How addictive is alcohol? Read our latest article below on the dangers of binge drinking and excessive alcohol use.
Nearly one in four adults become alcoholics after taking the first drink. Nearly one in eight American adults who continue drinking become alcoholics. Alcohol is among the most addictive substances in the world next to heroin, cocaine, nicotine, and barbiturates.
So, how addictive is alcohol? Furthermore, what properties in alcohol make it so addictive? How should you know when to seek out help from an alcohol addiction treatment center? Let’s explore the answers to these questions below, as we discover why people get hooked on drinking.
How Addictive is Alcohol?
How addictive is alcohol? Its addictive properties affect the brain almost instantly.
The brain responds to alcohol within minutes of consumption. The first reaction is the release of high levels of dopamine that causes a sensation of pleasure. This is why you may feel good you first start to drink. The second reaction occurs when alcohol attaches to the GABA transmitters and slows down the central nervous system activity.
The second reaction is what causes intoxication. The more you drink, the more you slow down brain activity. This results in impaired cognition and motor skills. If you drink too much alcohol, you will eventually blackout or suffer from alcohol toxicity. Regardless of the reaction, the brain potentially craves more alcohol. If you continue to drink, you may form an addiction or a dependency on the substance.
Adaptation in the Brain and Body
How addictive is alcohol? It causes significant changes in the mind and body with continued use.
Frequent binges and daily drinking cause the body to adjust to the presence of alcohol. While the adjustment can be jarring at first, the body naturally adapts to accommodate the alcohol. However, this reaction is temporary, as the effects of alcohol wear off. If you continue to drink, you will need to increase the amount of alcohol to relax or get drunk.
As you drink more, your brain craves more. You may get to the point where you feel as though you can’t get through the day without a drink. This turns into a vicious cycle that progressively gets worse over time. The only way to end the cycle is to quit drinking. An addiction therapy program helps identify these negative thought and behavior patterns. Then, each individual can work on long term coping skills that will help them truly thrive in recovery.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
How addictive is alcohol? It can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms in the mind and body.
The clearest indication that you have an addiction to alcohol is withdrawal symptoms that you experience when you stop drinking. The more severe your addiction, the more intense the withdrawal symptoms are. Common withdrawal symptoms include nausea, vomiting, hallucinations, delirium tremens, anxiety, depression, and increased heart rate.
The best way to treat alcoholism is by checking into an alcohol detox center in Texas. You can receive professional, 24/7 supervision, and medication-assisted treatment. You are more likely to complete detox successfully with support from treatment specialists.
Start Your Treatment for Alcoholism at Right Step Hill Country
Answering how addictive is alcohol can be daunting, but it’s never too late to get help. Right Step Hill Country can help you every step of the way. Some of the treatments we offer include:
- Individual, family, and group therapy
- Alcohol detox programs
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
Contact us today at 1.844.675.1628 to find out more about your treatment options.