How addcitive is alcohol?
Posted 06 October 2007 - 02:46 PM
I'm struggling to find some information on how quickly people become dependent on alcohol: if you drunk, say, 3 units a day everyday for three weeks would that be enough? What if you drunk 2 units twice a day for a fortnight? Anyone know?
Posted 06 October 2007 - 04:00 PM
How much enjoyment they get from the 'buzz'. I am guessing both their genetic and psychological make-up both play a large role.
Some people have become 'alchoholic' after their first 'buzz'. While others drink socially and never become alcoholics.
Posted 30 October 2008 - 09:36 PM
Posted 03 November 2008 - 01:44 AM
Posted 04 November 2008 - 04:42 AM
What follows is possibly totally wrong; but is I think close enough to being interesting, based on a distant and moderate education about physiolgy, biochemistry, etc., that... ...welcome any corrections:
...and then there's habits vs. addictions. ...telling oneself it's just a bad habit....
I think it's interesting that alcohol is one of the 3 psychoactive drugs that don't contain Nitrogen.
Nitrogen is usually part of the active site for most drugs and is linked physiologically to what enables the "standard" addictive mechanism.
This mechanism lends itself to quantification of things like how many "units a day everyday for..." how long would cause addiction. Even that is somewhat variable due to genetics, etc.
Alcohol, however, uses a much different mechanism of addiction and happens to be much more variable across our populations; so it's probably impossible to quantify addictive threshhold dosages, like they do with LD50's.
You'd probably have better results correlating threshhold dosage with personality type (also somewhat genetic) or even with socioeconomic background, than with any one quantity that applied generally to the population.
Posted 19 January 2009 - 07:26 PM
Most alcoholics are likely to be addicts to other substances and behavioral processes, according to Shaffer, H.; LaPlante, D., La Brie, R.; et al: Toward a Syndrome Model of Addiction: Multiple Expressions, Common Etiology; in Harvard Review of Psychiatry, Vol. 12, 2004. Michael Bozarth seems to be the reigning expert on the neurobiology of all this at this time. See Bozarth, M.: Drug addiction as a psychobiological process, in Warburton, D. (ed.): Addiction controversies, London: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1990; and Bozarth, M.: Pleasure systems in the brain, in Warburton, D. (ed.), Pleasure: The politics and the reality, New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1994.
Posted 25 January 2009 - 09:42 PM
Posted 25 January 2009 - 09:57 PM
Posted 26 January 2009 - 05:10 AM
Not in absolute terms. A receptor is nothing more than a big amine molecule on the surface of one end of a neuron or the other. Too small to count, BUT... we can tell when there are more or less of them in specific locales by watching fMRI scans and/or (to some extent) by how the person responds to various specific stimulations. I expect Cozzolino, LeDoux, Stahl, and maybe Panksepp or Watt would have something more definitive to say about this.
"And can this number be altered?"
Evidently, yes. And by a variety of interventions that run the gamut from repetitious pharmacological all the way to repetitious behavioral. We do it all the time. H**l, I'm doing it by posting on this forum. (It's -true-.)
Posted 26 January 2009 - 05:17 AM
Yup. Definite nature -and- nurture. Several genes associated with a predisposition have been located, and the pharma boys (and girls) are working on specific agonists or antagonists to those genetic expressions. Steve Stahl is a good source on this.
But the behavior (as well as the chemical excitotoxicity) of alcoholism -also- play a major role in maintaining the addiction. Michael Bozarth has summed all this up in pretty readable detail. He thinks all addictions work this way, and so far, everything I have seen at the microbiological, as well as behavioral, level supports Bozarth's views.
Are you hip to the "cycle of addiction?"