The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) is part of the US National Institute of Health and works with both US and international organisations to study the effects of alcohol and alcohol addiction and find new treatments. While alcoholism isn’t fully understood yet, according to their research, the brain of a heavy drinker may start to respond to drinking alcohol quite differently than the brain of someone who doesn’t drink a lot, as the human brain can begin to adapt to the presence of alcohol.
These changes in the brain could be responsible for withdrawal symptoms, alcohol tolerance and ultimately alcohol dependence. The changes in the brain could also be why alcoholics continue to drink in an effort to avoid any withdrawal symptoms, and to hit that high they crave until they get to the point of hitting rock bottom and deciding to stop for good.
It’s a sad fact that trying to stop drinking is incredibly hard and some alcohol addicts can’t manage to quit for good. The changes in the brain explain why people find it so easy to fall back into the same old ways and continue to drink. The brain’s craving for alcohol will be quickly reactivated, especially if the addict has been used to drinking heavily for a very long time, or if it hasn’t been very long since their last drink.
After that first drink, with the cravings reawakened, it is all too easy to go back to their old lifestyle and find themselves living through the exact same problems and issues as before.