What makes alcohol addictive?

What makes alcohol addictive?
Author: Tulip Hill Recovery
Published: March 6, 2021

Drinking alcohol is common in the United States, which is why it should be no surprise that there are many people who develop an addiction. However, since so many people drink alcohol, you may be wondering, why do only some become addicted? What is it that makes alcohol addictive, and why is it so hard to quit once you’re addicted?

The answer to these questions can be broken down into different parts.

What makes alcohol addictive?

  • The physical factor — Alcohol triggers a release of dopamine and endorphins in the brain. These are chemicals that naturally occur in your body that induce sensations of pleasure and relaxation. However, by triggering a large release through alcohol consumption, the brain can build up a tolerance to these chemicals and require more alcohol to achieve the desired effect. When this happens, you can develop cravings that make it difficult to stop drinking no matter how hard you want to.
  • The psychological factor — The mind plays a large role in addiction. For example, someone who is stressed or depressed may frequently turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism.Some addiction treatments, like what we provide at Tulip Hill Recovery, include mental health treatment that can help address mental health disorders that may be fueling the desire to consume alcohol.
  • Withdrawal symptoms — Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol can make it undesirable to quit as well as unsafe. Withdrawal symptoms include:
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Insomnia
    • Shaky hands
    • Nausea
    • Seizures

Going through withdrawal can motivate the continued use of alcohol in order to avoid the effects. Additionally, withdrawal from alcohol can be risky to your health and usually needs to be monitored by clinical recovery professionals.

Start your recovery journey at Tulip Hill Recovery

At Tulip Hill Recovery, we focus on discovering what factors in your life may be contributing to addiction in order to treat it at its main source. Our treatment model emphasizes the dual diagnosis approach, which means we treat addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders that might be fueling the addiction. This helps a person in recovery become better equipped for dealing with the challenges of mental health disorders without feeling like they need substances or alcohol to cope.

Are you ready to talk to someone about treatment for addiction for you or someone you love? Please contact us online or call us at 877-845-8192 to get in touch with our team and help start the recovery journey.

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About Tulip Hill
Tulip Hill is a family-owned rehabilitation center with first-hand experience in addiction recovery. 

We believe a dual diagnosis approach that treats the mental health conditions underlying addiction is the best route to long-term sobriety.

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Murfreesboro, TN 37130

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Jackson, TN 38301
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