Help needed: chemistry of alcohol addiction

Eleusis eleusis at netcom.com
Sat Mar 23 19:29:30 EST 1996


In article <3154621A.5BC6 at compuserve.com>,
   Martin Auer <100571.2073 at compuserve.com> wrote:
>Please help. I'm writing a book in which an alcoholic appears.

It's ok Martin, USENET posting need not be in the format of a telegraph 
[STOP]

> Now I need 
>to know what exactly happens in the body when a person drinks alcohol. 
>What is the chemistry of it? Why is it addictive? 

These are questions which science has not answered.

The best theory going, AFAIK, is that alcohol causes generalized neuronal 
membrane depolarization in much the same way that anesthetics work, except 
anesthetics do it with a bit more selectivity.

Anything which modifies neuron behavior or function, and does so with 
either sufficient intensity (eg - heroin) or with sufficient time (eg - 
alcohol) can lead to neuron desensitization or adaption - more commonly 
identified as drug tolerance and concommittant addiction.

Too rapid a cessation in consumption of some addictive substances, then, 
leads to a withdrawal "syndrome" that can be fatal (eg - barbituates).

Blah, blah, blah, etc... and so on. Cause and effect is well known here, 
but mechanism is not.

>Could you please answer by e-mail?

Ugh... this is loathsome... it indicates you have not the desire to read 
any of the newsgroups you posted your question in to see if an answer has 
appeared, which in my book (and most other internet veterans) equates to 
pure, unadulterated laziness.


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