What Makes Alcohol Addictive?
Drinking alcohol can feel good. It may cause you to loosen up, feel warm or happy, and less inhibited. Some people experience a euphoric feeling after having a couple drinks. This is because alcohol affects the “reward center” of the brain, causing the release of feel-good endorphins and dopamine in two key brain regions responsible for reward processing, pain processing, pleasure, and feelings of satisfaction. Repeated drinking continually activates these parts of the brain, leading to habit formation.
According to the NCADD, nearly one in twelve Americans have an alcohol use disorder, due to unhealthy habits like binge drinking or heavy drinking. Addiction occurs when physical dependence causes a person to feel the need to continue drinking in order to ease stress, avoid uncomfortable feelings, and ease alcohol cravings and withdrawal symptoms. If you have an alcohol use disorder (AUD), you may be unable to stop drinking, even when health issues, social consequences, or financial/occupational issues begin to arise. Alcohol compromises the parts of the brain that control impulsive behavior and decision making, so even if you want to stop drinking, an alcohol use disorder will make relapse likely to occur without professional intervention.
6 Most Addictive Forms of Alcohol
Any drink that contains alcohol is addictive, as it is the alcohol itself that activates the reward centers in the brain. It stands to reason that the most addictive forms of alcohol have the highest alcohol content (like tequila or other potent spirits), they are socially valued and acceptable to drink (like wine or whiskey) or they are drinks that are commonly consumed in large quantities (like beer).
Some of the most addictive forms of alcohol include:
- Tequila – because of its high alcohol content (around 40%), its popularity in American drinking culture, and its easy-to-drink taste, tequila may be one of the most addictive liquors that exists.
- Bourbon whiskey – along with tequila, whiskey is one of the most addictive beverages on the market. Expensive whiskey’s smell, taste, and distinctive aging process make it a “high class” beverage for those who can afford it, giving it a social value that may lead people to integrate drinking into their everyday life, resulting in addiction.
- Rum – rum is affordable and readily available throughout the United States. It is a potent beverage, commonly consumed to excess. Some people will even drink “overproof” rum, which has a minimum of 57% alcohol, a highly addictive version of this common beverage.
- Vodka – vodka has a mild taste and is approximately 40% alcohol. It is readily available wherever alcohol is sold and is often an ingredient in mixed drinks, making it a dangerously potent and addictive substance.
- Wine – although wine has a relatively low alcohol content, it is low cost and has a mild taste, so it is easy to over-consume. Wine is also commonly found paired with food at restaurants and touted as “harmless” or even “high class” in cultures around the world. It is easy to obtain, and it tastes nice, making it an addictive substance to be wary of.
- Beer – beer has a fairly low alcohol content, usually between 5% and 12% alcohol, and is very inexpensive to purchase. Beer, like wine, is commonly purchased and consumed in many American households, with many drinking heavily and developing an addiction without realizing it.
Magnolia Recovery Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Magnolia is a detox and rehabilitation center in Los Angeles, treating drug and alcohol addiction in a peaceful, private setting. We believe that everybody deserves inclusive and effective treatment for their substance use disorders, providing individualized care programs with:
- LGBTQ inclusive programs
- Family-focused treatments
- Accessible facilities
- Pain management services
- Dual diagnosis programs for co-occurring mental health issues
- Medication-assisted treatment programs
- Holistic healing programs
- Individual and group therapy
- Aftercare planning services
At Magnolia, we believe that it is important to meet each of our clients where you are as you enter the program, so, for example, if you do not need detox, we will not force you to undergo unnecessary treatments. Each person is unique, and we will tailor your treatments to meet your individual needs, targeting the underlying issues that led to self-destructive behavior and substance abuse.
We believe in accessible and affordable treatment for people of all ages, genders, religions, sexual preferences, and lifestyle choices. We believe that addiction treatment should be rooted in evidence-based science, and we use treatments and therapies that have been proven effective, within a welcoming, non-judgmental, and shame-free environment, honoring each client as an individual.
We are a licensed inpatient (residential) rehabilitation center, offering detox and inpatient rehab services. When you move into our facility for treatment, you will have the option of a private or semi-private room within our safe and nurturing environment. We know that it is important to feel comfortable and safe in order to let your guard down and take in your treatments, so we work hard to ensure treatments are inclusive and that each patient feels welcome.
Our expert, caring, and experienced treatment providers are committed to helping you overcome your addiction through a comprehensive individualized program that utilizes evidence-based cutting-edge medical services alongside traditional healing practices and holistic treatment methods, for a whole-patient approach to healing the body, the mind, and the spirit. You are not your addiction, you are a well-rounded person who deserves to be treated with dignity, and at Magnolia, you will be given the respect you deserve from assessment through to your aftercare program.
The levels of care offered at the Magnolia treatment center include family system treatments when appropriate, and we will work with you to address the underlying emotional concerns and causes of addiction. For most people, after admission and assessment, their alcohol addiction treatment plan will begin with a medically supervised detox. You will stay within our safe, controlled environment as your body removes the toxins from your system, and your care will be supervised by a medical doctor as you overcome withdrawal symptoms safely and begin your healing process.
After you are medically stable and clear-headed, usually 3 to 10 days after your last drink, you will be able to move into inpatient rehab. Our residential treatment programs are all unique, based on your needs, your preferences, and your recovery goals. In detox and rehab at Magnolia, we provide:
- Health-related education
- Therapeutic counseling
- Nutrition and exercise programs including a pool for leisure and fitness activities
- Family dynamics therapy
- Art therapy and music therapy
- Individual and group therapy
- Spiritual development including meditation, yoga, and mindfulness
- Weekly outings to local spots like beaches, museums, sightseeing destinations, entertainment centers and parks, and daily walks through the neighborhood with staff
- Outings to recovery-based meetings in the community
Once you have completed your treatment program with us, you are not left on your own. We will connect you with our active alumni group and aftercare, so you will always have somebody to talk to as you continue on your journey toward meaningful recovery.
If you are ready to stop drinking and take back control over your life, please call us to speak with one of our treatment experts at (747) 307-6948. We are available to speak to you 24 hours a day about recovery, insurance verification, and our facility, and we are happy to answer any questions you may have, and get you started on your road to recovery right away.