Dopamine is a nerve messenger, a neurotransmitter. It is a real all-rounder. It provides a feeling of rewarded satisfaction. At the same time, dopamine is responsible for helping us learn and remember things.
At the same time, however, dopamine is also responsible for making us remember very precisely who the trigger for the feeling of happiness was: the alcohol. It doesn’t take long before the brain has stored it firmly in its memory: Alcohol makes you happy. The whole thing escapes your consciousness. This link between alcohol and the feeling of happiness is a chemical wiring in your brain – and thus firmly burned in. You cannot break this connection even with the strongest willpower.
This fatal linkage takes place in a region of the brain that is developmentally ancient. Our basic instincts are also found in this region. In this part of the brain, such basic needs as hunger, survival or reproductive instincts take place. This is exactly where the urge for alcohol ends up in alcoholics. Alcohol is then just as important to the brain as sex or food. At worst, even more important.
More in the book “Bye bye, booze!“