The subconscious mind often presents obstacles for those of us seeking to quit drinking and leave alcohol behind us. In the early days of our drinking careers, we learned through repetition that alcohol lowers inhibitions, makes us feel relaxed, and contributes to intense euphoria. This article will seek to help you reframe alcohol euphoria, so that you can radically change your perception of alcohol, and ultimately discover natural highs that are much more rewarding than gulping toxic poison!
In my adventure away from alcohol addiction, I turned alcohol from a “forbidden fruit” into an “exhausted resource,” or a moot substance that I no longer needed. I will share below some of the thought processes that helped me extinguish any desire to pick up a drink.
Before we begin, ask yourself a basic question: Do you really want your joy in life to come from guilty indulgence in a chemical that poisons your body and brain, and perhaps even your relationships and career? Or would you rather feel the joy that comes from inner peace and continual personal growth?
Does alcohol cause euphoria?
It’s no secret that alcohol induces an artificial sense of euphoria, usually lasting between 10-30 minutes per drink. Biochemically, it does this by releasing our own natural endorphins in the brain. But there’s a catch: we don’t have an infinite supply of endorphins, and part of the “crash” that comes from a hangover or withdrawal episode results from endorphin depletion.
For heavy drinkers or alcoholics, chronic endorphin depletion is a serious problem that can contribute to depression, reduced pain tolerance, and a sense of overall emotional or physical fragility. If you think that this may be the case for you, be sure to look into nutritional strategies for rebalancing the body and brain after quitting drinking.
As I learned after repairing my biochemistry and beginning to live a very full life beyond alcohol, there’s no real magic in the “alcohol euphoria” that I’d chased after for so many years. It’s a temporary phenomenon that pales in comparison to real natural highs.
If you doubt this fact, then ask yourself whether you ever felt euphoric as a child. Did you need alcohol to achieve that state? What would you have thought if a drunken adult, clutching a bottle of vodka, told you that joy was impossible without alcohol? Chances are good that you would’ve concluded, correctly, that this adult was delusional – and felt a combination of sadness and curiosity about this person.
Does alcohol reveal your true feelings?
When I was a heavy drinker, I loved to repeat the persistent myth that alcohol reveals the true feelings and/or character of other people. I would sometimes say at bars, “I don’t trust people who don’t drink, because clearly they have something to hide!”
The truth is that alcohol is a very complex drug that can drastically alter emotions in both the short-term and long-term. To be sure, alcohol can lower inhibitions and cause people to spill their deepest secrets. But it’s just as a capable of causing rational people to act irrationally, or make things up, or say things that they don’t believe at all.
We all know that people with alcohol-induced “liquid courage” sometimes pick fights that they can’t win, or that people who have had a bit too much to drink can break down in tears for seemingly no reason. These acute effects from alcohol often conflict with a person’s true personality traits, and can be seen regardless of whether someone has a problem with alcohol.
In my years helping people with alcohol addiction, I’ve witnessed countless improvements in emotional stability, prioritization of values, and all-around heroic virtue in people who summon the strength to dominate alcohol addiction. I’ve gotten to know many of them quite well, and I can say with confidence that their transformations have made them better people..And that none of them need to drink to reveal their “true feelings” to anyone!
Change your perception of alcohol euphoria
The first step in reframing alcohol is to recognize its true nature as a poison. We have an increasing number of studies that show that there is no safe amount of alcohol consumption for anyone. For those of us who have struggled with addiction, we don’t need studies to inform us about the damage alcohol is capable of inflicting on our bodies and our lives generally.
As with many things, the truth about alcohol euphoria is nuanced. Yes, alcohol contributes to temporary pleasure through certain biochemical mechanisms. But it does this by spending today’s “feel-good” chemicals in exchange for tomorrow’s supply. And if you drink daily or even too regularly (e.g., huge weekend binges), you’ll find your levels of well-being and natural euphoria progressively deteriorating over time.
For heavy drinkers with severely depleted “feel-good” chemicals, there may actually be little joy in life without alcohol, since their bodies are so dependent upon it that quitting results in terrifying withdrawal symptoms. But this does not prove that alcohol euphoria is superior to natural euphoria. And the good news is that there are strategies that can help even the most addicted people quit drinking and rediscover inner peace and natural highs.
You don’t even need to have a problem with alcohol to conclude that hangovers aren’t worth it and that elevated blood pressure, poor sleep quality, dehydration, and nervous mornings are not ideal situations for you.
What is euphoric recall?
Addiction experts often speak of a phenomenon called euphoric recall, which is a flashback of sorts that affects people recovering from alcohol. During euphoric recall, the subconscious mind momentarily reminds us of the state of alcohol-induced euphoria, deceptively presenting the substance as a precondition for having fun in life.
A person might have a flashback to their college graduation party, or wedding day, or some other major life event that happened to involve alcohol. The addicted brain will then erroneously give all the credit to alcohol for the fond memory, rather than to the inherent fun or significance of the life event itself.
Alternatively, a person can have euphoric recall involving memories that might not have been fun at all without alcohol, such as drunkenly standing in an overcrowded bar or finishing a bottle of wine on the couch. In a deceptive attempt to make alcohol more glamorous than it is, the mind can trick us into longing for these past experiences. The good news is that once you rewire your brain away from alcohol, you’ll tend to look back on these episodes as the boring, wasted opportunities that they really were!
How To Leave Alcohol Behind Forever
If you struggle with alcohol as I once did, you don’t need to feel tortured by the fact that alcohol causes both temporary pleasure and negative consequences. Take a three-pronged approach to beating your addiction:
- Focus on rebuilding your body and brain
- Reframe alcohol as the toxic poison it is
- Accumulate many new experiences and natural highs
My online course is the perfect place to gather the information and support you’ll need to succeed!
Also check out my video below if you need extra inspiration!
I’m no prohibitionist – I think people should be allowed to do whatever they want, as long as they don’t hurt anyone else – but I see alcohol as a total scam. It offers temporary chemical euphoria, which you could have earned by working out or doing any number of other activities, in return for subpar sleep, a terrible next morning, missed deadlines, and maybe even a sense of impending doom.
Discover that alcohol is poison euphoria, and your journey will become much easier.