FactsHealth and Wellness

Take A Shot, Or Not: Why Is Alcohol Addictive?

Alcohol is considered to be a guilty pleasure of 70% of the world’s population. But the question is, why is everyone who takes alcohol, so fond of it? The science behind this is complex.

What it does to you

According to a study conducted between light and heavy drinkers, in both the cases it was found that alcohol interacts with receptors in the brain called gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. These receptors stimulate opioid receptors in the brain, this triggers the release of naturally occurring feel-good opioids known as endorphins. But heavy drinkers released more endorphins comparatively than light drinkers despite consuming the same amount of alcohol. Drinking alcohol is associated with an opioid release in the nucleus accumbens and orbitofrontal cortex- the two areas of the brain associated with reward processing. GABA receptors promote a relaxed feeling, and the more relaxed your body feels, the more alcohol it desires.

This suggested that people whose brains release more natural opioids are more fond of alcohol as it gives them more pleasure out of it, and are more likely to become addicted and this leads to them becoming alcoholics (researcher Jennifer M. Mitchell, Ph.D., of the University of California, San Francisco). However, the higher the endorphin release, the more deadly alcohol is for that individual. Hence, it is important to know your tolerance level, kids.

 What it does to you
Image credit: https://www.conehealth.com/services/behavioral-health/7-things-drinking-alcohol-does-to-your-body/

But Mitchell says that there are drugs other than Naltrexone, which block the cravings for alcohol and opioid response as this drug doesn’t always give a 100% response and also doesn’t work on everyone.

Common causes of alcohol addiction

Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive, incurable disease characterized by loss of control over alcohol and other sedatives,” as defined by The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. It is one of the leading causes of death in major countries such as the USA as alcohol is not very cheap, and abundant.

Alcohol is addictive as people, especially adults, have a lot of problems in their lives:
• Stress
• trauma
• family issues
• financial crisis
And these factors seem to affect the human brain adversely and the human doesn’t have any other option other than resorting to such a lethal drug.

Did you know genetics plays a vital role in this too? It may begin with some light drinking and gradually lead to something bigger. These usually are habits taken up from family members or grandparents who have a strong history with alcoholism.

Common causes of alcohol addiction

Peer pressure leads to heavy drinking too. It is easy to get addicted to something like this if it means you can be socially accepted by people who you fancy. No matter what the cause is, alcoholism is diabolical and should be controlled before it gets out of hand. Although it may seem all fancy and help you control and keep your mind out of problems, it can give rise to many other problems if not taken care of.

If you have a loved one suffering through this, contact and seek help immediately from specialists and seek out your path towards recovery.

For further information, you can check out Abbeycarefoundation.com and read about: How Denial Affects Alcohol Addiction And How To Overcome It

Pragati Atara

Just a curious little flower child pouring her heart out to make the world around her a better place...

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