Saturday, January 14, 2012
Alcohol releases endorphins...
ABC’s News 10 out of
Sacramento, recently broadcast a piece about a research study being conducted as the University of California at . This study shows that when a person takes a drink endorphins are released in the brain that make the drinker “feel good.” I can understand that and I’m not sure why this is a “new” thing. Haven’t we known all along that people drink to feel good – get high – have a buzz – party hardy??? So, for me, it is not a far leap to discover that there are endorphins released that make drinkers feel good when drinking. San Francisco
You will find the link here:
It seems that the researchers think this may be a step to aid in the reduction of alcoholism. That makes sense to me also. If drinking doesn’t produce those coveted feelings of goodness, then why drink at all? I think they may be on to something here – but only to a certain degree.
For the beginning drinker, if there were not so much pleasure in those first few drinks, then they may not succumb to binge drinking. I’m thinking of teen-agers and college students. If there was a vaccine that prevented them from deriving pleasure from drinking, would parents make sure they were given that injection before heading out to social events? Or even enrolling in college? I know I would have had my kids at the head of the line. Of course, if the vaccine destroyed ALL pleasure then it would not be acceptable.
But, for the seasoned drinker who is over the age of consent and has already been drinking for many years, I doubt they would consent to such a vaccine especially if they were not alcoholics. What would be the point? If they were responsible drinkers who did not drink and drive, then there would be no need to limit the pleasure gained from drinking.
For the alcoholic who has spent a good amount of time in rehab centers and making viable attempts at sobriety, this may be a good tool for them. There would have to be a real dedication and strive to remain sober after detox. But the alcohol addiction is so strong, I don’t know how long the alcoholic would continue on the drug regimen.
We already have drugs such as Naltrexone which blocks receptors which allow alcoholics to get those intoxicated feelings. This in turn results in fewer cravings. We also have Campral which, as I understand it, restores the chemical imbalance in the brain which reduces the cravings and prevents relapses. Of course, there is Antabuse which creates unpleasant side-affects as a result of alcohol consumption. We have all these tools available to us, yet alcoholism is still running rampant through our streets – yelling along that way that it is here to stay.
I hope that the researchers continue along the same lines that they are currently pursuing. With every study, there is more knowledge and – as I have stated many times – knowledge is the key to survival. Someday we may benefit from all the research and study that we will find a way to enjoy alcohol without becoming addicted to it.
I know many people can drink without adverse consequences. They can enjoy that scotch on the rocks or a fine bottle of wine. But, they don’t become addicted to the feeling of intoxication. Maybe those are the people whose brains we should really be researching, as well as all the other areas of their lives, social, economic, childhood, genetics. If we find out why people DON’T become alcoholics, maybe we can find out how to prevent people from becoming alcoholics.
Fantasyland has never been my place of residence. I doubt that any of the things I’ve suggested will ever be examined in my lifetime – definitely not what is left of Riley’s lifetime. However, in Fantasyland – and only in Fantasyland -- we might be able to vaccinate our children at an early age for illnesses such as alcoholism, or maybe even other addictions, at the same time we vaccinate against measles and mumps. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing!!
So to the researchers at UCSF – please keep up the good work!
at 9:12 AM