What makes alcohol so addicting? According to scientists, there are several key factors that contribute to why alcohol is so addictive for many people. From the way it affects the brain to its ability to trigger pleasurable sensations, alcohol addiction can be a tough habit to break.
However, if you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol addiction, there are various treatment options available that can help you regain control of your life. Some of these may include behavioral therapy, support groups, or medication management. With the right combination of treatment strategies and dedication, you can overcome your alcohol addiction and reclaim your health and happiness.
How Endorphins Can Contribute to Alcohol Addiction
Whether you’re struggling with alcohol addiction yourself or have a loved one who is, it’s important to understand why alcohol is so addictive. Here are some key insights from scientists as to why alcohol addiction can be such a difficult habit to break.
Alcohol triggers the release of endorphins in the brain, which can lead to feelings of pleasure and euphoria.
According to researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (USCF), in a recent study, they were able to observe this endorphin release in humans for the first time. Endorphins are produced in the brain naturally and are small proteins that cause opiate-like effects. Lead author Dr. Jennifer Mitchell says they have suspected this was the case for humans but had only observed it in animal studies until now.
Mitchell says this study provided the first direct proof as to how alcohol affects people’s mood. This discovery provides a possible target area for the development of drugs to help treat alcoholics since they have now found the precise area where the endorphins are released. Researchers used PET imaging, known as positron emission tomography, to watch the immediate effects the alcohol does to the brains of the patients they observed. In all subjects, the intake of alcohol led to the release of endorphins.
How These Findings Can Influence Treatment
The more endorphins that were released, the more feelings of pleasure were felt by the drinker. Additionally, for those who were heavy drinkers, they saw higher levels of intoxication but this was not seen in the control group of non-drinkers. Mitchell says the results show that the brains of problem drinkers are altered in such a way making them more apt to find the alcohol pleasurable and this might be a clue to how their drinking problem began initially. The results indicate that a possible approach to treating alcohol abuse may lie in targeting the opioid receptors that the endorphins bind to.
The best approach for alcohol addiction treatment will likely depend on the individual and their unique circumstances. However, for many people, effective treatments may include:
- Behavioral therapy
- Support groups
- Family therapy
- Medication management
With the right combination of support and treatment strategies, it is possible to overcome alcohol addiction and reclaim your health and happiness. So if you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol abuse, don’t hesitate to reach out for help today.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Promises
If you’re looking for help in overcoming alcohol addiction, Promises is here to support you every step of the way. Our expert team of doctors, therapists, and counselors will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan that addresses the underlying causes of your alcohol abuse.
Though the endorphins released by alcohol can make you feel good in the short term, long-term alcohol abuse can lead to a wide range of health problems. Getting help for alcohol addiction is vital to protecting your health and well-being. Contact Promises today at 844.875.5609 to learn more about our alcohol addiction treatment programs and how we can help.