Is Alcohol Addictive
Off course alcohol is addictive. And you have all the alcoholics to prove it. But really – is alcohol addictive in the same way that say heroin is addictive? Does drinking alcohol change your brain? And does that change make you more likely to depend on alcohol? Does it make you addicted to alcohol? This is actually not as clear cut as a simple count of heads in addiction treatment for alcoholism.
Some effective treatments of alcoholism does not treat you in ways that improve any damage that you might have aquired from drinking. Naltrexone only makes your brain blind to the effect of endorphins. In other words, it treats alcoholism by blocking you from being too much in love with the effect of alcohol. Its a rather indirect way of treating alcoholism, but apparently it works just fine.
But it also makes it a bit confusing to think about addiction to alcohol: If you can cure alcohol addiction this way, does that not then mean that the addiction is just based on the attraction that is blocked and slowly extinguised by naltrexone? Not quite actually. The thing is that you could easily assume that self control would keep consumption at a safe lavel in the non addicted person, but that damages from alcohol consumption would limit self control to a level that is not enough to keep consumption down. You would then actually need some kind of extra help, either in the form of extinction by naltrexone or some other kind of factor that can put the finger on the scale and tip it in favor or more self control or less cravings.