We do not need to tell you that alcohol is a popular drug in our country. All you need to do is take one long look at advertisements and shelves on grocery stores to discover that this drug is everywhere and on everyone’s minds. Why else would people look forward to crazy parties during the holidays (specifically Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s)? Although we might refer to these people as “drunken” or “intoxicated,” we never really refer to this problem for what it is: getting high. Sometimes, we tend to forget that alcohol is, in fact, a drug and can trigger the same sense of euphoria as any other nervous system depressant. In essence, “drunk” is another term for “high.” So, what is the mechanism that triggers this feeling? How do people get “high” on alcohol? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

Fruit Fly Cocktails

HOW PEOPLE GET “HIGH” ON ALCOHOLInterestingly, the subject for one study was buzzing about the lab (literally). As part of a recent project (published in the Journal of Molecular Biology), a team of researchers allowed a cluster of fruit flies to get drunk to track the path of ethanol. Why would a fly serve as a good test subject, you may ask? Simply put, the genome of a fruit fly is smaller than those of other animals and can easily be manipulated.

An Intermediate Step

Essentially, alcohol functions like an anesthetic to the brain, as Scott Hansen (an associate professor at TSRI) explains. However, during the fruit fly experiment, the team discovered an intermediate phase for inducing an alcohol high. Simply put, an enzyme called phospholipase D2, (PLD2) triggers multiple activities in nerve cells and creates phosphatidylethanol (PEtOH), a fatty alcohol metabolite. After building, up PEtOH triggers the firing of nerve cells, which (for lack of a better phrase) made the flies go crazy. However, once the scientists muted the gene that produces PLD2, the flies did not respond.

Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Abuse or Alcoholism

Remember, you are much better than any amount of alcohol and can easily regain control, if you are willing to seek out help in the right place. Above all else, love yourself, or you will not find a way to repair your mind and body. With a little patience and perseverance, you will regain your footing on the snowy path to recovery. All you need to do is know where to look for the right tools.

Are you suffering from a severe case of alcohol use disorder? Do you have a friend or a family member who is coping with this same problem? In both cases, be sure to get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process of alcohol withdrawal and detox and guide you along the rocky road of rehabilitation. Soon enough, you will experience a faster and much more efficient recovery.

If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your mental illness and take an extra step toward becoming a healthier person.