Alcohol Addiction Is Physical
It has been widely thought that addiction to alcohol is a physical addiction and that over time the body needs the alcohol to function, and if you stop using alcohol and you will go through withdrawal where your body is craving the alcohol.
This has been a widely spread belief about alcohol addiction that is completely wrong! Through my work with alcohol addicts over the years I have discovered the secrets why people become addicted to alcohol and it is not a physical addiction!
How We Work
To start off we need some basic understanding of how various parts of alcohol addiction works to understand why people become addicted to alcohol. This involves an understanding of the mind, emotions and how they work within our bodies.
What Are Emotions
Emotions are made of two things thoughts and thoughts are made up of Images, colour, movies, sound, dialogue, talking to ourselves and others in our heads. The second part of emotions is a physical sensation, sometimes people will say I have butterflies in my stomach to represent anxiety, you might get a really tight chest when you get angry. People who have panic attacks have extreme physical sensations like; sweating, shaking, dizziness, pins and needles, heart racing, burning and many more. Most of the physical sensations in your body you are completely unaware of you are just present to the emotion.
The reason why you are unaware of these sensations because when they happen they may be mild and over time you get used to it and eventually you can no longer feel it. It has become unconscious outside you’re conscious awareness. Think of wearing a watch for the first time at first you can feel it all the time then after a couple of weeks of wearing a watch you can no longer feel the watch the sensation of it on your wrist has become unconscious.
So emotions are made up of thoughts and physical sensations in the body.
Emotions Accumulate over Time
Emotions tend to accumulate over time in our bodies because every time you feel some intense emotion you anchor it to the memory of the event and store in your body, also you tend to get better at doing those emotions over time the more you practice them. So imagine that your emotions are on a scale of 1-10. Lets say as a child your anxiety level was a 2 but as you get older practice doing that emotion, and your also storing that emotion in your body anchored to memories and as you get older the level will rise from a 2 upwards to say at 4 and a few years later a 6 and it continues to climb as you get older.
Now let’s say you’re at an anxiety level 5 well the thing is you will be at this level 24 hours a day 7 days a week. You may fluctuate around this level but even when you're asleep you will be at this level.
This cannot be stopped this is how we operate we learn emotions as children subconsciously then we practice doing those emotions, and storing those emotions in our bodies subconsciously it all happens outside of our conscious awareness and control. The speed at which the level increases varies from person to person, depending on that individual and their life circumstances, people who suffer trauma will have their levels increase more rapidly than those who don’t.
Alcohol Disconnects Them from Their Mind and Body
So what do alcohol actually do? Well, alcohol allows the person to disconnect their mind from their body so they cannot feel all the physical sensations in their body. Which produces an allusion that they have relaxed or feel better. But this is not the case they have numbed them-self so they cannot feel what is going on in their body, just like using a painkiller. Those physical sensations that they’re numbing are actually emotions they’re feeling so they are disconnecting or masking their emotions.
The second part of this is that they can take all the thoughts which is the second part of their emotions, that are bothering them and shove them off into a corner for a while so they can get some peace for a while.
Relaxing Verses Numbing Effects of Alcohol
So this is a key part of the addiction, people who are addicted to alcohol actually think they are relaxing but this is not the case, they are actually numbing or masking how they feel so it is an allusion. It is similar to taking painkillers when you hurt yourself. They take the alcohol and they can no longer feel all the negative emotions they are experiencing until the alcohol wears off and then they start to feel those emotions again.
Towards and Away Motivation That Drives the Addiction
This is how we operate in our mind we have two types of motivation we have away from motivation and towards motivation. Away from motivations are I feel anxious, angry, sad, not good enough etc and I need to escape these feelings at all cost. The Towards motivation are the feelings of excitement, fun, relax, feel really good, numbness, escape etc so they cannot feel anything bad anymore.
So, on one hand, they have all the negative emotions they need to escape, and on the other side, they have the allure of a reward for drinking alcohol which is an escape. This is a propulsion system.
We also operate in a linear fashion so they are present to the pain they are present to the reward of drinking alcohol which is overpowering, but they are not present to the fall out of drinking the alcohol which is a lot more pain, they only become present to this after it wears off.
These two motivations operate in tandem to trap people in the addiction.
Alcohol Amplify Negative Emotional State
The next thing that happens when people drink alcohol is, lets say your at an anxiety level 4 before you drink the alcohol, well the alcohol tends to amplify the emotional state your in so the level 4 could jump to an 8, but they think that they have relaxed when the opposite has actually happened.
Anchor Emotions to Alcohol
Whatever emotional state you're in before drinking alcohol you actually anchor that emotion to the alcohol, much the same as you anchor emotions to memories. So if you're anxious before doing drinking alcohol then you anchor anxiety to the alcohol and over time as you drink alcohol more and more you anchor more and more anxiety to doing the alcohol, which further amplifies the level of the emotion. So you could feel really good and not anxious but as soon as you drink alcohol you will go into a very intense anxious emotional state.
Alcohol Accelerate the Rate at Which Negative Emotions Accumulate
There is more bad news this is what really hurts alcohol addicts, let's say it could take you 60 years to get to certain anxiety level of say 8! When drinking alcohol you can compress this time frame down from 60 years to 3 months to a few years. So in effect drinking alcohol greatly accelerates the build-up of intense negative emotional states.
Withdrawal Doesn't Exist - Withdrawal from Alcohol vs Numbing Effects of Alcohol
Ok, so withdrawal from alcohol under the current belief is that it is a physical withdrawal and that the body craves the alcohol and cannot function without it. This is wrong it is not a need for the alcohol itself it is the need for the numbing effects of the alcohol, so the person cannot feel all those physical sensations in their body due to intense negative emotional state. The body doesn’t need the alcohol the mind needs it to escape the physical pain caused by negative emotions.
The mistake that is made is the alcohol addict is in an intense negative emotional state and when they stop using alcohol they feel all the negative emotions manifest in their body as physical sensations, it is very high and it takes a few days to a week for this level to come down to a level that doesn’t drive the person nuts. So they are missing the numbing effects of the drug, not a physical addiction.
Many people have experienced the hangover and I am sure as you got older that the days to recover from a night of indulgence increases, the hangover state is essentially the withdrawal state that people think of the difference is you are not addicted to the alcohol.
I have had clients who have been to rehab to get off alcohol and they were climbing the walls in pain for about a week until things settled down. Then they started drinking again and came to me for help, I was able to get them off the alcohol and without any withdrawal. When they came back for a followup, they would ask why didn’t I have withdrawal? and I have to remind them it is a psychological and emotional disorder, not a physical problem, and because we got rid of all the negative emotions they didn’t go through withdrawal.
So to be clear addicts are addicted to the numbing effects of the alcohol to numb their negative emotions, it is not a physical craving withdrawal.
How Do You Become Addicted
So this is the final piece that explains why people become addicted. When people start out drinking alcohol it is usually social and fun usually only when going out on a weekend. Which is fine but one day they feel really bad ie depressed, anxious, angry etc and they think well I will drink alcohol that will make me feel better.
This is the pivotal decision that changes completely what alcohol is used for! Now instead of fun social which are positive emotions, it becomes a vehicle to escape and numb themselves which are negative emotions. Once they make this decision the reason for doing alcohol has completely changed and this is the beginning of the addiction to alcohol as an escape.
How to Quit Alcohol
The only way I know that I have found that works to stop people from using alcohol is by using hypnotherapy to eliminate the negative emotions that drive the addiction.
I have had great success in helping people using this method after treatment they feel so relaxed and good that they just don’t feel the need to drink alcohol anymore.
Being addicted to alcohol is not a physical addiction which is a widely held view in the mainstream, it is a psychological and emotional addiction. I have helped many people get off alcohol over the years and without withdrawal, this would not be possible if it was a physical addiction. If you ask any person who has an alcohol addiction to read this article they will be able to assure you I am correct, I have told many alcohol users why they are addicted to alcohol and they all relate to what I say and agree with me.
Hopefully, this will help you understand your own addiction if you’re addicted to alcohol, and if you have a friend or family member addicted to alcohol hopefully this will help you understand their problem, and help you help them find a solution to getting off alcohol because most addicted users don’t want to continue drinking alcohol.
Learn More on Quitting Your Alcohol Addiction?
Would you like to learn more on how Synergy hypnotherapy can help you eliminate your Addiction and related problems? So you can feel more relaxed, happy being able to cope with life easier, things just won't bother you like they used to. Then visit our Addiction service's page or...