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Can Oxytocin Cause Alcohol or Drug Addiction?

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Can Oxytocin Cause Alcohol or Drug Addiction?

Addiction is different for everyone, and it’s easy to point fingers. It’s easy to say “Well, maybe you shouldn’t have taken the drugs in the first place.” or, “Maybe you should drink less.” Addiction isn’t that simple because everyone’s different. We have different body chemistries and different backgrounds. And it breaks down into several different categories. One of the categories is hormones. Specifically, Oxytocin.


What is Oxytocin?

Oxytocin is a hormone that enhances social interaction. This especially means reproduction, empathy, milk release, hugging and kissing, trust, and pair bonding. Some people like to call it the Love Hormone.

There’s been research that poor development of the hormone can play a part in the lack of resistance to drug and alcohol addiction. If Oxytocin isn’t fully developed, it can increase the pleasure of drugs and the feeling of stress.

How Does Oxytocin Get Disrupted From Fully Developing?

There can be several different reasons for Oxytocin to disrupt your growth and development. A few examples could be a difficult birth, disturbed bonding or abuse, deprivation, or severe infection.  Some studies show that risk factors for drug addiction are visible at age 4 years old.


“Understanding what occurs with the oxytocin system during the first few years of life could help us to unravel this aspect of addictive behavior and use that knowledge for treatment and prevention.” 

 ~Dr. Femke Buisman-Pijlman

It’s interesting to learn that our hormones affect our stress levels and our resistance to drugs and alcohol. But there are also other reasons why our dependency on drugs and alcohol could increase.

You’re Not Alone

If you or someone you know is struggling, know you’re not alone. Addiction is a challenging and scary thing to overcome. But, we want to help. Call us at 855-737-7363 for more information regarding our detox and residential program.

Posted in Addiction, Health and Wellness