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Is Alcohol a Stimulant?

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DRINKING ALCOHOL CAN DRASTICALLY ALTER YOUR MOOD, BEHAVIOR, OR BRAIN FUNCTION AND EVEN BECOME AN ADDICTION ALMOST FROM THE FIRST SIP. DUE TO THIS, MANY PEOPLE SEEK HELP FROM AN ALCOHOL ADDICTION TREATMENT CENTER. WHILE SOME TYPES OF ALCOHOL HAVE MORE ALCOHOL CONTENT THAN OTHERS, THEY ALL HAVE THESE SAME EFFECTS. ALTHOUGH ALCOHOL IS OFTEN USED AS A MEANS OF RELAXATION, IT CAN ALSO INDUCE ANXIETY AND STRESS. FOR THIS REASON, MANY PEOPLE HAVE ASKED, “IS ALCOHOL A STIMULANT?”

Alcohol is classified as a Central Nervous System depressant. What does this mean? Basically, alcohol slows down brain function and neural activity. It does this by enhancing GABA, a neurotransmitter that calms hyperactivity in the brain. When combined with GABA, can lead to brain impairment. This impairment inevitably leads to common symptoms such as:

  • Slurred speech
  • Wobbly or uneven movement
  • Distorted perceptions
  • Delayed reaction
  • Reduced rationale
  • Inhibition

IS ALCOHOL A STIMULANT?

Alcohol can produce stimulating side effects. Although it is clinically categorized as a depressant, you may experience both depressing and stimulating effects depending on how much and what type of alcohol you drink.

Initially, a person may drink alcohol to “loosen up” or get beyond any social inhibitions. However, binge drinking can lead to consuming too much alcohol. Once you drink beyond your tolerance, you may start to feel the depressing side effects of alcohol, such as impairment or loss of reasoning. Which then leads to the question, “is alcohol a stimulant or depressant?”

HOW DEPRESSANTS AFFECT THE MIND AND BODY

Alcohol binds to receptors for gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is a neurotransmitter responsible that produces calm and sedated feelings. It also depresses the central nervous system and suppresses your breathing and heart rate.

Alcohol inhibits glutamate and causes memory loss and other impaired brain functions. Alcohol releases dopamine — the neurotransmitter chemical responsible for pleasure and reward. These causes people to drink even more in an attempt to increase good feelings that dopamine produces.

However, as you consume more alcohol, side effects will become more intense. Pretty soon, the alcohol will impair your judgment, vision, and alertness. It will also dull your senses, affect your concentration, and slows down your reaction time.

TREATMENT FOR ALCOHOL USE DISORDER AT PEARL OF THE SEA RETREAT

You may have experienced times when you drank alcohol primarily for its side effects. This has often been referred to as, Drinking to Get Drunk. In this situation, you know exactly how you are going to feel after so many drinks, and that is precisely how you want to feel. If you continue drinking alcohol for this reason on multiple occasions, the side effects of alcohol will eventually wear off.

However, if you continue drinking in this manner, you run the risk of developing alcohol use disorder. If so, you can get help for your disorder at our addiction treatment for professionals in St Augustine FL. At Pearl of the Seat Retreat, you can take advantage of the following types of treatment for your disorder:

  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Women’s rehab program
  • Men’s rehab program
  • Holistic therapy program
  • Group therapy program
  • Family therapy program
  • Residential treatment center

Now that you know the answer to the question, “Is alcohol a stimulant?”, you now need to ask yourself if you need to get help for your alcohol consumption. If so, Pearl of the Sea Retreat is here to help you get started on the road to recovery. To find out more about our addiction treatment for professionals in St. Augustine, FL, call us today at 866-962-1907. We are here to help you get on the path to recovery.

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