If you have been secretly questioning your drinking, wondering whether alcohol is taking more than it is giving, you are not alone.

Why do some people develop a problem with alcohol? You may have heard people say that it’s genetic or a brain disease, or perhaps you were told that it is a choice or a lack of willpower. In reality, none of these are true.

Alcohol use problem, like other mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, develops from a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors.

Biologically: genetics and brain chemical activity can influence how susceptible you are to developing an alcohol use problem.

Psychologically:alcohol use problems develop when you learn to use alcohol to cope with painful life events.

Socially: growing up in an environment where drinking is prevalent can increase your likelihood of developing an alcohol use problem.

The factors that lead to a person developing a drinking problem are complicated. However, one thing for sure is that the alcohol use problem has NOTHING to do with one’s moral character. When a person uses alcohol frequently and habitually, they can become dependent on alcohol and rely on it to handle day-to-day life. As the dependency grows, the alcohol use behavior starts to harm the person and their life.

If you have been secretly questioning your drinking, I invite you to spend the next few minutes taking this self-evaluation quiz.