We have discussed the psychological, briefly, and the environmental, now we can address the biological. I find this to be the most fascinating part of this disease for one main reason. It wasn’t so many years ago that doctors were questioning whether or not there was even one gene linked to alcoholism/addiction, now they are connecting 50-100 genes that in some way play a role. It really is fascinating!
I will keep this biology lesson simple and give you the basics of how it works. Most of us are aware of endorphins. Endorphins are a hormone that are released by the brain to make us feel pleasure. Endorphins also calm us down and other things, they are the body’s natural reward system. In the brain of an alcoholic, we don’t get that release of endorphins from the regular activities that other people get. There is no reward. However, we get a huge surge of endorphins from the first drink of alcohol. Naturally, when something makes me feel this good, I want more of it.
This is a very important part of the medication that is on the market today. Next blog will give you all the information and I look forward to your comments!!