Alcoholism can develop as a result of a variety of causes, which range from social to genetic.
Social causes of alcohol addiction include friends or family who drink excessively, the age at which you begin drinking and drinking on a regular basis.
Research has shown that beginning to drink at a young age increases the risk of becoming an alcoholic, partly because it increases the amount of time you drink on a regular basis, which can also lead to a physical and mental dependence.
Genetic factors in alcohol dependence often come from your family history. You are more likely to become an alcoholic if you have close blood relatives who are alcohol-dependent. Also, mental health problems like depression can increase the risk of developing alcoholism.