Addiction’s not a Choice
Some people who aren’t educated about alcoholism think that people who struggle with it simply don’t have the willpower or intelligence to stop drinking. They think “I can stop drinking, why can’t they?” Those people don’t understand that mood-altering drugs like alcohol can change the physical structure of an alcoholic’s brain. When addicted to a substance like alcohol, the brain eventually becomes unable to naturally produce enough dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for being able to feel pleasure. The only way to make the brain release a noticeable amount of dopamine is to drink, which requires more and more alcohol every time in order to get the same effect. Physical addiction would be bad enough if there weren’t something else requiring an alcoholic to drink—withdrawal.