The Chemistry of Alcohol Addiction
Overcoming alcohol addiction is more than just a matter of will power. Alcohol addiction can lead to a change in the chemical functioning of the brain, making sobriety difficult for Portland residents. Professional help and the support of others will be necessary for an alcoholic to attain a full and lasting recovery.
What Chemical Effects Does Alcohol Addiction Have on the Brain?
When a Portland resident has an addiction to alcohol, the frequent presence of the alcohol is affecting the neurochemistry of the brain. The brain sends messages by means of neurotransmitters. Two of the chemicals involved in this process are dopamine and serotonin which can affect moods and the experience of pleasure or pain. Alcohol increases the effects of another chemical called GABA. GABA inhibits neurotransmitter communication, and increased GABA levels lead to physiological slowdown. Drinking also causes an increase in the amount of dopamine present in the brain which is what creates a sense of pleasure when someone drinks. Over time the brain accommodates these effects and adjust its functioning accordingly, resulting in lasting damage such as brain shrinkage and serotonin and dopamine depletion. This can result in someone with a reduced sense of pleasure from everyday activities, sensory deprivation, feelings of depression and other mental disorders or learning problems.
How Can Chemical Changes Related to Alcohol Addiction Be Addressed?
While some chemical imbalances related to alcohol addiction may be resolved through detox, other damage is irreversible. There is always hope to restore healthier brain and body function. Withdrawal symptoms will only last a short period of time, and many of the symptoms such as mood swings, memory loss, lethargy and anxiety will dissipate. The remaining issues can be dealt with through professional alcohol addiction rehab. Learning how to overcome the damages caused by alcohol is a long-term process that requires professional help. The psychologists, physicians, counselors and therapists employed by a rehab facility can help you understand what is going on in your mind and help you find solutions and strategies to deal with these issues. Any co-occurring mental health issues will need to be treated alongside the addiction for a full recovery to occur. Professional support should be supplemented with personal recovery support. This might come from family and friends in Portland or from a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous. With the right support you can overcome alcohol addiction regardless of the damage it has caused.
Alcohol Addiction Help for Portland Residents
Are you afraid that alcohol has had a damaging effect on your brain? Please let us get you the help you need to get free from your addiction. We are here 24 hours a day, so call our toll-free helpline now.