Is Alcohol Addiction Psychological Or Physiological?

Is Alcohol Addiction Psychological Or Physiological?

It’s a common question: is addiction to alcohol psychological or physical? The answer is both. Alcohol addiction is considered a brain disease because it changes the way the brain functions. These changes can be both mental and physical.
For example, when someone with an alcohol addiction drinks, they may feel good for a short while. This is because alcohol releases chemicals in the brain that bring about pleasurable feelings. However, drinking alcohol also changes the balance of chemicals in the brain, which can lead to negative consequences such as feeling agitated, depressed, or anxious.
These brain changes can be both mental and physical. For example, someone with an alcohol addiction may have trouble remembering things or may have trouble controlling their emotions. They may also have physical changes such as problems with their liver or stomach.
The good news is that alcohol addiction is treatable. There are many different types of treatment available, including counseling, medication, and support groups. Treatment can help someone with an alcohol addiction recover from their disease and live a healthy, productive life.

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Medically Reviewed By:

Robert Gerchalk

Robert is our health care professional reviewer of this website. He worked for many years in mental health and substance abuse facilities in Florida, as well as in home health (medical and psychiatric), and took care of people with medical and addictions problems at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He has a nursing and business/technology degrees from The Johns Hopkins University.

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