Drinking alcohol makes people feel better as it produces the same chemicals in the brain as exercising and laughing.
It is addictive because it releases endorphins which are the body's way of making us feel pleasure and reward, a study has proved for the first time.
The stress and pain-relieving proteins are naturally released in the brain and other tissues, producing similar effects to opiates like morphine.
Brain scans conducted to show the immediate effects of alcohol on the brain provided the first direct evidence to support scientists' belief that it triggers the release of endorphins.
The discovery of the particular brain regions where the endorphin release takes place could help scientists develop new treatments to help people overcome alcohol addiction.
Dr Jennifer Mitchell of the University of California San Francisco, who led the study, said: "This is something that we've speculated about for 30 years, based on animal studies, but haven't observed in humans until now.
-It provides the first direct evidence of how alcohol makes people feel good.
Read the whole article on The Telegraph here