Alcohol is a depressant, but the answer is not so simple. Alcohol is a legal drug in most parts of the world, including the US. The substance has profound effects on the user’s mood, neuropsychological functioning, and behavior. In the classification of drugs, alcohol often falls under two categories – stimulants and depressants.
A survey by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reveals that millions of Americans aged over 18 years report having taken alcohol at least once in their lifetime. Most people drink alcohol for recreation or relaxation purposes. If you think your alcohol consumption is becoming worrisome, it may be time to contact Midwest Recovery Center to learn more about our alcohol addiction treatment center.
Is Alcohol a Depressant?
The process of classifying drugs depends on their effects on the brain. However, alcohol ignites a series of effects as it passes through the body’s system; it impacts over 100 unique brain receptors. Alcohol has both stimulating and sedating effects. Although medical experts classify alcohol as a depressant, its reactions depend on the amount that an individual consumes.
Most users take alcohol for its initial stimulating effects as they seek to loosen up and suppress social inhibitions. However, those who consume large quantities than their body systems can handle experience its sedating effects, including cognitive impairment.
Studies show that many people at first take alcohol for stimulation and its associated effects. However, once they become addicted to alcohol, they drink to achieve the sedating effects. Rapid drinking increases the stimulating effects, while moderate alcohol use increases the desire for soothing effects.
Statistics also suggest that people who respond slowly to the sedative effects of alcohol are more vulnerable to developing alcohol use disorders. Such people drink more alcohol than their counterparts who quickly respond to its effects.
Alcohol depresses the user’s central nervous system (CNS), resulting in impairments such as:
- Slurred speech
- Unsteady movement
- Disturbed perceptions
- Inability to think rationally
- Distorted judgment, leading in road accidents
- Respiratory failure and death
Alcohol Use and Depressive Disorders
Some people may wonder, is alcohol a depressant, and does it cause depressive disorders? Alcohol alters the brain chemicals responsible for mood regulation, so it’s essential to understand its relationship with depression.
Scientists have conducted numerous studies to establish the connection between alcohol use and mood-related conditions. Many reports concur that those who take too much alcohol deplete neurotransmitters responsible for expressing emotions and contentment.
However, a user often recovers as the effects of alcohol fade. Chronic drinking for a long time permanently alters the brain, leading to mood disorders and depression.
A study compared individuals under the influence of alcohol and those who do not drink; it established that those struggling with alcohol use disorders are at a higher chance of developing mental disorders than their counterparts who do not drink.
Conditions such as dual diagnosis occur when signs of alcohol and mental disorders manifest at the same time.
Treatment for Alcohol Addiction at Midwest Recovery Center
Most alcoholics fail to seek treatment because of denial. They attack family members, friends, and peers who show intentions of helping them. Despite having a problem that requires urgent medical attention, they keep denying it.
A crucial step towards recovery is to accept that you have a problem, and you need professional help. Visit a healthcare provider or a rehab facility to get guidelines on how to overcome alcoholism.
Rehab facilities provide several treatment services, such as:
- Alcohol rehab program
- Intensive outpatient program
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
- Men’s and women’s rehab centers
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Group therapy program
Is alcohol a depressant? Yes, but the classification depends on several factors, such as the amount that a user consumes, the length of time used, and its effects. To learn more about the impact of alcohol abuse and addiction treatment, contact Midwest Recovery Center at 833.627.0039 today.