Why is Alcohol Addictive?

Diverse group of people sitting in a circle during cocaine addiction treatment

Unlike some substances that are commonly abused, alcohol is legal and a substance many individuals are familiar with. Alcohol is a marketable substance, which is why it is so familiar, but it can also be incredibly addictive. Individuals who have drank too much have likely also experienced a hangover and the more immediate side-effects from alcohol. The effects of alcohol can not only be immediate but long-lasting too. Addiction and dependence on alcohol should be taken very seriously. Alcohol is legal but it can quickly create health, financial, and other issues.

Finding information is a great step to helping yourself or a loved one who is suffering from alcohol abuse. Finding help may be challenging and preventing relapse from alcohol is even more challenging, but BRC Healthcare is a great source for information and help. Be sure to visit our homepage to find more information on our programs and how we can help.

Why is Alcohol so Physically and Psychologically Addictive?

Like mentioned before, alcohol is a substance that many people are familiar with. Whether a person drinks alcohol in their teens, twenties, or as an adult, alcohol is a popular and easily obtained substance.

Alcohol is so addictive because drinking this substance causes stimulation in the brain by releasing endorphins and dopamine. Endorphins, along with dopamine, are two natural chemicals in the brain that help produce feelings of happiness, satisfaction, and pleasure. These two natural chemicals can also act as a painkiller.

Psychologically, an individual’s addiction to alcohol is similar to other addictions. Substance abuse develops over time and the individual’s awareness, especially of treatment, has a massive effect on their recovery and odds of completing a program. If a person does not have the support needed around them or the belief in a program, recovery and living a healthy life becomes much more difficult.

An individual’s perception and maturity play a huge role in not only realizing that help is needed but staying healthy and avoiding relapse in the future.

What Makes Someone Crave Alcohol?

Stress and environmental factors can also play a big role in an individual’s consumption of alcohol. Alcohol is a substance that feels like it offers a little break from the pains and worries of life, but this substance and that type of coping behavior can easily become an addictive lifestyle.

Like mentioned before, the chemicals released in the brain while drinking alcohol make the substance so addictive, especially for individuals who are genetically prone to this addiction, but alcohol addiction also has physical impacts.

Alcohol Withdrawals Make it Difficult to Stop Drinking

Why alcohol is so physically addictive is partially due to the withdrawal an individual feels when they attempt to stop drinking and live a healthier life. Individuals who suffer from an alcohol addiction find that when they try to detox and avoid relapsing, the task is very difficult.

Battling addiction is never easy and every person’s recovery is different however, there are many common symptoms that individuals recovering from alcohol addiction experience. The withdrawal symptoms that individual experiences are believed to be affected by the varying changes in brain activity, due to the extended period of excessive alcohol use.

Some of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Seizures
  • Hand tremors, also known as “the shakes”
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances
  • Heart palpitations
  • Increased blood pressure or heart rate
  • Mild hyperthermia
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Auditory or visual hallucinations
  • Disorientation

How Does Alcohol Addiction Affect the Body and Brain?

According to some recent studies performed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, when an individual consumes alcohol there is a complex chemical reaction in the brain. The level of reaction in the brain may be influenced by the individual’s genetics, so different people will have varying reactions to the consumption of alcohol.

Some individuals may release more endorphins and dopamine after consuming alcohol, which will increase their chances of abusing alcohol, becoming addicted to it, and becoming dependent on it.

However, some may release the average amount and even below average. For individuals who release more endorphins and dopamine, alcohol is so addictive because of the feelings it produces for the individual. The satisfaction, happiness, loss of pain, and more pleasure are all enough to keep using alcohol, but it is a substance that’s addictive and can quickly become abused.

What are Some Options for Alcohol Addiction Treatment?

Alcohol addiction is one of the toughest addictions to fight, not only because of the symptoms from detoxing and withdrawal but also because of the legality of the substance and how easy it is to obtain. Luckily, there are also plenty of ways for individuals to find the help they need. BRC Healthcare is a great example where individuals can get help and utilize life-changing programs.

Programs that are designed to safely detox, target specific demographics (for example, first-time addicts or chronic relapsers), provide long-term treatment, and more, are great ways for individuals suffering from alcohol addiction to find the help they need. Programs like the ones offered by BRC Healthcare can have the tools needed to recover from alcohol addiction.

The programs may vary, but they all have the goal to help enrolled individuals recover and prevent relapse. Therapy, of all kinds, is utilized to help individuals recover mentally and emotionally from their alcohol addiction, while also providing them with an understanding and supportive apartment.

Along with different forms of therapy, a supportive environment can be an incredibly helpful asset when fighting an addiction. Rehab programs also give recovering addicts the structure and knowledge needed to start living a healthier life, mentally, emotionally, and physically, in their future.

BRC Healthcare can Help Your or a Loved One Recover

Like mentioned before, every individual’s recovery process is different, but having a strong support group and having the right awareness can make all the difference. Avoiding relapse from alcohol addiction is something that will be very challenging, but there are options for individuals to find help and the support they need. Therapy is a fantastic way to recover and heal, while also staying healthy.

BRC Healthcare offers plenty of recovery options and programs, so if you or a loved one are in need of assistance don’t hesitate to contact us. Alcohol can be an incredibly addictive substance, but it doesn’t have to ruin lives. BRC Healthcare is here to help heal and provide recovery options to all.

References:

http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/substance-abuse

https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh314/310-339.htm

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