It’s never an easy thing, when you realize you have destroyed not only your life and dreams but the life and dreams of your entire family, all because of addiction. If you have experienced this either as an addict or as a loved one of an addict I encourage you to keep reading.

I will be focusing on alcohol addiction specifically but you can definitely apply it to all forms of addiction.

To the addict and the loved ones.

Have you known someone who was an alcoholic? Maybe you are the alcoholic. In either case, there is hope. I have seen that hope realised by many people at the different meetings I’ve personally been to. I’ve read the stories of hope and recovery online from people all around the world.

The dangerous thing about alcohol abuse is that alcohol is legal and easily available. Drinking is widely accepted and even encouraged by many cultures all around the world. That’s what makes it so much more dangerous – The accessibility!

The thing about alcohol is that many people can drink responsibly. Then you get the alcoholic – they think they can drink responsibly and may seem to prove that to be true for the first few years. The problem is that addiction is a disease and a degenerative disease at that, which means it gets worse over time. There is also a theory that alcoholics have an allergic reaction to alcohol. While this could be possible there isn’t much evidence to support this theory. However, if it helps you stay away from your substance the way my shellfish allergy keeps me away from eating mussels, then good for you. One thing we do know from science is that addiction is a disease and it’s a hereditary one at that. This disease is as real as cancer or diabetes. So if you are dealing with an addict, please do not judge them too harshly. Knowledge is power when it comes to things of this nature.

Here is what science has to say about the disease of addiction.

It’s in the brain

Addicts have a completely different brain structure from people who can drink socially.

THIQ or tetrahydroisoquinolone as it is otherwise known is a very addictive chemical. The addict’s brain allows the production of this highly addictive chemical by pulling it out of the alcohol and into the brain. When enough THIQ is made it begins to attach to the neurons – this is why alcoholics feel an uncontrollable urge to drink even when they can see their entire world crumbling around them – they cannot stop drinking no matter how hard they try.

How it works

When people who are dependent on alcohol drink, their brain absorbs it – sucking it right up into the brain tissue. Binge drinking or daily drinking can cause this to happen. The body does get rid of most of the toxins but unlike non-addicted people, there is a small part of the toxins that actually go to the brain of the alcoholic/addict. This is where it starts to get crazy – the alcohol interacts with the Dopamine Neurotransmitter to form THIQ or tetrahydroisoquinolone. Once this has attached itself to the Dopamine Neurotransmitter, it never ever goes away. It’s there for life! Even if the addict manages to stops drinking for ten years, the THIQ attached to the Dopamine Neurotransmitter is still there, lying dormant waiting for that first drink to activate it once more.

Now I understand this saying I once heard:

“One drink is too many and a thousand is never enough.”

Wrapping up

I found this information to be quite mind-blowing and very helpful to my own understanding of addiction. I always wondered what was wrong with me – I always wondered why I could not enjoy a drink like everyone else and I was angry for many years. I always took drinking to the next level. Now I understand the science behind it.

So my friends, if you are struggling with addiction or have a family member or friend who may be struggling with addiction, I hope that this will help you understand the disease of addiction a bit better. Addicts are not weak-willed losers, addicts have a disease and the only way to control that disease is to never activate it with that initial drink.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, here is a verse that can give you hope.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28

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