Daniel Radcliffe: Why I no longer drink alcohol

Daniel Radcliffe, best known to the world as the magical Harry Potter, told GQ magazine’s British edition that he had an alcohol problem while filming the Harry Potter series in 2009. According to the article, to be released July 7th:

“I became so reliant on (alcohol) to enjoy stuff…There were a few years there when I was just so enamored with the idea of living some sort of famous person’s lifestyle that really isn’t suited to me.”

Currently Radcliffe is starring on Broadway in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” He reports that he stopped drinking in August 2010, and is perfectly fine with his decision:

“As much as I would love to be a person that goes to parties and has a couple of drinks and has a nice time, that doesn’t work for me. I do that very unsuccessfully. I’m actually enjoying the fact I can have a relationship with my girlfriend where I’m really pleasant and I’m not (expletive) up totally all the time.”

The last installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 opens July 15th.

Last year, we did a story about Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and his struggles with alcoholism.When researching the topic I came across an interesting report from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).  It said  that genetic differences in parts of the brain which deal with “reward centers” play an important role in determining whether a neurotransmitter, called dopamine, is released in the brain following alcohol intake. Dopamine creates natural highs- its primary function being to stimulate people to do the things that are good for their survival. It causes the euphoria that accompanies sex, good food and exercise.

Research shows that in the early phases of alcoholism, people drink because it is pleasurable—the body tells the mind that drinking is rewarding. The idea that the amount of dopamine released in response to alcohol may have a genetic component helps researchers understand why alcohol affects people in very different ways.

You can also look at our past article about the dangers of binge drinking, Lindsay Lohan, Andrew Koppel: Two Faces of Alcohol’s Destructive Power.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.


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