The way drugs get their hooks into you is via the brain’s reward center. The chemicals typically trigger the release of the body’s feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine. However, there comes a tipping point. Do you know how it works for alcohol and dopamine?
What is Dopamine?
Your brain releases dopamine when you do things that trigger the reward system. Examples in healthy people include eating, exercising, or sex. Because these activities make you feel good, you repeat them. At the alcohol addiction rehab center in Tacoma, WA, therapists work with good people who experience a disconnect.
The Connection Between Alcohol and Dopamine
When you first start drinking alcohol, the chemicals increase dopamine production. You feel good, and it also relaxes you. However, this harmonious relationship between dopamine and alcohol doesn’t last long. Unlike other drugs, which prevent the reuptake of dopamine, alcohol doesn’t do that.
Therefore, the brain adapts to the sudden increase in the neurotransmitter. It simply produces less of the feel-good chemical. You now try to compensate for this lack by drinking more. Eventually, you rely on alcohol to generate dopamine release in the first place.
Without the drug, you experience withdrawal symptoms. One of them is a deepening depression. That’s because of the relationship between alcohol and dopamine. The way out of this vicious cycle is rehab.
How Rehab Assists People with an Alcohol Dependency
It’s easy to sink into alcohol addiction. It hooks plenty of good people just like you. However, you don’t have to continue drinking. Rehab offers a viable alternative.
You work with therapists who understand the struggle between dopamine and alcohol. They know how to assist you with recovery. Possible treatments include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which focuses on the development of positive self-talk and thinking processes
- Dual diagnosis treatment for depression and other co-occurring conditions
- Trauma treatment, which lets you properly process situations from the past that create alcohol abuse triggers
- One-on-one talk therapy that offers counseling opportunities as well as goal-setting sessions
- Group therapy programs as a way to introduce relapse prevention training, addiction education, and nutritional counseling
In the process of undergoing these therapies, you find ways of disarming use triggers and stressors. In their places, you put workable coping strategies. Besides that, if you have a co-occurring mental health challenge, you manage it. Therefore, you no longer feel the need to self-medicate with alcohol.
In the process of healing, your brain regains equilibrium. Dopamine production goes back to normal. By the way, many rehab centers offer exercise therapy, which is an experiential approach that boosts feel-good neurotransmitter release.
Choose a Treatment Model That Works
It’s a common misconception that one size fits all. That’s not true. Almost anyone with a drinking problem benefits from a partial hospitalization. It allows you to stay at a sober living facility.
However, some people might do better with an intensive outpatient program. It’s a good option when you caught the drinking problem early. You remain at home but attend therapy at the facility. Typically, these therapies take place in the evenings, which lets you work around your schedule.
Find out more about alcohol and dopamine by contacting Bayview Recovery. Therapists there will gladly answer your questions and offer input. Call 855.478.3650 today.