Is Alcohol a Depressant? North Jersey Recovery Center - A group of individuals attending an inpatient alcohol rehab for alcoholism is engaging in a group therapy session and discussing topics, such as: "Is alcohol a depressant?" as well as other helpful tools and resources to support each other as they continue on their journeys to recovery.

Is Alcohol a Depressant?

Last Updated: Nov 23rd 2020

Reviewed by njrc

Is Alcohol a Stimulant or Depressant?

A pressing question for those trying to understand their alcohol addiction may be: “Is alcohol a depressant?” The answer is yes.

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, and it often accomplishes the opposite of what it is meant to. While many people drink to improve their mood, alcohol can worsen it.

Alcohol harms your mental and physical health. It can alter moods, behaviors, and overall functioning.

At the moment, it may help you relax.

However, its side effects and the inevitable hangover increase your anxieties later.

If you are battling alcoholism, our comprehensive addiction programs will help break the cycle.

Why is Alcohol a Depressant?

Alcohol can be hard to categorize because it mimics the effects of both stimulant and depressant drugs.

This tends to lead to some confusion. Alcohol is a tricky substance.

To a certain extent, it may boost your energy levels or moods. On these occasions, it feels as if alcohol is a stimulant.

However, clarity comes with the crash. At this point, it becomes clear why alcohol is a depressant; it slows down your brain’s ability to function and its neurological activities. This occurs because it enhances the effect of a particular neurotransmitter in your brain.

Alcohol also alters your reactions to certain events. When you are under the influence, you may feel slow to respond.

Side effects, like slurring your speech, experiencing unsteadiness in your movements, anger, confusion, and slowed reaction times, are all common.

Alcohol impairs your mental health, too. Alcohol distorts your judgment and makes it challenging to think rationally. Its diminishment of your judgment and ability to think clearly make it easier to make poor choices. These poor choices often lead to accidents, bouts of violence, driving under the influence, and criminal activities.

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Alcoholism in America

Another common question for those battling alcohol addictions is whether or not they are alone. If you are wondering the same thing, the answer is no; you are not alone. Alcohol use disorders are some of the most common substance abuse disorders we see today.

Nearly 18 million American adults have a reported alcohol use disorder. But even still, this may not reflect the full picture.

Many alcohol addictions go untreated, undiagnosed, or unacknowledged. Alcohol use disorders affect a multitude of individuals, families, and communities.

The normalization and ease of access to alcohol are two factors that make it easy to abuse and easy to hide.

What is the Best Way to Address Alcoholism?

Whether as a celebration or a way to ease stress, most American adults drink alcohol. But pretending the problem does not exist will not make the problem better or disappear on its own. Pretending you are fine because you know others who drink as much as you do will not make your addiction easier to overcome.

The best way to understand, address, and overcome your addiction is to accept the help offered and available to you.

Our dedicated professionals will provide care, support, and guidance at each stage of your journey. It is time to change your life for the better.

Where Did My Alcohol Use Disorder Come From?

Addiction is a chronic disease.

It alters your brain’s 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.

Alcoholism and Mental Health

After genetics, mental health disorders are some of the most common causes of alcohol use disorders.

What makes this even more tricky is that alcoholism does not always come first. You may begin drinking to cope with symptoms of a diagnosed or undiagnosed mental health disorder, or your drinking may lead to a mental health disorder.

In either order, this combination can lead to short-term and long-term mental and physical health impairments.

The combination of a mental health disorder and substance abuse disorder is called a dual diagnosis. We offer a specialized program to address this type of disorder.

Some of the most common dual diagnosis combinations include substance abuse and:

  • Generalized anxiety disorders
  • Panic disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorders
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders
  • Psychotic illnesses
  • Borderline personality disorders
  • Antisocial personality disorders
  • Schizophrenia

There are many different possible dual diagnosis combinations.

Whether your mental illness is diagnosed or unconfirmed, we can help. We will see you through from our first phone call to our addiction aftercare services.

Alcohol Addiction Treatments

Many alcohol addiction programs begin with a medically assisted detox. This type of detox will ease your withdrawal symptoms and cravings to make the process easier. Free from temptations and distractions, you will have a safe place to focus on building a happy, healthy, and sober life. This detox will restore your strength and confidence, setting you up for success.

From there, we offer various proven treatment programs and methods. We customize each program based on your needs rather than offering cookie-cutter or unspecific pre-written programs.

We evaluate your addiction with you to ensure we choose the right care settings and methods.

Whether you choose the 24-hour inpatient setting, the flexible outpatient care, or a supplemental program, you will have access to the resources, tools, care, and support you need.

We also help with multiple or polysubstance addictions, underlying mental health disorders, and other complications.

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Paying for Alcohol Rehab

In recent years, it has become easier to find affordable and flexible addiction treatments. Part of this is due to changes in health insurance coverage laws.

Most major health insurance providers now offer coverage for addiction treatments.

You may have partial or full coverage for your alcohol rehab program.

If you are unsure of what your coverage entails, please call our admissions department.

They will review and verify your insurance for you. They will also outline alternative payment options if you do not have insurance.

North Jersey Recovery Center

Your alcoholism can only define you if you allow it to.

If you are ready to take back the reins and regain control of your life, we are ready to help you get there.

We will walk the path to recovery with you.

We will be there every step of the way.

Through proven care methods, individualized treatment programs, and various continued care options, we help you identify and achieve your goals.

Call us today for more information.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by njrc

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