Text Size
Smaller
Bigger

Can Fruit Flies Become Alcoholics?

posted 12:06 AM EST, Fri December 11, 2009
-- filed under: |
Can Fruit Flies Become Alcoholics? © Photo Credit: Xavi GM

According to researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, fruit flies given unlimited access to alcohol start to act very similarly to human alcoholics.

The researchers, who studied the behaviors of fruit flies given unlimited access to alcohol, say that:

  • Flies will drink more alcohol per day over time (tolerance)
  • They choose to drink enough alcohol in a session to become intoxicated
  • Once accustomed to alcohol, fruit flies will continue to drink it even if the alcohol is made to taste ‘unpalatable’
  • Alcohol accustomed fruit flies that are forced to stop consuming alcohol will quickly return to heavy consumption when again allowed access to unlimited quantities of alcohol

Lead researcher, Ulrike Heberlein, explained that this study proves that fruit flies choose to drink alcohol because they like its rewarding properties and that this is quite significant, saying, "this work opens the door for us to study much more complex alcohol-related behaviors, such as 'use despite adverse consequences' and relapse."

The full results of the study have been published in the December 10th online edition of Current Biology.

Email It Send this page Print It Print friendly page Subscribe Subscribe to this topic category
Creative Commons License
Copyright Notice
We welcome republishing of our content on condition that you credit Choose Help and the respective authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Join Thousands of Readers

who receive our weekly recovery newsletter.

Helpful Information
Understanding How the Alcoholic Thinks
Understanding the Insanity of Alcoholism: How the Alcoholic Thinks © Flood
One of the finest compliments I receive from recovering alcoholics is that despite the fact that I am not an alcoholic, I understand how their minds work. I have profound respect for all the old sayings in AA. Some are open to interpretation - the "insanity of our disease" is a literal statement. Read Article
Alcoholism September 21, 2012 (227)
Alcohol Addiction – the Straight Facts
Alcohol Addiction (Alcoholism) – Learn the Facts © Josep Salvia I Bote
The difference between alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction (alcoholism), what puts you at risk of becoming an alcoholic and what to do once you’ve crossed that invisible line to addiction. Read Article
Addictions February 22, 2013
How to End an Addiction-Damaged Relationship
Guidelines for Ending an Addiction-Destroyed Relationship © Merlijen Hoek
What do you do when the person you love gets consumed by a disease (addiction) that's beyond your control? How do we know when it's time to leave and how do you manage to adjust to life without your actively addicted partner? Read Article
Living With An Addict November 03, 2013 (7)
Like Our Site? Follow Us!

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.