How did you get hooked?


Discovering alcohol or other substances usually takes place during the time when we are just teenagers, so when our brain is young, flexible and not yet fully formed.

The brain matures when we are in mid-twenties so cognitions and functionalities are usually well accustomed with our drug of choice by that time if we have exposure in adolescence.

In my opinion, this is the main reason we have such an epidemic of drugs and binge drinking in Australia today.

The brain of addicted teenager matures while being exposed to those toxic substances and adapts them as part of normal brain chemistry very early. It tries to incorporate those foreign substances into its

“operating system”. It seems OK since those substances create good or happy feelings.


Later, when events don’t come often enough we sometimes begin to create the negative events ourselves in order to get a valid excuse and in effect get the fix as consequence.

Once cravings (triggers) are in place, the rest is history. In other words, addicts change behaviour from being reactive to being causal.

The strength of addiction doesn’t diminish with age.

By the time we’re over forty it becomes a permanent structure in our brain so stopping the addiction then can be even more difficult.


Craving produces the release of Dopamine in the brain, so by repeating the behaviour of craving and getting our fix later on, we train our brain when we experience stress or trauma.

Once we ingest the substance the feeling of pleasure comes and the other chemical Serotonin is released.


We repeat this cycle because it feels good until one day it all becomes a part of our daily life.

If you suffer from any such addiction you should make a phone call today


Peter Jankowski