Secondary Causes of Alcohol Use Disorder

Think of a “cause” as a factor. It can be anything from a genetic predisposition, to a neurochemical reaction, to environmental factors.

Many factors may combine with another to cause a condition such as alcohol use disorder. It’s impossible to attribute alcohol use disorder to any single cause, but you can categorize causal factors as primary and secondary.

One of the most common secondary causes of alcohol use disorder is environmental stress. A dictionary definition of stress is “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.”

We function in a world filled with stressors. These range from money issues, to family or partner issues, job issues, and so on down the line. Some are recent, some are situational meaning they come and go, and some are chronic, such as an adverse childhood event or trauma from an incident or set of experiences. Sit down for a few minutes and brainstorm all the large and small stressors in your life and you’ll probably end up with a sizable list.

Accordingly, one of the best ways to attack alcohol use disorder is to eliminate stress from your life, or learn how to reinterpret stressful events. Stress generally arises from the ancient “flight or flight” mechanism we still retain from millions of years gone by of evolution when we were evolving from primitive primates.

Stress can seem overwhelming but with proper techniques and mindsets, or in harder cases proper therapy, stress can be mitigated significantly.

At Alcure, we take secondary causes of alcohol use disorder head-on with our accelerator videos. We introduce you to a host of techniques to eliminate or reduce stress by addressing core behavior patterns that, when not practiced correctly, bring about stress without you realizing it.

Stress is tied to alcohol use disorder for the simple reason that people often use alcohol to "self-medicate." Alcohol is a drug, meaning it’s just a molecule that affects our brain and body, and replicates in a crude way many common prescription drugs such as anti-anxiety medications and, due to the release of endorphins with each sip, common opioid-based medications.

There are many other ways to address secondary causes of alcohol use disorder we address in our accelerator videos (module three is where we explore the topic in great detail). But in general, our approaches fall under the umbrella of wellness.