How Society Treats Alcohol Differently Than Other Addictive Substances

why is drinking alcohol so addictive

Social drinking is also dangerous because it can lead to the misconception that people don’t have a drinking problem if they only drink on social occasions. However, your body can’t distinguish when or where you consume alcohol. Even if it starts with a few glasses of wine at dinner, the human body can easily come to expect — and depend on — more frequent consumption to continue to function correctly. Over time, you may find yourself searching for excuses to celebrate or beginning to drink more outside these other events because your body craves alcohol. Many people don’t think of alcohol as a drug because it is so prevalent in our society.

The Science of Alcohol Addiction

If you already drink at low levels and continue to drink, risks for these issues appear to be low. The evidence for moderate alcohol use in healthy adults is still being studied. But good evidence shows that drinking high amounts of alcohol are clearly linked to health problems.

why is drinking alcohol so addictive

Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Alcohol on the Brain

  • For example, antidepressants, if someone with an alcohol addiction were self-medicating to treat their depression.
  • Social drinking is also dangerous because it can lead to the misconception that people don’t have a drinking problem if they only drink on social occasions.
  • There is a definite link between genetics and alcoholism and children of alcoholics are at higher risk of developing alcohol addiction.
  • The Recovery Village Columbus offers several treatment options, including medical detox, inpatient rehab, and more to provide you with personalized care at our Joint Commission-accredited facility.

We will explore the world of neurotransmitters, endorphins, genetics, and sociological reasoning to figure out why alcohol is addictive. Gradually, this craving becomes habitual, resulting in why is alcohol so addictive automatic, unthinking repetition. There is also the option to branch out into healthier drinks options, particularly functional beverages, which are proving to be a major new drinks trend.

Addiction Treatment Programs at Promises Behavioral Health

As individuals continue to drink alcohol over time, progressive changes may occur in the structure and function of their brains. These changes can compromise brain function and drive the transition from controlled, occasional use to chronic misuse, which can be difficult to control. The changes can endure long after a person stops consuming alcohol, and can contribute to relapse in drinking. If you feel that you sometimes drink too much alcohol, or your drinking is causing problems, or if your family is concerned about your drinking, talk with your health care provider. Other ways to get help include talking with a mental health professional or seeking help from a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous or a similar type of self-help group.

why is drinking alcohol so addictive

Vulnerability of the teenage brain

The center’s team of professionals works closely with each patient to create and continuously adjust treatment plans that ensure long-term success. If you or someone you know is dealing with an alcohol use disorder (AUD), treatment options are available. This will help to reduce cravings and improve your quality of life. It suppresses the central nervous system (CNS), slowing normal brain function. It does this by slowing the release and response to normal brain neurotransmitters.

How Bad is Alcohol for Your Body?

why is drinking alcohol so addictive

The Cycle of Alcohol Addiction

  • For example, Baclofen is an approved GABA agonist for seizures that has shown to decrease craving and anxiety in alcohol addicts (7).
  • But where does the college drinking culture come from and where can we draw the thin line between being in control of alcohol and having alcohol control you?
  • Surely each individual drinker has individual reasoning, but the following are some typical social reasons people become addicted to alcohol.
  • Brain structures can shift as well, particularly in the frontal lobes, which are key for planning, making decisions, and regulating emotions.
  • People may turn to alcohol as a way to cope with trauma or other, often unrecognized psychological disorders.
  • When drinking is combined with tobacco use, risks go up across the board.

Psychological Factors