The Beatles may have been onto something when they said “All you need is love.” According to new research from the University of Sydney and the University of Regensburg in Germany, oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone,” may help control alcoholism.
The results of the study could have a major impact on drug treatments for alcohol abuse in the future.
Love’s Impact On The Effects Of Alcohol
The researchers exposed a set of rats to alcohol as the premise of this study. They found that the rats who had oxytocin infused into their brains did not display a lack of coordination like the other rats did. Dr. Michael Bowen from the University of Sydney explained that the oxytocin prevents alcohol from influencing the regions of the brain that provide fine motor control “to the point where we cannot tell from their behavior that the rats are actually drunk.” He went on to describe it as a “truly remarkable effect.”
Many alcoholics continue their addiction because they enjoy the feeling of inhibition – the total loss of control that comes with alcoholic beverages. By minimizing the level of intoxication a person experiences from alcohol, scientists hope to minimize the addiction as well.
Oxytocin Does NOT Change Blood Alcohol Levels
Before we go any further, it is important to note that the “love hormone” will not do anything for your body’s blood alcohol levels. Thus if you were to attempt to “sober up” through the use of oxytocin, you would still be arrested or ticketed if you got pulled over on the road. Your motor skills and judgments might be improved, but the alcohol in your system would remain the same. Oxytocin changes the way your brain processes signals from the alcohol, but it will not change the level of alcohol in the body.
How This Could Change The World Of Alcoholism Treatment
There are a number of ways to treat alcohol addiction at this time, from professional counseling to monitored drug use. If scientists can capitalize on this new discovery though, the drug treatment options for alcohol abuse may be more expansive – and more effective – in the long run. Researchers must still figure out a way to transfer oxytocin to the brain like they did through injections with rats, but there are interesting advancements on the horizon for alcohol addicts.
If you currently struggle with alcohol abuse and would like to know more about alcoholism counseling, call Perspectives Of Troy at (284) 244-8644 today.