Understanding the Science of Alcohol Addiction

Understanding the Science of Alcohol Addiction

Researchers have done a lot of work on the science of alcohol addiction. This has largely focused on how alcohol changes your brain and how these changes affect your behavior. It is generally recognized that alcohol intoxication upsets the balance of chemicals leading to the effects we associate with being drunk; euphoria, drowsiness, loss of coordination and loss of inhibition. We here at Casa Recovery understands how the brain is adversely affected by alcohol and invite you to learn more about the effects.

How Alcohol Addiction Changes the Brain

Long-term and excessive use of alcohol leads your brain to adapt. Certain neurotransmitters change their function in order to compensate for the presence of alcohol so that your brain can continue to function. These changes in your brain are what lead to tolerance, dependence, and consequently unpleasant withdrawal symptoms which exacerbate the spiral of addiction.

As the brain adapts, you may need to drink larger quantities of alcohol to achieve the same level of intoxication and you may need to top up your alcohol level simply to feel ‘normal’, this can cause you to crave alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms occur if the level of alcohol in the brain decreases and they can be severe. The anxiety caused by these symptoms compels you to drink. Your brain has adapted to compensate for the alcohol in your system.

Further research on the science of addiction has looked into why some people are more susceptible to alcohol addiction than other. A scientific study in Sweden found that the expression of one gene in particular was greatly reduced in the brains of lab rats that showed addictive tendencies in a controlled experiment. The proportion of rats with this tendency was proportionally identical to that of the general population who become addicted to alcohol. They also identified a specific brain region and molecular dysfunction most likely responsible for these addictive tendencies.

Get Help for Alcohol Addiction in Orange County

Alcohol can take over your brain and body, compelling you to consume it even when you know it is harmful. Now that you understand the science you may realize why you need help to quit. At Casa Recovery in San Juan Capistrano, CA we offer you a personalized program of recovery from alcohol addiction. We can support you through the withdrawal using a variety of therapies and help you learn techniques to prevent relapse. Contact us today to discuss treatment options and take the first step to a new healthy future. Take back control!


Our Care Team is Ready to Answer Any Questions.

Casa Recovery offers a wide range of treatment options for those struggling with mental health and co-occurring issues. We are here for you and ready to assist in any way we can. Contact us right now to get the help you deserve from a group of people who care.