Alcohol and the reward system

Nov 10, 2022 / Topical / Background

Dopamine en ook serotonine zijn stofjes die vrijkomen in de hersenen na eten, sporten, drank, seks of drugs. En die willen we wel vaker voelen. Dat maakt de kans op verslaving dan ook groter.

When you drink alcohol, chemicals in the brain such as dopamine and serotonin are released. Dopamine makes you feel satisfied and serotonin has an effect on your mood and creates a feeling of connection with others. Very nice feelings that we like to experience. And therein lies the immediate danger. Because you want to feel more of these kinds of feelings, you will also drink more.

As with more (addictive) things in life, it also applies to alcohol: if you do it often, you need more of it to experience those same fine feelings. In this case, more alcohol should be drunk so that you feel as good as before. Before you know it, you're drinking more than you want and the dopamine and serotonin give way to gloom and anxiety.

But there is a solution. You just read it in the introduction. An hour of exercise or a good romp also releases dopamine and serotonin… So what will it be tonight?

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