EP 276

Reader Question – Why do I crave a drink when I’m calm and relaxed?

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Why, when we feel calm and relaxed and comfortable and completely at ease, do we desire alcohol? We know we’re not stressed or anxious or upset, yet somehow we still want a drink. It doesn’t make sense. How do the cravings show up when we already have the feeling we will get from drinking? And, what can we do to make it stop? Annie Grace explains.

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Crave A Drink

Many of us find we crave a drink when we’re calm, relaxed, happy and many feel good situations. One of the reasons substances are addictive is because they artificially release high levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is the learning molecule it says “Hey that thing you just did do that thing again. I want more of that thing. That’s really good!”. Dopamine has this effect of really imprinting all the circumstances around what got us that thing. Over time the brain can unlearn that association and lose that impetus to crave a drink.

Unlearning the association between being happy or relaxed and getting calm is the crux of the matter. The brain will learn to naturally release dopamine in these situations rather than to be artificially triggered to do it.

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Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (incompetech.com)
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