The Bad Effects of Drinking Alcohol

The Bad Effects of Drinking Alcohol

When drinking alcohol, a number of physiological changes and mental processes occur making those who drink alcohol feel an urge to drink repeatedly. Even a little drinking can do that, making drinkers experience feelings of sadness, anxiety, and irritability. But, at a higher dosage level, we discovered that one can go beyond intense sadness, and also experience paranoia and occasionally hallucinations.

Once you take a drink, you are resetting your self-control system in a way that makes reasonable choices, or having any control over the desire to drink, minimal at best. Truly we need to stop the mental process before the urge to drink can take hold.

In a nutshell, here's what happens: Alcohol interferes with the exchange of information that occurs in your brain, while it produces changes that promote and result in repeated drinking.

Did you know that just seeing an alcoholic drink can bring anticipatory pleasure? When you do drink, you experience the real rush and for a brief period, everything feels right.

Through repeated drinking, your brain gets accustomed to those chemical changes and starts to alter the normal production and release of neurotransmitters. This makes it harder to control your intake of alcohol. Then, drinking becomes a compulsive behavior because alcohol impacts the regions in your brain controlling impulses, cravings, and behaviors.

Science has shown us that the euphoric feeling induced by alcohol occurs because it boosts the activity of our brain's reward system which allows us to feel pleasure after a great meal or amazing sex. Drinking alcohol impacts that reward system making us feel almost ecstatic. That feeling makes us want to repeat the activity which gave us pleasure.

Addiction occurs when alcohol causes a serious imbalance to our brain chemistry that controls impulses and excites the nervous system. Alcohol increases the level of dopamine, making us associate drinking with pleasure. Over time we begin to crave alcohol in order to restore good feelings and avoid negative ones, including withdrawal.

Remembering that alcohol stimulates the pleasure pathways of our brains causes us to experience increased pleasure when we drink. We then begin to create emotional memories associated with drinking. The experience of pleasure we have when drinking creates a "snapshot" of that moment in our brain. This snapshot is powerful because it makes you continue to drink. And, that's why you must replace that snapshot with another that paints a picture of feeling pleasure without alcohol at all.

You must be careful here. Imagining false snapshots, which might be triggered by "people," "places" or "things" are not helpful. Imagine listening to the radio and having a song trigger a memory of a time you were drinking with someone you had a passion for, and it could easily trigger an urge. There are triggers everywhere, so you must learn to create new triggers that are called anchors that when used will bring about a different response and stimulate the pleasure pathways in your brain, yet not connecting them with wanting a drink.

Still, you need to be aware that when you do stop drinking, your brain will create a craving in order to regain that pleasurable feeling. It's the repeated intense cravings that result in addiction. When removing alcohol from this equation, your brain will still crave it, in fact, it'll crave it more, due to its addiction to that pleasurable feeling, no matter how brief it is. The craving is what leads up to the withdrawal.

Avoid this by reprogramming your brain to respond differently and make new connections. Simply learn to flip an internal switch. If a trigger occurs, you sense that you are starting a craving, flip that internal mental switch and you'll be calm, in control, and happy.

If a song comes on the radio and you remember when you saw the group in concert when you were younger, with a lover, and you were drunk. All of a sudden you recall the fun you had that night and all of your friends there, and you suddenly crave a beer. Flip the switch.

The switch is one you alone can activate to stop the urge instantly. Your thoughts about drinking and having a beer are thus … left in the dust.

Beating the craving to drink is a mental challenge in which you must replace the old triggers and old responses with positive anchors (that work like a switch), that bring you the peace and pleasure you are seeking without the use of alcohol.

The Bad Effects of Drinking Alcohol