Addiction101 Addiction Network

Alcohol can be physically addictive because of the way it affects the brain and the body. When someone drinks alcohol, it triggers the release of chemicals in the brain, including dopamine, which produces pleasurable feelings. Over time, the brain becomes accustomed to the presence of alcohol, and the individual needs to drink more to achieve the same pleasurable effect. This is called tolerance.

As the brain becomes more and more accustomed to alcohol, it starts to adapt to the presence of alcohol and becomes dependent on it. When someone tries to stop drinking or significantly reduce their intake, they can experience withdrawal symptoms, which can include anxiety, irritability, tremors, seizures, and even delirium tremens in severe cases.

The physical addiction to alcohol can be treated through medically supervised detoxification, which helps to manage withdrawal symptoms and prevent complications. However, treatment for alcohol addiction typically involves a combination of therapy, counseling, and support to address the underlying issues that led to addiction and to help the individual develop the skills and strategies they need to maintain sobriety.