Author: Gary Jackson

Physical vs Psychological Addiction

Once neuroadaptation has occurred, removal of alcohol from the organism leads to a withdrawal syndrome. Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain; it exerts its effects via several receptor subtypes, including one called the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor. Glutamate systems have long been implicated in the acute reinforcing actions of alcohol, and alcohol effects perceived by an organism can be mimicked with NMDA receptor antagonists (Colombo and Grant 1992). In contrast to its effects on GABA, alcohol inhibits glutamate activity in the brain. For example, acute alcohol exposure reduces extracellular glutamate levels in a brain region called the striatum, which contains the nucleus accumbens, among other structures (Carboni et al. 1993). Acute alcohol administration also suppresses glutamate-mediated signal transmission in the central nucleus of the amygdala, an effect that is enhanced following chronic alcohol exposure (Roberto et al. 2004b).

Some addicts are good at hiding the extent of their dependence, but there is usually at least some evidence that something is not right. Friends and family are most often the ones who first become aware of the addiction, and they will become concerned. The most common reaction is for the addict to then become defensive when these concerns are mentioned. As the downward spiral continues the evidence of the addiction becomes increasingly obvious until even the addict is unable to deny it.

Long-term effects of alcohol

We will help manage the physical effects of addiction through medically supervised detoxification. As we help you wean off drugs or alcohol, we address painful withdrawal symptoms and ensure your safety throughout this challenging process. It is possible to have a deep psychological dependence on drugs or alcohol without ever experiencing the physical side effects of withdrawal. Many people with alcohol use disorder hesitate to get treatment because they don’t recognize that they have a problem. An intervention from loved ones can help some people recognize and accept that they need professional help. If you’re concerned about someone who drinks too much, ask a professional experienced in alcohol treatment for advice on how to approach that person.

physiological dependence on alcohol

This procedure models how humans exhibit varying degrees of willingness to work for alcohol and other drugs under many different conditions. Genetic, psychological, social and environmental factors can impact how drinking alcohol affects your body and behavior. Theories suggest that for certain people drinking has a different and stronger impact that can lead to alcohol use disorder. Completely stopping the use of alcohol is the ideal goal of treatment for physical symptoms of addiction to alcohol.

What Is Psychological Addiction?

Seizures, hallucinations, and delirium may occur in severe cases of withdrawal. A weakened immune system has a harder time protecting you from germs and viruses. Ulcers can cause dangerous internal bleeding, which can sometimes be fatal without prompt diagnosis and treatment.