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

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Author(s): Riichiro Ishida

Journal: Psychology
ISSN 2152-7180

Volume: 03;
Issue: 07;
Start page: 534;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Purpose in Life/Ikigai | Alcohol Dependence | Pleasure | Anxiety | β-Endorphin

ABSTRACT
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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