Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are due to many interconnected factors, including genetics, how you were raised, your social environment, and your emotional health. Some racial groups, such as American Indians and Native Alaskans, are more at risk than others of developing alcohol addiction. People who have a family history of alcoholism or who associate closely with heavy drinkers are more likely to develop drinking problems. Finally, those who suffer from a mental health problem such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder are also particularly at risk, because alcohol may be used to self-medicate. Do you have a drinking problem? You may have a drinking problem if you... Feel guilty or ashamed about your drinking. Lie to others or hide your drinking habits. Have friends or family members who are worried about your drinking. Need to drink in order to relax or feel better. “Black out” or forget what you did while you were drinking. Regularly drink more than you intended to.