Alcohol is by far the most available mind-altering substance to men all over the world. In fact, about 10% of the population eventually develops an alcohol addiction. Since alcoholism can be confusing to most people who can consume alcohol normally, some might ask, “Why is alcohol addictive?” Alcohol, like many other substances, can affect the brain in a way that can alter a person greatly.
Why is Alcohol Addictive?
In order to understand alcohol addiction, you must first understand how two primary parts of the brain function. Simply, addiction affects the “stop” system and the “go” system. The “go” system releases a pleasure chemical called dopamine, and it helps us survive. Without the “go” system, our mind and body wouldn’t know when to eat food or drink water.
The “stop” system helps us make decisions and generally stops us from causing harm to ourselves. Although pleasurable activity can create euphoria and make us feel great, it’s important to know when there’s a problem. For example, eating too much can make us sick, so our brain should tell us when we should stop. Alcohol stimulates the “go” system, but it has a negative impact on the “stop” system.
Some of the other responsibilities of the “go” system include:
- Impulse control
- Emotional regulation
How Alcohol Dependence Develops
When the “stop” system isn’t functioning properly, a person will continue pursuing pleasure or reward. When it comes to alcohol, individuals will begin to neglect their friends, family, work, responsibilities and even themselves. This leads to excessive drinking, which begins to alter the body’s equilibrium and homeostasis. The body begins to need alcohol in order to function properly, which is how dependency develops.
After regular excessive consumption for months or years, the body doesn’t know what to do without alcohol. Within about eight hours of the last drink, individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol withdrawal can be quite uncomfortable— even dangerous—without help. Those who develop an alcohol dependence can expect the following symptoms when they attempt to quit:
Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Serenity Lodge
Now that you have the answer to, “Why is alcohol addictive?”, it’s important to know where to seek help. Located in Southern California, Serenity Lodge provides comprehensive, male-only drug and alcohol addiction treatment. If you’ve found that once you start drinking you can’t stop, allow us to help. We want to teach you a better way of living without having to take a drink, and we’re dedicated to your success. Call us today at 866-379-4365 to find out more about our amenity-rich facility.