Research by scientists, suggests that alcoholics are predisposed to craving alcohol due to their genetic make up. Lead Author Dr William Muir, suggests that a number of genes in the alcoholics brain are subtly programmed to crave alcohol. This research was based on years of comparing genetically modified rats that were bred to become alcohol dependent, to normal non-alcohol dependent rats, whom were also introduced to alcohol. There were found to be great differences in their brain chemistry. All of the test rats were genetically engineered to replicate human genetics. The experiments conclusions suggest that there is no singular gene responsible for the craving of alcohol, but that there are a vast number of component genes that are present in an alcoholic, and that they are inherit in families of alcoholics. It is more often the case than not, that alcoholics come from families who have suffered from alcohol addiction and /or related problems.
In the tests conducted, it was found that several of these genes had to be present in a rat for it to carry the trait of craving for alcohol. This breakthrough research would confirm that the alcoholic is not at fault for their immense craving and thirst for alcohol; they are in fact programmed by genetics to end up an alcoholic if they choose to drink.
Promising breakthrough on compulsive drinking
Dr Muir confirmed that whilst this breakthrough was promising in terms of finding a cure, because any number or combination of the genes identified is required to make an alcoholic, it is impossible to find one pill that would act as a cure or a suppressant. However, this research does open the door to further investigative studies.
Previously, the identified genes had not been linked in any way to a craving for alcohol. This research therefore presents new information that may help assist science to better understand alcohol abuse. Several of the genes identified were linked to the behaviour and reward system part of the brain. The research further suggests that that there has to be a number of the genes identified to make an alcoholic and someone whom is dependent on alcohol. The rats, whom had a preference to alcohol and became dependent, were so, due primarily to changes in the regulatory regions of the genome in the brain.
Alcoholism is not a choice
The common misconception of alcoholism is that it is a life style choice assumed by individuals whom are unable to live a life on sober terms. To an extent, there is a truth in this; alcoholics do indeed struggle to live their life without alcohol, but to say it is a choice is an assumption that has so far gone unproved. Alcoholics drive themselves and their families to the despair. There can seem no valid reason for them to continue drinking, yet they do. Consequences have little or no impact. To anyone who is not compelled to drink, they would be able to stop or moderate their drinking so as not to cause further harm. Yet the alcoholic, someone who has little or no control over their drinking will continue in a downward spiral of self-destruction. This process is devastating for families and loved ones to witness. The truth of the matter may well be that it is in their genetic make up which causes a compulsion then to carry on drinking. These genetic factors present, lead to a craving beyond their mental control.
Over the years, certain treatments for alcoholism run with the assumption that an alcoholic has a thirst for alcohol that no normal drinker has. The only relief that has so far been proved to be of permanent use, is complete abstinence, even then this takes a lot of reprogramming and work on the individuals part.
Abstinence is the solution
Every alcoholic will identify with trying every which way to control their drinking and become a social or normal drinker. Every attempt fails after some time as the craving and thirst takes over. Local NHS services try to encourage problem drinkers to reduce their drinking to safe levels; for an alcoholic this can prove a fruitless task and give a false sense that their illness can be controlled. Specialist addiction and alcohol rehab clinics always promote abstinence as the way forward. They recognise through years of experience that alcoholism is not a problem that can be controlled by the individual; that the alcohol MUST be removed from the equation if the sufferer is to recover and live any kind of normal and productive life.
Treatment for alcoholism
Addiction Helper works with the most successful and heavily regulated alcohol rehab clinics in the UK and abroad. We firmly believe in an abstinence-based approach to treating compulsive drinking. All of the rehab clinics that we work with follow this treatment ethic. We know that for many alcoholics, it becomes an impossible task to get well within a community setting and that more specialist help is required. Addiction Helper offers a number of alcohol detox and rehab programs and we will assist you in finding the right treatment program for you. We are experts in the field of alcohol and drug addiction treatment and are here to guide and support you in making the best choices according to your treatment needs. Please call us and speak to us today for instant and free help and support.