The desire to drink is learned.
Over time, social media, our friends and family, TV and music have all influenced our desires to drink and programmed our brain unconsciously to desire alcohol.
The reason the desire has become so intense is because of the reward associated with the desire.
Your underlying thought in your head may look something like “I want a drink because it helps me relax after a long day.”
And then it becomes a vicious cycle:
THOUGHT –> DESIRE –> DRINK –> REWARD (Dopamine hit) —> THOUGHT
With repeated use, the dopamine receptors become less responsive to the same amount of alcohol, and then you need to drink more to feel that same reward… and it eventually becomes a dependency. You may not think you are addicted, but it becomes harder and harder to relax without that drink in hand.
The struggle of quitting or cutting back can then feel overwhelming, and that itself can increase the urge that you need a drink to cope.
Learn how to manage the feelings and urges. If you are unsure where to begin, let me help you start.