How does the brain respond when people become addicted to alcohol?

Alcohol is one of the top five causes of disability and death in the world. In 2012, 3.3 million deaths related to alcohol use accounted for 5.9% of all deaths worldwide.

With beer consumption rising from 2.8 billion liters in 2012 to over 3 billion liters in 2013, Vietnam is becoming the highest consumer of beer in Southeast Asia and third in Asia, behind Japan, the Middle East. National.

In the United States, 88,000 people die each year from alcohol. According to statistics, in 2016, the number of deaths due to the use of heroin, opium types, prescription drugs overdose is 42,000, the deaths from alcoholic beverages twice the number of drug deaths . For working-age adults (20-64 years), one in 10 people died from alcohol abuse.

Alcohol abuse has become a serious public health problem, but most people’s knowledge of the problem is scarce.

Alcohol is “lubricant” in social relationships

A short time after drinking we will feel excited. When drinking about two glasses of alcohol, the brain is activated after a series of complex neurological reactions that begin to release dopamine.

At that time, will produce a sense of excitement, fun. Many people who have not finished their second glass have started to drink a few more glasses.

Some people slowly enjoy the fun, just eat and drink and know the stop. However, there are some people who are led by that excitement, drunk. For people who drink too much, the brain also releases dopamine, but in this case dopamine not only creates a sense of fun, excitement, but also leads to more intense agitation, which can hardly be prevented. Want to drink alcohol, a glass again and a glass can not stop. Alcoholism is also rooted in it.

What is called alcoholism? Medicine definition, for 30 days, at least one day, in the same place, men drink more than 5 cups, women drink more than 4 cups (1 cup here only one wine contains 14gr pure alcohol ). In fact, alcoholism is a condition that causes the function of the brain to become disordered.

Uncontrolled alcohol causes the brain to lose normal functions

Alcoholism is usually a recurrent cycle of three stages: “drunken – confused”; “Give up – fall”; “Controlled by desire”

We all know that in the human brain there are innumerable brain cells, which begin with the most basic brain cells – nerve cells. Nerve cells can be assembled into a network, thereby promoting certain functions, such as thinking, learning, emotional development and memory.

But with an alcoholic, it affects the normal functioning of part of the network of the three regions of the brain (lymph nodes, almond, prefrontal cortex). Alcohol abuse also reduces the sensitivity of the brain, increases the pressure, and removes the ability to self-control.

These networks of the nervous system are vital to human survival, but for alcoholics they are controlled by alcohol, even when their bodies and spirits are harmed by alcohol. They can not give up alcohol.

Many beginners drink alcohol just because of the excitement of the bustling atmosphere at parties; however, during the drinking process, the texture and function of the brain constantly changes; Non-stop drinking, after a long time, the brain will lose its ability to work normally. Even with alcohol, the brain can not function normally for a very long time.

In the three stages of alcoholism how will the changes affect the brain?

During periods of “drunken intoxication” , the basal ganglia in the brain will give the person a sense of fun, excitement, which makes them want to drink more.

Along with gradually sinking into the yeast, in the basal ganglia, there is a “pathway” that is triggered repeatedly, which puts pressure on, making the drink more relentless to drink. So, as these people pass through the familiar bars, their legs will not be able to step forward, and all previous promises will be thrown aside.

To the period of “decline – decline” , also the period of stop drinking alcohol, at this time, the ability of secretion of dopamine in the brain will be reduced to a phenomenon: the feeling of fun, Previously, there was almost no longer. Eating out your favorite food, watching your favorite movies, staying with your loved ones, all can not compare to the excitement that wine brings.

At the same time, it also promotes the release of neurotransmitters such as hormones, adrenaline dynorphin. The strong chemical reactions of the nervous system will cause a series of negative states, for example: heart palpitations, anxiety, anxiety.

So, to get out of this state, these people will continue to drink alcohol.

The entire process, can only take place in a few short hours.

Then, the drinker will enter the “controlled by desire” stage . This is related to the area of ​​the prefrontal cortex, which decides to “act” or “stop” in one’s behavior, that is, whether to drastically stop the desire for alcohol.

As the “action system” dominates, the impulse appears, they begin to find wine. Meanwhile, the “stop system” can inhibit the activities of the “action system” and help control the desire.

Brain studies, however, have shown that uncontrolled drinking can break the function of two “action” and “stop” systems . The brain will gradually lose its control and judgment capacity, causing people to become agitated, uncontrollable and immersed in yeast.

Can alcoholism be treated?

Fortunately, alcoholism can be treated

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved three types of pharmaceuticals that may be available to patients as appropriate. In addition, scientific evidence suggests that behavioral therapy is also an effective treatment, including rehabilitation support services, for example, anonymous alcohol treatment groups.

The most important thing to understand is that “alcohol use disorders” are a disorder of the brain that develops into chronic illness, unlike other chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure Vol. However, with just persistence, alertness and self-control, alcoholics still have the opportunity to cure the disease.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *