So, in effect, your brain reabsorbs the dopamine the alcohol made it create. In addition to the effect of ethanol on DA release, it can also affect the functioning of DA receptors, particularly D2 and D1 receptors. The D1 receptor binds with excitatory G protein and activates adenylate cyclase (AC) via Gs; AC catalyzes the production of cAMP and cAMP regulates cAMP-dependent protein kinases to open calcium ion channels. D2 receptors bind with inhibitory G protein and thus reduce the production of AC and resulting cAMP. Some experiments found no difference in DA release in the NAc after intraperitoneal injection of ethanol between P and NP rats. For example, Yoshimoto and colleagues and Gongwer and colleagues found that although HAD and LAD rats differed in their basal level of extracellular DA, they did not differ in CNS DA release after intraperitoneal injection of ethanol.
But talk therapy is also an important part of addiction treatment, whether the addiction involves drugs, alcohol, or a certain behavior. Experts are still studying exactly how dopamine, a neurotransmitter, works in the context of addiction. Many believe it trains your brain to avoid unpleasant experiences and seek out pleasurable ones. Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter involved in reward mechanism in the brain and thereby influences the development and relapse of AD. Slowly over a period of time, the person craves more of the drug, to achieve the same kind of high as earlier.
Sometimes I succeed in eating only half and putting the rest back in the cupboard. I can’t concentrate on anything else until I take it out again and scoff the lot, alcohol and dopamine licking every last bit of the tangy, salty coating off my fingers. But immediately afterwards I feel a bit sick, and a bit ashamed, and vow never to do it again.
In the same way, minimally processed nuts are relatively high in fat but it takes time for our bodies to digest them, so we don’t get an instant dopamine hit. UPFs, though, have been engineered to deliver carbs and fat to the gut – and then the brain – as quickly as possible. Unlike ethanol (the alcohol we drink) and nicotine, scientists have not identified a specific chemical that is responsible for food addiction. “People can be addicted to diet cola, or stuffed-crust pizza, or chocolate bars.” The researchers agree that it is unlikely to be a single chemical, such as sucrose, that is the culprit, and that the problem is more to do with how ingredients interact. Drugs, on the other hand, can cause long-term damage, with dopamine levels and brain cells taking a year or longer to heal. As a result, alcoholics consume even more alcohol in an unconscious attempt to restore their dopamine levels and regain their spark.
Thus, the cholinergic contribution to dopamine release is conserved in primate striatum. We further explored the effect of long-term ethanol consumption on striatal cholinergic systems by examining gene expression of several nAChR subunits (α4, α5, α7, and β2) and markers for cholinergic interneurons (ChAT https://ecosoberhouse.com/ and vAChT). We found no significant differences in ChAT or vAChT expression between control and alcohol treated subjects, suggesting that long-term alcohol consumption does not adversely affect cholinergic interneurons. Similarly, we did not see any significant changes in mRNA levels of the nAChR subunits.