Brad Pitt says he has quit drinking
For more than 3 decades, actor Brad Pitt was “boozing too much,” and his alcohol consumption became a problem. But the actor has been clean for the last six months, he revealed in a statement appearing in the summertime issue of the journal GQ Style.
” I cannot remember a day since I left university where I wasn’t boozing or had a spliff or something,” Pitt told GQ Style, using a slang term for smoking cannabis.
These days, the 53-year-old has given up drinking and has substituted “cranberry juice and sparkling water” for alcohol. In another important step in Pitt’s recovery, he has been seeing a specialist to deal with “running from his feelings,” the star said.
Pitt’s struggles may resemble those of the approximately 17 million adults in the USA who have a alcoholic disorder, the medical phrase now used to identify drinking that significantly interferes with a person’s way of life and wellness, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Although countless people face alcohol challenges, only a tiny fraction of those people stop drinking and seek treatment to crack the addiction, as Pitt did.
Most addictions are challenging to break, and there is not a great deal of clinical evidence available about which substances may be more challenging or simpler to give up using, said Dr. Robert Swift, a psychoanalyst and affiliate administrator of the Brown University Center for Alcohol and Substance addiction Studies in Providence, Rhode Island.
How challenging it is to give up an addiction may rely on the duration and magnitude of an individual’s use of the substance, he said.
A person like Pitt has both fame and fortune, but sometimes that is not enough to make someone quit drinking, Swift stated.
3 major brain modifications
One of the very first thing that occurs to make men and women dependent on alcohol is that the substance stimulates the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter connected with pleasurable and satisfying activities, like enjoying a fantastic meal or having sex, Swift said.
The release of this mind chemical affects the brain’s reward facility, and it can stimulate people’s interest in and enjoyment of alcoholic beverages, so they continuously drink, he said. As a result, the brain learns how to connect alcohol with favorable experiences.
But as an individual continues to drink frequently and intensely, a second major alteration takes place. The mind gets sensitized to the production of dopamine and over time, that enjoyment of booze fades, Swift said.
As the human brain becomes tolerant to alcohol, individuals have to consume more and more, in a sense, to feel good, and this starts the transition from liking alcohol to becoming addicted to it, he mentioned.
A third significant alteration takes place with repetitive exposure of the brain to alcohol. As the mind becomes used to alcohol, it compensates for the substance’s depressant, or slowing impacts, by increasing the activity of glutamate, one of the primary excitation compound in the brain, Swift said.
In other words, the mind reacts by becoming more excited by the existence of booze, and even when an individual is not drinking, the brain stays in an energized condition, he noted.
With the mind in this excited, over active state, an individual with a severe alcohol issue may not sleep well, may feel more troubled or may develop the trembles, Swift explained.
The human brain then needs the sedative effects of booze to damp down the excitation chemicals so the person can feel normal, Swift said. In other words, the individual needs to continue to drink.
If the consumer has been consuming alcohol heavily for decades, the changes that take place in the brain may be irreversible, Swift claimed.
Chronic alcoholic use actually changes the brain neurologically; it sensitizes certain brain circuits and changes neurotransmitter levels, and it can also affect executive function, which is the aspect of the brain involved in decision-making that tells an individual not to drink, Swift clarified.
Because a few of the brain alterations that happen with chronic alcohol use can not be reversed, individuals who have become addicted typically have to avoid alcohol for the rest of their lives, Swift said.
People can fluctuate in their vulnerability to becoming addicted to booze, he said. Some individuals are more genetically susceptible than others, and alcohol dependency tends to run in families, Swift claimed.
About half of the cases of alcoholic use disorders are due to genes and genealogy, and the other half are due to environmental exposure, Swift stated.
Environmental elements may include social influences, like family and friends, the accessibility and easy access to alcohol, and age at initial use.
For somebody with a long-lasting dependency to alcohol, stopping drinking can be a challenging procedure with a high likelihood of relapse, Swift stated. But severe alcohol issues are treatable.
Craig Beck, Author of Alcohol Lied to Me explains “The problem is most people try to use willpower against alcohol addiction and willpower has been proven to be 95% ineffective”.