Proposal to Prevent Alcohol Dependence Using Purpose in Life/Ikigai to Mimic the Chemical Effects of β-Endorphin

Ishida, Riichiro
July 2012
Psychology (2152-7180);Jul2012, Vol. 3 Issue 7, p534
Academic Journal
Purpose in life (PIL)/ikigai is a social attitude based on the concept that, "every person has a need to establish meaning in life". Comfort and pleasure are related to the secretion of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and β-endorphin. Drinking alcohol can also trigger emotions and cause the secretion of β-endorphin. Persons, who have an inner sense of satisfaction, do not need or want to induce comfort and pleasure by using alcohol or morphine. The primary chemical structures of β-endorphin and morphine are similar. Therefore, it is possible that helping people to achieve PIL/ikigai could strengthen psychological and/or physical defenses against alcohol dependence.


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