. It has been noted that married men have the tendency of drinking less amount of alcohol, whereas unmarried men are found to take more alcohol in their leisure time with their social friends. The study has also revealed that married men upon divorce have high possibility of rapidly increasing their consumption behavior and amount.

In case of a divorce, a man and a woman can perceive alcohol consumption as a means of releasing stress that is caused by either of the parties. Cases of divorce are very painful to the victims who were earlier engaged, and the two may decide to utilize the time which they spent on each other on alcohol to reduce boredom. The children of the divorced family are more likely to turn to alcoholism due to psychological and emotional effects. Lack of proper parental care of children of divorced families contributes largely to alcoholism, since the children have no one to guide them in the right direction. Due to lack of parental attention, the children become confused, aggressive, and depressive. Parental alcoholism is also a reason for frequent failure of children to attend school, which increases the possibility of the latters to engage in alcoholism.

Infidelity in families is major cause of alcoholism, as the victims will tend to take alcohol to cope with stresses emanating from this problem. In most cases, when a man experiences a kind of infidelity from his wife, he will take more and more alcohol as a way of easing moral suffering.

In a case when a wife is physically stronger than a husband, the man will consume alcohol to generate artificial courage to be able to threaten or command the wife, as he will not be able to do so while sober. In a situation when a marriage is characterized by differences and misunderstanding of ideas, the partners find it easy to forget the moments of confrontations by being under influence of alcohol. In a weak family constituting of alcohol addicts, the family has none of the members to control their alcohol consumption behavior. This leads to irresponsible drinking and alcoholism if the problem is not addressed on time.

Challenging marital status may be the most critical factor leading to alcoholism and if not timely addressed, the situation will worsen and contribute to marriage failures.

Local Resource that Provides Services to Help Families Who are Coping with the Stressor

Marriage Resource Center, MRC, is a professional counseling center that is located in the Carroll NonProfit Center, next to Comcast, in Westminster, state Maryland. The center offers specialized treatment for couples with marital conflicts that are the key contributors to alcoholism.

The operations at MRC have well explained procedure. During one’s first visit to the center, professional family therapist will begin the evaluation process of attending. The center utilizes bio-psychosocial model in order to gather the relevant information. This evaluation process includes taking history from each partner of the couple to enable the therapist to understand the two from relationship and individual aspect (Awson, 1991).

After evaluation, the center develops a planning session where both the counselor and the client agree on what areas should be targeted to maximize the help that will be provided to the client. The center aims at perfecting the communication skills between the couple to increase marital and intimacy satisfaction. It also targets to instill new skills that will provide a validating and peaceful environment for a good family. The centers goals are understanding, connection, and peace.


Though it’s hard to find a family with no differences concerning various life aspects, the extent to which the misunderstandings challenge marriage relationships should be minimized to ensure there is favorable marital status. This will ensure that the coupes are not drawn into alcoholism and subsequent divorce. Resource centers like MRC should be encouraged in the society to help families smooth the differences and strengthen their relationship.