So-Called 'Love Hormone' Could Prevent Drunkenness, Study Says

By May Wilkerson 03/02/15

A new study has found that oxytocin could aid in treating alcohol abuse.

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Could the solution to your drinking problem be… love? A new study suggests oxytocin, aka “the love hormone,” could blunt the effects of alcohol and potentially play a role in future addiction treatment.

Researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia gave oxytocin and a “moderate amount” of booze to a bunch of rats. They found that the rats who received the oxytocin did not get drunk, compared to those who were given only booze, since the hormone suppressed the activity of certain receptors in the brain.

However, the hormone only worked to negate the effects of a moderate amount of alcohol. When the rats were given a higher dose of booze, they got drunk, even with oxytocin in their system.

Though scientists have not yet tested if oxytocin has the same sobering effects in humans, they hope that the love hormone could eventually be used in treatment of alcohol addiction and withdrawal.

This is not the first time science has identified a link between the love hormone and addiction. Last year, researchers found that people with poor oxytocin development may be more prone to drug and alcohol abuse.

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.