As the festival approaches, When relatives and friends gather and roar, Wine seems to be an indispensable element. Looking at China’s 5,000-year history alone, Drinking has gradually penetrated into the daily life of the common people from court celebrations and ancestral temple sacrifices. Weddings and funerals, festival reunions, business negotiations, entertainment and relaxation will all drink for fun. Drinking has also become a kind of behavior that can be generally accepted by our society, and is even more essential on some specific occasions.
Wine, like other delicacies, can nourish the body and mind and satisfy the desire of the mouth. As energy, if drunk in an appropriate amount, it will arouse all kinds of emotions of our joys and sorrows and express them freely.
Perhaps because of this, we have always had a deep thirst for alcohol.
But if you drink it in large quantities, Alcohol becomes an anesthetic, By affecting the nerve center to paralyze the feeling and deceive the thinking. Those who seem to be stimulated by drinking, More lively, more energetic behavior than usual is actually a sign of alcohol depression. At this time, the brain’s higher cognitive functions are suppressed, and normally constrained behaviors will be manifested. When more alcohol reaches the brain, memory, attention and thinking abilities, as well as basic functions such as muscle coordination, language and vision, will be disturbed.
In the long run, there is a lack of restraint, and the more you drink, the more you drink. When you suddenly stop drinking, the body will suffer from physiological disorders, which forms [alcohol dependence], or [alcohol addiction], which is also what we usually call [alcoholism].
Are you addicted to alcohol?
In many cases, alcohol may not be regarded as an addictive substance by drinkers, so professional evaluation tools need to be used to screen it. We can test it with the following questions:
1. Do you think you should reduce drinking?
2. Does anyone complain and criticize you for drinking?
3. Do you feel guilty about your drinking problem?
4. When you wake up in the morning, do you think of drinking to stabilize your mood?
If there are two or more items answered [Yes], a more detailed evaluation is required at a professional institution or clinic.
Can alcohol addiction be cured?
For the treatment of alcohol addiction, alcohol abstinence drugs are currently used to make addicts have adverse physical reactions when they want to drink or are ready to drink, thus achieving the purpose of alcohol abstinence.
However, in reality, alcohol addiction is difficult to get rid of, and even after months or years of abstinence, relapse is still very common.
Addicts who are exposed to alcohol-related situations are likely to drink again due to bad mood and excessive pressure. In terms of lifetime hazards, related comorbidity surveys show that 15% of drinkers are likely to develop alcohol dependence.
Is it what who caused alcohol addiction?
Most people can accept that addiction is a disease. But deep down, we still cannot help wondering: is it weak will and lack of self-control? Pure for pleasure, trying to stimulate imagination and creation? Just to find excuses for socially intolerable behavior? Or is it because of too much pressure in life that one needs to forget one’s troubles?
No matter what kind of prejudice we hold, like other diseases, alcoholism is not caused by a single cause.
1. Biological evolution
In fact, infatuation with alcohol is not a unique hobby of human beings, and wild animals will eat it spontaneously and repeatedly.
In nature, only ripe fruits will ferment alcohol. Birds, monkeys and elephants are especially sensitive to this smell because it means [a high-calorie food].
From the perspective of evolution, in order to continue in the survival competition of natural selection, we need to obtain more energy. As the survival of the fittest, human beings also instinctively contain a preference for wine.
2. Genetics and Genes
Some people are addicted to alcohol, others do not touch alcohol, and their tolerance and preference for alcohol vary from person to person, which mainly depends on the number and activity of enzymes that decompose alcohol products in our bodies.
In most Asian populations, the gene encoding this enzyme will generally mutate, and the resulting enzyme activity is very low, which makes alcohol metabolism slow and correspondingly difficult to develop the habit of drinking alcohol. However, in most European species, this mutation in the gene is rare, and they are also prone to alcohol dependence and even addiction.
In genetic studies, children whose parents have alcohol addiction problems are 4 times more likely to suffer the same troubles later than ordinary people, while in twin studies, the heritability of alcohol addiction can reach 50%.
3. Psychological and sociocultural
The process of drinking may bring joy. Therefore, when the pressure of life is too great, it seems to be a common phenomenon to reduce anxiety and avoid responsibility through drinking.
Social and cultural factors have a great influence on the risk of addiction caused by drinking.
If a substance cannot be easily obtained, then we are naturally unlikely to use it. Therefore, the availability of alcohol, the social drinking environment and the social attitude to encourage drinking are also very important factors.
In the process of gradually becoming addicted to alcohol, our bodies have what?
The formation of addictive behavior involves many neurotransmitters and neural pathways, the most critical of which is the brain’s [reward system].
In the process of evolution, in order to maintain the survival of the body and the reproduction of the race, we need food and sex. Substances produced by eating and mating act on the brain, stimulating the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter, and causing reward effects. Alcohol, on the other hand, accelerates the secretion of dopamine.
At first, alcohol will naturally make people feel incomparable happiness, but if people drink in large quantities and continuously, they will initially show tolerance to alcohol. After that, you need to consume more alcohol to achieve the same level of happiness as before. Slowly, the tolerance will become greater and greater.
In addition to [tolerance], people will also have [dependence] on alcohol. If you stop taking alcohol, you will feel very bad, and then you will have withdrawal reaction, and your body will feel nausea, chills, sweating and spasms. Psychologically, they will also be anxious, depressed, lose attention and self-control.
In the later stage of addiction, addicts will feel a strong thirst for alcohol. After the above tolerance, dependence, thirst and withdrawal occur, the euphoria caused by alcohol will gradually disappear.
At this time, happiness was replaced by desire, and [liking] became [need]. Once the track of addiction is formed, psychological pleasure will be suppressed, and desire will become the most important.
Our cultural and social environment has not paid much attention to alcohol addiction, but in western countries, the epidemiological research on alcohol addiction is very important, and the relevant diagnosis, treatment and support are also very systematic. In practical work, psychosocial intervention and psychotherapy are still effective for alcohol addiction.
Responsible Editor: Ding Ruoshui