Why Is Getting Addiction Treatment Important
Alcoholism is a progressive disease that requires professional intervention and treatment before it progressively gets worse. The following are general triggers for addiction and relapse:
- Chronic stress or sudden life stress like job loss or a death
- Social networks that include other substance abusers
- Environmental cues
When it comes to mental health conditions or addictions that need to be treated, people often feel like they can take care of it on their own. Would you ever try to fix a broken leg at home? We can safely assume your answer is no and thats why its just as important to take alcohol addiction seriously.
Is Alcohol A Depressant That Causes Depression
In addition to its effect on GABA and glutamate, alcohol also releases dopamine, a feel-good chemical responsible for feelings of reward.
As dopamine increases, good feelings continue to emerge, and those affected may continue to drink alcohol, more or less in an effort to chase the dopamine high. As more alcohol is consumed, however, more depressant effects will develop.
Moreover, alcohol does not excite the nervous system, but rather, it is the excessive release of dopamine that produces pleasurable, rewarding feelings that may sometimes resemble extra energy. But the overall effect is misleading as the person continues to drink, the central nervous system also becomes increasingly depressed despite the presence of dopamine.
Signs Of An Alcohol Dependency
Some common signs that you or a loved one has an alcohol dependency are:
- Regularly drinking in order to feel good or to drown ones sorrows
- Inventing celebrations so you will have an excuse to drink
- Avoiding events that do not include alcohol
- Lying about or hiding your alcohol use
- Denying you have an alcohol abuse problem
Its easy to claim you do not have a problem because you drink only on certain occasions. However, if you find yourself unable to cope with stressful situations unless you have alcohol, you could have a problem. Dont put off getting treatment-contact our rehab facility today.
Also Check: Does Pristiq Help With Anxiety
Why Is Alcohol Mistaken As A Stimulant
Some people think that alcohol is a stimulant because, in low doses, it has a stimulating effect. It can increase heart rate, makes people more impulsive and aggressive, and causes a surge in dopamine levels.
The intoxication you feel when you drink alcohol is alcohol mimicking the naturally occurring gamma-aminobutyric acid in your brain. This is a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of relaxation and improves your mood.
Alcohol also causes the brain to release dopamine, which is the hormone that triggers feelings of happiness. It causes you to feel energized. This release of dopamine occurs when you first start drinking, which makes alcohol seem like its a stimulant. The stimulating effects of alcohol occur when your BAC nears .05mg/l but ease once your BAC nears .08 mg/l. Thats when the depressant effects kick in.
Note that this transition from a stimulating effect to a depressant effect happens at different times for different people. The amount of time it takes someone to reach a BAC of .08 varies based on their weight and the alcohol content in what they are drinking. There is also evidence that some people experience a higher intensity stimulation from alcohol and many researchers believe this puts them at a higher risk of developing alcohol use disorder .
Is Alcohol A Stimulant Or A Depressant
Jan 8, 2021 | Alcohol Addiction
In the US, over 85% of American adults say theyve drunk alcohol at some point in their life. Drinking can be a fun way to relax, which is probably why so many people enjoy it. But without careful control over it, alcohol can quickly have a negative impact.
To understand exactly how alcohol has an impact on your life, you should find out a little about it. For example, do you know the answer to this question: is alcohol a stimulant or a depressant?
Even if you think you do, you might be surprised as to what the answer is. Read on to find out more about alcohol and its effects on someone.
You May Like: What Are The Three Stages Of Schizophrenia
Taking The First Step
If you are wondering, is alcohol a stimulant or depressant? The short answer is that it is a central nervous system depressant. The stimulating and depressant effects alcohol produces can result in alcohol dependency. If you are struggling with alcoholism, Kemah Palms Recovery®, a premier Houston, Texas substance abuse facility, is here to help. Call us today today to find out more about our programs and your treatment options.
Conquer Your Obstacles at Kemah Palms Recovery®
The prefessionals at Kemah Palms Recovery® – Alcohol and Addition Treatment Center are available 24/7 to help you or your loved one. Contact us today to begin your recovery at our premier addiction treatment center.
Alcohol As A Depressant
As weve seen, some factors associated with alcohol consumptions such as its ability of increasing heart rate and making a person develop aggressive behavior makes this substance to be categorized as a stimulant. However, the cognitive impairment brought about by alcohol intake is a feature of a depressant.
Addicts Helpline understands Alcohol consumption can impact your brain in several ways. For instance, it can bind to receptors for GABA i.e. gamma- aminobutyric acid, which is a neurotransmitter or brain chemical that is responsible for producing the feeling of sedation, relaxation, and calm as well as suppression of heart rate and breathing. Alcohol once in your body can also inhibit glutamine i.e. a neurotransmitter which excites your central nervous system. As previous discussed, alcohol consumption can lead to the release of dopamine i.e. a chemical responsible for making a person attain feelings of reward. Courtesy of alcohol, as dopamine increases in your body, good feeling will keep on emerging. This may make you to continue drinking alcohol, to increase the release of dopamine. As you keep on consuming alcohol, more depressant effects eventually will develop.
You May Like: What Is The Phobia For Bees
Where Did My Alcohol Use Disorder Come From
Addiction is a chronic disease.
It alters your brains chemistry and changes our thoughts and behaviors. The idea that addiction equates to a lack of willpower is a false and damaging one.
Many people have a genetic predisposition to becoming an alcoholic, as alcoholism tends to run in families. It has impacted the lives of millions of families over the years. Growing up in a household that normalizes alcohol abuse makes it even harder to avoid.
Other common contributors to alcoholism rates in America include social and environmental challenges. Stressful careers or relationships, underlying mental health disorders, and trauma are also often linked to alcoholism.
Whether alcoholism runs in your family or other factors have contributed to your addiction, we can help.
A big piece of addiction treatment is understanding why your addiction occurred in the first place. By identifying your concerns, triggers, and temptations, you can effectively address them.
You can choose healthy habits, social networks, and coping mechanisms instead.
Why Is Alcohol Considered A Depressant
In larger doses, alcohol changes from a stimulant to a depressant. It slows down your nervous system, heart rate, and blood pressure. This leads to mental fogginess, tiredness, and lack of coordination.
People who have ingested large quantities of alcohol often have slower reaction times. They may appear tired, disorientated, or sedated. Higher amounts of alcohol can also reduce dopamine production, which can make you feel sad.
The depressant effects of alcohol develop when your BAC hits around 0.08 mg/l. Once your BAC reaches 0.2 mg/l or higher, its depressant effects on your respiratory system can become so overbearing that they lead to coma or death.
Also Check: Treating Schizoaffective Disorder Naturally
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 Withdrawal Effects Include:
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
If you or a loved one are dependent on alcohol, it is strongly advised that you seek medical help and treatment to stop drinking alcohol safely.
Effects can be safely reversed through undergoing medical alcohol detox, which suppresses the speed at which the brain readjusts and calms overactivity.
Here at Rehab Guide, we specialise in the provision of medical alcohol detox. We can arrange for you or a loved one to detox from alcohol with the assistance of approved pharmaceutical medications whilst recovering under high levels of expert care.
You May Like: What’s The Phobia Of Long Words
The Effects Of Alcohol
Alcohol, particularly in the early stages of consumption acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system. It triggers an increase in dopamine levels. This speeds up the heart and respiration rate, and can increase energy and confidence, lower inhibitions, and improve mood.
However, with continued drinking of alcohol these initial stimulant effects decline and sedative or depressant affects begin to emerge. This is because continued consumption of alcohol can suppress dopamine production while enhancing the effects of GABA. As noted above, GABA reduces or inhibits nerve activity in the brain. Reduced nerve activity can decrease mental acuity, and lower blood pressure, and heart rate. This can result in slurred speech, sluggishness, disorientation, and slower reaction times . Many people who have ingested large amounts of alcohol in one session may even seem sleepy, disoriented, or sedated.
While these are the general effects of drinking alcohol, these can vary greatly from person to person. Effects are influenced by a number of factors, which include body chemistry, sex, weight, alcohol tolerance, and the amount of alcohol consumed. Consultation with a qualified mental health professional can help identify how alcohol affects each individual person .
How Does Alcohol Work
The active ingredient in all alcoholic beverages is ethanol, which forms as a result of the fermentation process. The substance passes through the bloodstream, where it depresses central nervous system activity. Then, it enters the brain, where it reaches neurotransmitters. With the capacity to interfere with a number of functions such as speech, reflexes, and coordination, ethanol wreaks havoc on the body.
Furthermore, alcohol stimulates the release of two euphoria-inducing chemicals in the brain. These are serotonin and dopamine. Additionally, endorphins in the nucleus accumbens increase, which is why many associate alcohol with pleasure and reward.
You May Like: Faratraphobia
Alcohol Is A Stimulant
As mentioned earlier, alcohol has both stimulant and depressant effects. Those who consume alcohol experience higher heart rights and lower inhibitions, making them more energetic than normal. However, its not that easy to simply define what alcohol can do to your body because certain effects can happen in your system.
Alcohol has a way of giving you a burst of energy in a small amount of time, but when you start to settle in and go for your second drink, or maybe even your third, its depressant characteristics will begin to kick in. This will then make your body slower, youll lose energy, and you can quickly knock out and fall asleep anywhere.
- Stimulant effects
When you take the first few sips of alcohol, it will instantly send signals to your brain to release dopamine, making you feel more stimulated and energized. Besides that, the alcohol will increase your heart rate and make you more aggressive towards other individuals.
However, you should know that alcohols effects can vary for every individual and can be affected by numerous factors, such as your alcohol tolerance, body composition, sex, weight, and how much alcohol youve consumed.
Treatment Options For Alcohol Use Disorder
Most people with an alcohol or drug addiction can benefit from treatment. Medical treatments and therapies include medicines and behavioral sessions. For many patients, using both in a professional treatment facility provides the best results.12
People receiving treatment for alcohol use disorder may also find it beneficial to meet at support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous . If you have an alcohol use disorder and a mental health problem, it is essential to seek help for both conditions.
Some patients may require intensive treatment for AUD. They may visit a rehab center for residential treatment.
Treatment at a rehab center is highly structured. It typically includes several different types of behavioral therapies. It may also include medication for detox, otherwise known as alcohol withdrawal.
You May Like: What Is The Meaning Of Phobia
Do Depressants Have Links With Depression
Despite their name, depressant drugs dont necessarily make you depressed. But some can trigger depression as a side effect.
Benzodiazepines, for example, can alter mood and trigger depression, especially if you take them for an extended period of time. The risk of depression is greater for older people and those with a history of depression.
Drinking booze is about the worst thing you can do to solve any problem, but is particularly bad for depression. Alcohol use and depression are commonly and undeniably intertwined, says Dr. Paul R. Linde, a psychiatric consultant with Ria Health, an online addiction treatment program.
Many people drink alcohol to self-medicate underlying depression. Since alcohol is a mood depressant, this only deepens that depression. Others didnt suffer from depression until they began to drink heavily.
Is Alcohol Ever Considered A Stimulant
Alcohol is only considered a stimulant when paired with stimulating substances. There have been many examples of this through time. From the hot toddy liquor paired with coffee to recent caffeine-alcohol beverages or energy drinks like Four Loko. These drinks are a dangerous mix of caffeine and alcohol . This combination of substances sends your central nervous system very mixed messages, and can have significant health consequences
Recommended Reading: Can Dehydration Cause Panic Attacks
How Does Alcohol Affect Behavior
Alcohol eases inhibitions. It makes people more talkative and reduces self-control. As a stimulant and depressant, alcohol makes people more careless. It interferes with how the brain works and makes it more difficult to think clearly and coordinate physical actions.
This is one of the reasons driving while intoxicated is so dangerous. Alcohol makes people more likely to take risks they normally wouldnt, while at the same time slowing their response time and coordination.
Alcohol causes many people to act more aggressively. Various changes work together to exacerbate the situation. For example, someone drinking alcohol might feel over-confident, more aggressive, and be more willing to engage in risky behavior.
People who have developed alcohol use disorder are prone to mental health and behavioral changes, including:
- Inability to set limits on alcohol consumption
- Inability to quit drinking, even if they want to
- Lack of mental clarity
- Memory loss
Over time, substance misuse of all kinds, whether the drug in question is a stimulant or depressant, damages health. Detox and addiction treatment is necessary for excessive drinkers, especially for long-time alcohol addiction.
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.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Meaning Of Phobia
Mixing Alcohol With Other Drugs
Alcohol, like sedatives, muscle relaxers, and benzodiazepines are all central nervous system depressants. This is because all these substances can repress activity in your brain and body. Once you combine alcohol with another sedating drug, the risk of life threatening central nervous system depression will consequently increase. For instance, alcohol in conjunction with any kind of sedating drug will slow down your central nervous system activity a factor that can increase the likelihood of you suffering from a coma or other alcohol related disorders that can be fatal.
However, Addicts Helpline knows alcohol combined with stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamines, and caffeine can increase activity in your central nervous system. Alcohol consumers in some cases normally use stimulants when consuming alcohol to decrease depressant effect of alcohol and counteract adverse effect of alcohol as a stimulant by using it to get rid of things such as nervousness and anxiety.
Be informed that alcohol combined with stimulants is also very dangerous. Other dangers that alcohol consumption can pose include major anxiety and depression, suicidal thoughts, aggressions, irritability, hallucinations, delusions, and even psychosis.
As youve seen, is Alcohol a stimulant or depressant? In fact, it indefinitely be both in one. If you are an alcohol addict, do not hesitate to seek for the services of a qualified physician so that you can be advised accordingly.
What Risks Does Alcoholism Pose
Alcoholism and alcohol abuse can impact your personal relationships, career, family life, and finances. When you abuse alcohol, you are more likely to engage in risky behaviors. Since alcohol lowers inhibitions, it can impair your judgment. These behaviors can include things like promiscuous sex or driving while intoxicated. When your judgment becomes diminished, you can experience legal problems, relationship problems, and other negative consequences.
Alcohol is filtered through your liver, which ensures that you dont suffer from ethanol poisoning. Unfortunately, the more you drink, the more work you put your liver through. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse can cause serious damage to your liver, such as fatty liver disease, liver cancer, and cirrhosis. Abruptly quitting alcohol brings on serious and often dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Heavy drinkers are especially recommended to seek medically-supervised alcohol detox to begin their recovery.
Don’t Miss: What Are The Three Stages Of Schizophrenia