Addiction is Just a Fight Against That Pesky Chemical Called Dopamine
Alcohol addiction is extremely similar in drug addiction. Alcohol is essentially a drug in this regard. When a sip of alcohol is taken, the body will release a small amount of a chemical called dopamine. It may be the same chemical that is released during sex, while taking a bite of chocolate or, as in the above, taking a drug. Dopamine offers an immediate rush of pleasure. This pleasure is highly sought after, which leads to many of the various addictions out there in the world. If someone is addicted to it, it almost certainly is tied to dopamine.
Alcoholics face the same flaw as many other addicts of various kinds. If it takes one drink to receive a certain amount of dopamine, it will soon take two. Then, the tolerance has built up further. To receive dopamine, the person drinks three or four or picks up another addiction (this is where the popular term of a gateway drug derives from). Alcoholics end up in a constant pursuit of more dopamine as their tolerance builds up over time. They can handle more. To receive the same dopamine and to feel the effects, they need to increase the scale of their addiction.
It is exactly this reason why “drinking a lot” and being an alcoholic are hardly different. One may eventually lead to the other due to the inherent pursuit of pleasure and dopamine. There are many people who can get a grip on their drinking due to many other responsibilities, constraints, or an active desire to just not be like that. But, many others fall victim to many of the symptoms and life-altering changes related to alcoholism. Dr. Drew, the famous doctor, said that one DUI is a terrible mistake. A second almost certainly guarantees the person is an alcoholic. This is just one example, but it illuminates the constant push to just a little more and the degradation of life that occurs in alcoholism.
Suggest to a friend to look into long term treatment for their illness. Help is available. Blogher.com covers many topics for women, including alcoholism. The blog offers tangible advice to take right now. Contact a doctor for more.