A National Directory of Drug Treatment Centers and Alcohol Treatment Centers, Therapists and Specialists. A free, simple directory providing assistance and guidance for those seeking help regarding alcohol addiction, drug addiction, dependency and many other conditions that affect the mind, body and soul.
Call 800-580-9104 to speak with an alcohol or drug abuse counselor.

Why drinkers do it all again

Some people drink to forget, but scientists have found that anyone who binge drinks is more likely to forget only the worst experiences of being drunk – which is why alcohol is such an addictive drug.

Alcohol has been found to affect memory in a selective manner. Drinking makes it easier to remember the good things about a party but harder to recall the bad things that happen after having too much.

Studies into the memories of people engaged in heavy drinking have shown that it is the inability to remember the worst excesses of a night out – while remembering the happy things that led up to them – is one of the main causes of repeated binge drinking.

“The effects of alcohol on mood are known contributors to its use and abuse. It is less known how its effects on memory and inhibitory control add to alcohol being and addictive drug,” said Professor Theodora Duka of Sussex University.

“Material acquired in an intoxicated state is less effectively retrieved in a sober state. Thus people who abuse alcohol forget the consequences of intoxication during periods of abstinence,” Professor Duka said.

Alcohol is well known to affect mood. It reduces anxiety, induces elation and pleasure, while removing inhibition, making people feel more in control compared to when they are sober.

But the effect of alcohol on memory is one of the least-understood aspects of alcohol abuse, yet it could be one of the most important in terms of explaining why the drug is so powerfully addictive, Professor Duka told the British Association’s Science Festival at Liverpool University.

“The effect of alcohol to weaken control processes intuitively appears to be the most important contributor to the development of alcohol addiction, since alcohol addiction is perceived to be an inability to control drinking,” she said.

“Alcohol facilitates memories for emotional events experienced before intoxication – mostly positive – and impairs memories for emotional events experienced after intoxication – often negative – biasing memory to positive effects of alcohol, and support [for] further drinking.”

Memory tests on volunteers who were shown emotion-laden images before, during and after a bout of drinking found there was a clear degradation in memory as the alcohol began to build up in their bodies.

“Alcohol facilitated memory for material seen after its administration. More importantly, under the influence of alcohol, emotional images seen before alcohol consumption were recalled more whereas emotional images seen after alcohol consumption were recalled less,” she said.

Further studies found alcohol also increases the risk of making wrong judgements and impulsive decisions, especially in women. This is another reason why drinking can increase the risk of further bingeing by affecting the brain’s control process, Professor Duka said. “Social heavy drinkers who binge drink show inability to withhold an inappropriate response when sober. They also are worse in planning than their counterparts that do not binge drink,” she said.
___________
source: The Independent

More Treatment & Detox Articles

How Much Does Addiction Treatment Cost?

Addiction Treatment Program Cost

Determining how much addiction treatment will cost can require many different inputs and depending on the outcome, you could come up with a very wide figure range. For small time programs that involve only outpatient services, the cost of treatment may only be about $50-100 per session but for larger, intensive residential treatment programs or….

Continue reading

Brain imaging study offers insight into alcohol's effect on brain

A new brain imaging study has provided insight into alcohol’s effect on the brain. The study showed that after consuming alcohol, social drinkers had decreased sensitivity in brain regions involved in detecting threats, and increased activity in brain regions involved in reward. This is the first human brain imaging study of alcohol’s effect on the….

Continue reading

Heavy drinkers may develop Alzheimer's earlier

Drinking or smoking heavily can speed up the development of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study. Scientists found that drinkers developed the disease almost five years earlier and heavy smokers just over two years earlier, after studying 938 people aged 60 or more who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Ranjan Duara, of the Mount….

Continue reading

Getting treatment when it all falls apart

Substance abuse has become a 21st century epidemic with one in four homes affected. While it may seem like a personal problem, citizens pay the price in law enforcement and court costs: domestic violence, divorce, and policing drunks on the road and dealers on school campuses. The statistics are sobering. In 2008, Ottawa County alone….

Continue reading

How Does Heroin Addiction Begin & When Does it End?

heroin detox

The Beginning of Heroin Addiction Heroin is highly addictive and is one of the most abused drugs in America. Not only is heroin highly addictive but it also creates rapid dependency levels to form in a person and a person’s body develops tolerance levels quickly to the drug. Due to all of these factors a….

Continue reading