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Understanding Addiction: Why Is Alcohol Addictive?

The idea of addiction has been stigmatized to a certain extent because of the harm it causes to people’s lives and families. There’s a stigma around alcohol addiction, but it’s not discussed enough.

Recent statistics have shocked people, as nearly a million adults were receiving treatment for alcohol abuse in 2020 and over 1.4 million in 2019.

It’s time to talk about it, understand why alcohol is addictive, and what we can do to help.

Here is everything you need to know about the question, “why is alcohol addictive?”

What Does Alcoholism Mean?

The severity of alcohol use disorder is classified as mild, moderate, or severe. Alcoholism represents the most serious form of alcohol misuse and is characterized by an inability to control drinking behaviors.

People with alcohol addiction frequently believe they cannot operate normally without alcohol. This can result in various problems and affect professional aspirations, personal matters, relationships, and health.

The dangerous side effects of chronic alcohol abuse might increase and generate harmful problems over time.

Why Is Alcohol Addictive?

One of the world’s most famous legal “drugs” is alcohol. Alcohol is a part of almost everyone’s life in some way, whether it’s to celebrate a wedding, the birth of a newborn, or to relax after a long day at work.

Even though it’s legal, many people think drinking alcohol is safe. This is not the case, though.

Based on the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 85% of adults in the US (18 years of age and older) reported using alcohol in the previous year.

More than 25% of these millions said they had binge drunk in the last month.

So what is in the alcohol that makes it so Addictive?

Physical Causes

Alcohol releases dopamine and endorphins in the brain—chemicals that make you feel good and heal wounds. 

Alcohol changes brain chemistry and function. This makes alcohol addicting. Reward and sensation centers are triggered, and the person wishes to repeat the experiences.

Psychological Factors

Alcoholism involves a person’s attitudes and beliefs, like other addictions.

Stress can contribute to addiction because drinking is a quick and destructive method of dealing with emotions or stress. This stress-reduction method might become habitual.

Alcohol addicts are more prone to suffering psychological issues than the average population. 

Learn about intensive outpatient programs for overcoming alcohol addiction.

Social Influences

Because drinking alcohol is socially accepted and expected, more people are unaware they have alcohol use disorder. A contributing factor is how alcohol advertising abounds.

These ads show that consuming alcohol is safe and a means to have fun, spend time with family and friends, and let loose. Millions of Americans who can’t drink alcohol without harm fall for the innocent image of heavy drinking.

Battling Against Alcoholism

If you or someone you know struggles with alcoholism, it’s essential to understand why is alcohol addictive.

Alcohol addiction is a severe problem that can ruin lives and destroy families.

Getting help from a professional treatment program is the best way out. With the proper support, you can recover from alcoholism and live a happy, healthy life.

For more articles like this and everything else that involves recovery, please check out the rest of our site.


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