My first reaction on reading that depleted PRDM2 enzyme may cause alcohol addiction and that scientists may be close to finding a cure for alcohol-dependence was...
“Do I want to drink again?”
About 10% of American adults are reported to be alcoholic or alcohol-dependent. I often wonder how that statistic is compiled because I know that I would not be counted in that group. At 18 months sober if I drink again I’ll most likely slide back down the rabbit hole of addiction but that is only a matter of public record because I’ve chosen for it to be..
Somewhere around the age of 45 I lost my off switch. I went from someone who enjoyed drinking and occasionally overindulged, to someone who lived for that first glass of wine at the end of the day. I would not be counted in that 10% because only I knew how alcohol dependant I’d become. I was never really honest with my Dr about how much I was drinking so there was no record.
I never had a DUI or missed work due to a post binge hangover. I never visited an emergency room after an alcohol related accident or had any kind of medical evaluation that suggested alcohol abuse. The social worker at my children’s school never questioned the stability of our home environment. But I woke up most mornings thinking never again only to find myself with a big glass of wine in hand by 6 PM. The self loathing that I felt at the break of day was usually replaced by mid afternoon with an absolute understanding that I deserved a drink, wanted a drink, needed a drink and would control how much I drank that night.
I knew that when I drank I was detached from my children and husband and that my hangovers were affecting my work. I knew that although I intended to drink no more than two glasses I often opened a second bottle. No matter how determined I was to break the cycle of regret/ indulgence/ regret, I could never stop drinking for more than a week.
I was addicted but it was a silent addiction and breaking that addiction was hard work.
As one of the lucky ones who was not only able to stop drinking but am now happily sober I realize that the ability to replenish the PRDM2 enzyme could save countless lives. I came very close to the point of no return with my addiction and have the utmost sympathy for people who cannot stop.
But the eventual creation of a drug that could replace the deteriorated or missing PRDM2 enzyme could also mean that I get my off switch back.
I could sit in the sun at the beach sharing a jug of sangria with a friend and not worry that the next night I’d be relapsed and hiding my second bottle of wine. I could enjoy a nightly 5oz glass of resveratrol rich Cabernet at dinner without worrying about wanting more. I could be normal again and get a bit buzzed with the cool kids without losing control.
But these past 18 months I’ve learned that it’s not the sangria but the sun, and the friend, that make for a great afternoon. The heart healthy resveratrol in that 5oz glass of red wine can easily be replaced with a cup of blueberries in my morning smoothie and surprisingly, even the most complex gourmet meal, is equally enjoyable with ice water or tea.
So for now...
I think I’ll pass on the enzyme replacement.
I love living life fully awake. I own every minute of my day and every feeling is genuine. I love sobriety and am not really sure why it’s so important for us to drink. Unless we want to get drunk.
And that would seem to be a lose of impulse control.
Suggesting a need in us all for a bit of enzyme replacement.