Are Stimulants Or Depressants More Dangerous
Both stimulants and depressants are dangerous for different reasons.
Stimulants ramp up systems in the body, basically forcing the body into overdrive. Over time, having an increased heart rate and higher blood pressure can cause put unnecessary strain on the body. Overdose on stimulants can cause arrhythmias, heart attacks and other problems by overworking the organs and causing;seizures and heart attacks.
Depressants slow the bodys processes down in some cases to the point that;respiration and cardiac activity cease. In an overdose scenario, the automatic processes, like breathing, and heart rate, start to slow down and eventually stop altogether. For obvious reasons, this is extremely dangerous and often deadly.
Combining stimulants and depressants is dangerous. While some users mix uppers and downers thinking it balances the negative effects of each, it actually increases the risks of both.
Is Alcohol Causing My Depression
The classification depressant doesnt mean alcohol causes depression. It describes alcohols slowing effects on the central nervous system.
However, alcohol and depression are closely linked.
- Alcoholics are 3.7 times more likely to experience a major depressive disorder than non-alcoholics.
- Having preexisting depression is known to put people at risk of developing a problematic relationship with alcohol.
- Neither disease has one singular cause, but the triggers leading to both diseases are similar like certain genes, trauma and social isolation.
Labeling alcohol as the cause of depression is an oversimplification of complex diseases. But, alcohol will never make depression better.
Problem drinking makes depression worse. You are stuck in a negative cycle of depression and drinking until both diseases are properly treated.
There is good news, though. Getting sober will make it easier to address your depression, and addressing your depression will in turn help you stay sober. It will also prevent life-threatening consequences of alcohol like alcohol liver damage and wet brain.
JourneyPure helps people from across the country tackle both of these problems at the same time at our alcohol rehabs that take insurance.
Risks And Dangers Of Alcohol On The Central Nervous System
Having a drink can reduce inflammation in the body and help a person to relax after a stressful day. But how alcohol affects the nervous system and the rest of the body when a person drinks too much on a long-term basis is different.
Some of the risks and dangers of conditions that can develop from alcohols effect on the central nervous system include:
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St Step Behavioral Programs
Accepting your alcoholism is difficult. Once you determine you or a loved one suffers from addiction, the next step is visiting 1st Step Behavioral Health for comprehensive programs including:
The staff at 1st Step Behavioral Health takes a traditional approach to recovery. Above all, we believe that a combination of talk therapy and caring support provides the best possibility for successful recovery. With short and long-term programs available, we can match you with a treatment plan for your unique needs.
Who Should Not Drink Alcohol
Some people should not drink alcohol at all, including those who
- Are recovering from an alcohol use disorder or are unable to control the amount they drink
- Are pregnant or trying to become pregnant
- Are taking medicines that can interact with alcohol
- Have medical conditions that get can worse if you drink alcohol
- Are planning on driving
- Will be operating machinery
If you have questions about whether it is safe for you to drink, talk with your health care provider.
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How Does Alcohol Affect The Body
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. This means that it is a drug that slows down brain activity. It can change your mood, behavior, and self-control. It can cause problems with memory and thinking clearly. Alcohol can also affect your coordination and physical control.
Alcohol also has effects on the other organs in your body. For example, it can raise your blood pressure and heart rate. If you drink too much at once, it could make you throw up.
So Is Alcohol A Stimulant Or A Depressant
You mightve noticed that we havent put alcohol in either category above. First off, which one do you think alcohol is: a stimulant or a depressant?
Most people think that alcohol is a stimulant. After all, it ramps up your confidence, makes you giddy, and certainly gives you a burst of energy!
Its true that alcohol has some stimulant effects. It does raise your heart rate, along with some other physical changes.
However, these effects are just temporary. Plus, theyre a result of your brain releasing more dopamine after your initial drink. Dopamine is also known as the feel-good hormone, as it can make you feel happy and also lessen pain processing.
Alcohol, is in fact, truly a depressant. Think about how you feel when you drink alcohol, especially in excess; you start slurring your words and you have slower reaction times.
As you can see, while alcohol does have some stimulant effects, its scientifically classified as a depressant. Youll typically feel the stimulant effects at a BAC of under 0.05mg/l. But once you go over 0.08mg/l, the depressant effects will take over.
Do note that you should never mix stimulants with alcohol. Doing so can have serious and even fatal results.
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Where Can I Get Help
If you think you have a drinking problem, get help as soon as possible. The best approach is to talk to an adult you trust. If you can’t approach your parents, talk to your doctor, school counselor, clergy member, aunt, or uncle. It can be hard for some people to talk to adults about these issues, but a supportive person in a position to help can refer students to a drug and alcohol counselor for evaluation and treatment.
In some states, this treatment is completely confidential. After assessing a teen’s problem, a counselor may recommend a brief stay in rehab or outpatient treatment. These treatment centers help a person gradually overcome the physical and psychological dependence on alcohol.
Why Is Alcohol Not A Stimulant
The classification of a drug is based on the dominant effects. With alcohol, depressant effects are dominant, so it is considered a depressant.;
When determining if a substance is a stimulant or a depressant, doctors look at;how it impacts the central nervous system.
- Stimulants, also known as uppers, speed up the processes of the central nervous system.
- Depressants, also known as downers, slow these processes down.
Alcohol is interesting because it does both, speeding up and slowing down the CNS at different stages of intoxication. The myth that alcohol is a stimulant began because of its ability to loosen people up and reduce social inhibitions.;
Ongoing research;theorizes that alcoholics experience either greater stimulant effect or less depressant effects compared to peers.
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Is Alcohol A Stimulant Or A Depressant
People drink alcohol for its intoxicating effects. Alcohol can temporarily produce feelings of well-being and energy, however, alcohol isnt a stimulant alcohol is a depressant. Still, some people believe that alcohol is a stimulant because one of its immediate effects include increased heart rate. Alcohol may have initial effects that mimic those of stimulants, however, alcohol mainly slows the body down, making it a depressant.
How Does Alcohol Affect Sleep
After a person consumes alcohol, the substance is absorbed into their bloodstream from the stomach and small intestine. Enzymes in the liver eventually metabolize the alcohol, but because this is a fairly slow process, excess alcohol will continue to circulate throughout the body. The effects of alcohol largely depend on the consumer. Important factors include the amount of alcohol and how quickly it is consumed, as well as the persons age, sex, body type, and physical shape.
The relationship between alcohol and sleep has been studied since the 1930s, yet many aspects of this relationship are still unknown. Research has shown sleepers who drink large amounts of alcohol before going to bed are often prone to delayed sleep onset, meaning they need more time to fall asleep. As liver enzymes metabolize the alcohol during their night and the blood alcohol level decreases, these individuals are also more likely to experience sleep disruptions and decreases in sleep quality.
To understand how alcohol impacts sleep, its important to discuss different stages of the human sleep cycle. A normal sleep cycle consists of four different stages: three non-rapid eye movement stages and one rapid eye movement stage.
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Getting Help For A Mental Illness When Alcohol Use Is Involved
Dealing with a mental health issue or alcohol dependence separately is difficult, let alone if youre suffering from both at the same time. If you or someone you love is drinking to manage a mental health condition, or if a mental health challenge has appeared after drinking became a problem, its important that you look into treatment centers that can peel back the layers of your addiction.
As you can see, Is alcohol a depressant? is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to learning about alcohol and alcoholism. But Port St. Lucie Hospital is here for you; we can help you overcome co-occurring disorders in a structured, warm, and effective environment. Call 408-5871 to speak to a friendly member of our team, or fill out our online form right now to learn more about how we can customize a treatment plan just for you.
What If I’m Concerned About Someone Else’s Drinking
Sometimes people live in homes where a parent or other family member drinks too much. This may make you angry, scared, and depressed. Many people can’t control their drinking without help. This doesn’t mean that they love or care about you any less. Alcoholism is an illness that needs to be treated just like other illnesses.
People with drinking problems can’t stop drinking until they are ready to admit they have a problem and get help. This can leave family members and loved ones feeling helpless. The good news is there are many places to turn for help: a supportive adult, such as your guidance counselor, or a relative or older sibling will understand what you’re going through. Also, professional organizations like Alateen can help.
If you have a friend whose drinking concerns you, make sure he or she stays safe. Don’t let your friend drink and drive, for example. If you can, try to keep friends who have been drinking from doing anything dangerous, such as trying to walk home at night alone or starting a fight. And protect yourself, too. Don’t get in a car with someone who’s been drinking, even if that person is your ride home. Ask a sober adult to drive you instead or call a cab.
Everyone makes decisions about whether to drink and how much even adults. It’s possible to enjoy a party or other event just as much, if not more so, when you don’t drink. And with your central nervous system working as it’s supposed to, you’ll remember more about the great time you had!
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Mixing Alcohol With Drugs
When alcohol is used in conjunction with another sedating drug, the risk of life-threatening CNS depression increases. When CNS activity begins to slow down to a crawl, the threat of coma and death becomes a very real and present danger.
On the other hand, stimulants increase activity in the central nervous system and include substances such as caffeine, amphetamines, and cocaine. Some people use stimulants when drinking to decrease alcohols depressant effect and counteract the adverse effects of stimulants, such as anxiety, nervousness, and agitation.
Using alcohol with stimulants, however, is equally dangerous. People may continue to drink alcohol while feeling energetic and elated from stimulants under the erroneous belief that they are unlikely to suffer any ill consequences.
However, using alcohol with short-acting stimulants such as cocaine is especially dangerous, because alcohols depressant impact can continue well after the effects of the stimulant have worn off. In fact, combining alcohol and cocaine makes the risk of sudden death 20 times greater than by either substance alone.
Mixing alcohol with other stimulants such as prescription amphetamines increases the risk of seizures and heart-related problems such as arrhythmia and cardiac arrest.
Also, continued use of alcohol while intoxicated by stimulants increases the likelihood of alcohol poisoning, a condition that can occur and be fatal in persons who reach a blood alcohol concentration of .4 or higher.
So What Is A Depressant
While there is a common misunderstanding, depressants do not mean that they make you emotionally depressed. Instead, depressants refer to a class of drugs that inhibit or depress the central nervous system , which means that a depressant impairs and slows the activity of the brain and nervous system. When using CNS depressants, a reduction in brain activity and awareness occurs by blocking messages from the nerve receptors to the brain. This slow-down and block change a persons judgments, perceptions, movements, emotions, and senses. When a person consumes a depressant, he or she becomes immediately more vulnerable to many health risks, as well as accidental injury and death.
Risk Factors To Consider
Having a history of addiction may put you at higher risk of CNS depression. Thats because you may be prone to taking more medication than prescribed or combining medication with other drugs or alcohol.
You may also be at higher risk if you have existing respiratory problems such as emphysema and sleep apnea.
How Do Cns Depressants Affect The Brain
Most CNS depressants act on the brain by increasing activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid , a chemical that inhibits brain activity. This action causes the drowsy and calming effects that make the medicine effective for anxiety and sleep disorders. People who start taking CNS depressants usually feel sleepy and uncoordinated for the first few days until the body adjusts to these side effects. Other effects from use and misuse can include:
- slurred speech
- problems with movement and memory
- lowered blood pressure
- slowed breathing
If a person takes CNS depressants long term, he or she might need larger doses to achieve therapeutic effects. Continued use can also lead to dependence and withdrawal when use is abruptly reduced or stopped. Suddenly stopping can also lead to harmful consequences like seizures.
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Using Depressants With Other Drugs
The effects of taking depressants with other drugs including over-the-counter or prescribed medications can be unpredictable and dangerous, and could cause:
- Alcohol + benzodiazepines: decreased heart rate and breathing; overdose more likely.3
- Benzodiazepines + opiates : breathing difficulties; an increased risk of overdose and death.3
Use of depressants is likely to be more dangerous when:
- combined with alcohol or other drugs, particularly
- driving or operating heavy machinery
- judgement or motor coordination is required
- a person is alone .
Use of any drug always carries some risk, however, if you choose to take it, always try a small test amount first.4 For example, the chemical composition of GHB/GBL is highly variable. Its very easy to take too much GHB – the difference between the amount needed to get high and the amount that causes an overdose can be hard to judge.
If drinking alcohol, stay hydrated and have something to eat before and while drinking.
Drinking And Driving Don’t Mix
The following tables are used with the permission of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. They illustrate the effects of alcohol consumption on blood alcohol levels and driving skills. These data should be used only as a general reference for the effects of alcohol because body weight and other variables may influence the results. Also, some states define the limit of legal intoxication at a lower blood alcohol level .
Calculating blood alcohol concentrations :
How Much Alcohol Is Too Much
Unlike food, which can take several hours to digest, alcohol is absorbed rapidly by the body, and long before most other nutrients. Also, it takes a lot more time for the body to eliminate the alcohol that was consumed.
Most alcohol is metabolized by the liver, which can only process roughly one standard drink of alcohol per hour. The more alcohol a person consumes, especially in a relatively short period, the higher his or her risk of encountering alcohol poisoning.
One standard drink is defined as:
- 12 oz. of regular beer at about 5% ABV
- 8-9 oz. of malt liquor at about 7% ABV
- 5 oz. of wine at about 12% ABV
- 1.5 oz. of 80-proof hard liquor at about 40% ABV
Note that some mixed drinks may contain multiple servings of alcohol and take even longer to be processed.
Alcohol And Sleep Faq
Does Alcohol Help You Sleep?
Alcohol may aid with sleep onset due to its sedative properties, allowing you to fall asleep more quickly. However, people who drink before bed often experience disruptions later in their sleep cycle as liver enzymes metabolize alcohol. This can also lead to excessive daytime sleepiness and other issues the following day. Furthermore, drinking to fall asleep can build a tolerance, forcing you to consume more alcohol each successive night in order to experience the sedative effects.
Does Alcohol Affect Men and Women Differently?
On average, women exhibit signs of intoxication earlier and with lower doses of alcohol than men. This can mostly be attributed to two factors. First, women tend to weigh less than men and those with lower body weights often become intoxicated more quickly. Most women also have a lower amount of water in their bodies than men. Alcohol circulates through water in the body, so women are more likely to have higher blood alcohol concentrations than men after consuming the same amount of alcohol.
What Is the Difference Between Moderate Drinking and Heavy Drinking?
Definitions vary by source, but the following measurements are generally considered to constitute a single serving of alcohol:
- 12 ounces of beer with 5% alcohol content
- 5 ounces of wine with 12% alcohol content
- 1 ounce of liquor or distilled spirits with 40% alcohol content
Will a Small Amount of Alcohol Affect My Sleep?
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