Resetting the Brain’s Reward System: A New Alcohol Abuse Treatment?

Asheville drug and alcohol treatment centerDo you, or someone you love, have a problem with alcohol abuse? If so, there are several things to consider. Alcohol can seem harmless. Because it is something that many people use to have fun, they rarely think of the negative side effects. However, alcohol can cause a serious addiction that is difficult to recover from. If you're searching for an Asheville drug and alcohol treatment center you can trust, call Legacy.

In our previous blog post, we talked about how alcohol hijacks the brain. In instances where chronic use is prevalent, alcohol targets your brain directly. Other substances only affect it indirectly. However, stimulants like amphetamines, marijuana and opiates also directly target specific areas of the brain.

This means alcohol can be as addicting and dangerous as some of the most addictive drugs. If you've noticed that you're no longer in control of your drinking and have more than several drinks at a time, it's possible your alcohol abuse is something that needs to be treated. Unfortunately, drinking can consume your life. When thinking about trying to quit, it seems impossible. Because nothing else matters, alcohol becomes the focus of your daily life. Time and energy is spent on consuming beverages that give you a high.

As we mentioned in our previous blog, people who have a couple of drinks each time they get overly stressed or want to celebrate are subject to a condition where their body recognizes the “reward” that comes from drinking alcohol. Your brain thinks that the drinks are a reward for feeling a certain way. Unfortunately, over time, becoming stressed or happy and then drinking alcohol as a way to deal will eventually cause the brain to want alcohol each and every time these feelings are felt. Then, a cycle begins to form. Every time you feel stressed, you immediately want to drink alcohol.

Thankfully, there are treatments that are available for alcohol abuse. In fact, new studies show that therapy revolving around the reward pattern might be beneficial. If you're searching for an Asheville drug and alcohol treatment center you can trust, call Legacy Freedom.

The new study suggests that the brain may be manipulated in a way that triggers the reward center of your brain's pathways when it comes to alcohol abuse treatment. Just as you trained your brain to believe that alcohol is a reward, you can actually reverse the effects and make them just the opposite. states that "A new study in Biological Psychiatry, two pathways in the dorsal striatum that regulate this process -- the 'Go' pathway, which hits the gas for rewarding behaviors, and the 'No-Go' pathway, which hits the brakes -- have opposite effects to control alcohol drinking behavior. Led by Dr. Jun Wang of Texas A&M Health Science Center, the study reports that alcohol-induced alterations in the signaling of these two pathways reinforce alcohol consumption, possibly leading to alcohol abuse or addiction."

Asheville drug and alcohol treatment centerWe already know how beneficial holistic therapy can be for alcohol abuse. It's a great way to safely detox, learn to cope with triggers and cravings, and recover from addiction without ever having to leave your job or home. The outpatient therapy programs are geared to fit the needs of the individual. It's no surprise that this type of treatment might be beneficial, either. also states that "Co-first authors Dr. Yifeng Cheng, Dr. Cathy Huang, and Dr. Tengfei Ma and colleagues trained mice to become heavy drinkers by repeated cycles of consumption and withdrawal of 20% alcohol -- slightly higher than the average alcohol content in a glass of wine -- and measured the effects on the balance of this delicate control of reward behavior."

With the discovery of this type of treatment, it's possible that the idea could go further than just treatment for alcohol abuse. It's possible that this therapy can also help those with other types of addiction, OCD and mood disorders. Scientists are still working to broaden the factors that go into this therapy. Over the coming years we will see more about how manipulation of pathways in the brain can redirect and reinforce the reward of alcohol consumption in an opposite way that helps with recovery.

Holistic Asheville Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center | Legacy Freedom

Being able to rely on a recovery program that doesn't require an inpatient stay with medication that helps with the withdrawal process is important. That's why Legacy Freedom of Asheville is a unique, yet successful alcohol rehab.There are no overnight stays or 30 day live-in treatment plans. Instead, we offer you a better, alternative option that doesn't require you to leave your job, home or schooling. We also refrain from the use of medications to help with withdrawal.

Research shows that outpatient drug and alcohol treatment programs, like Legacy Freedom offers, provide higher success rates than other rehabs do. During outpatient, holistic treatment programs, alcohol abusers are able to engage in group, individual and alternative therapy. They will be involved in individual therapy, group counseling and alternative therapies. We tailor substance abuse treatment to fit the needs of those who trust our program.

Remember, alcohol abuse isn't something that gets easier to deal with over time. It's something that can consume your entire life before you even know it's happening. It's important to get help or visit an Asheville drug and alcohol treatment center to regain your life, alcohol free.

If you'd like to talk with our counselors at Legacy Freedom about our alcohol rehab and the available options for therapy, contact us today. We are here to help you regain the road to a happy and healthy life.

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