People drink for different reasons: relaxation, recreation, self-medication, etc. The reason why a person may continue drinking is because of the emotional effects of alcohol on the brain. Alcohol can often induce momentary feelings of pleasure or happiness. The occasional user may drink a bit to wind down with friends after a stressful day.
However, the emotional effects of alcohol can lead to an addiction and, eventually, long-term dependency. Furthermore, what started out as an occasional drink can easily turn into a nightmare that affects every aspect of the drinker’s life. Without help from an alcohol addiction treatment center in Houston, TX, finding recovery from alcohol addiction can seem impossible. The emotional and physical effects of alcoholism can be undone, however, and lasting recovery can be found.
The Three Moods From the Emotional Effects of Alcohol
Alcohol is a sedative, and it can also be a mood booster. Many people can drink in large quantities and have what they’d call a good time. On the other hand, some people find that when they drink too much they dwell more on their emotional pain or regress back to old traumas. Long-term alcohol abuse can contribute to worsening depression or other mental health issues. In general, most people feel one or all of these three moods when drinking alcohol, including:
Drinking alcohol triggers the release of dopamine – neurotransmitters that produce feelings of pleasure. The more dopamine that alcohol produces, the greater the pleasure. This is why people will continue drinking until they are intoxicated.
Light drinkers may stop once they get ‘buzzed.’ Heavy drinkers will keep going until they blackout. In either case, the motivation to keep drinking is to keep experiencing pleasure. This is the same motivation that leads a person to drink day after day.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA receptors, inhibits the firing of certain nerve cells in the brain. This process is what helps you relax. Alcohol binds to GABA receptors and produces a similarly relaxing effect on the body. This is why you may feel tired or sleepy after you drink.
Too much alcohol can sedate the central nervous system. This leads to heavy intoxication, a blackout, or a hangover the next day. In worst-case scenarios, the central nervous system suffers from alcohol overdose or toxicity.
3. Sad or Depressed
Not everyone who drinks feels happy. Some people may become angry, sad, or depressed after they drink. There are many reasons for this. The leading cause of sadness or anger is that alcohol triggers the symptoms of a mental disorder.
For instance, if a person already suffers from anxiety, depression, or trauma, alcohol intensifies the symptoms of the condition. This is why binge or long-term drinking will only cause depression or anxiety to become worse, not better. A person may drink because they want to escape or relax. However, they end up feeling worse once they get drunk. Dual diagnosis treatment programs help manage the symptoms of alcohol addiction and any mental health disorder, so those suffering can find peace and understand the best path to lasting sobriety.
Emotional Dependency on Alcohol
The emotional effects of alcohol are temporary. The longer a person drinks, the more the effects will diminish. As a result, the user has to increase the amount of alcohol to keep feeling the effects. This can lead to addiction or emotional dependency on the substance.
The solution for alcoholism is professional detox and rehab at an addiction treatment center. A Houston, TX alcohol rehab center can provide a wide range of treatments that can address the symptoms of alcoholism and any mental disorders, and it is safest to start your recovery under professional care.
Symptoms of Emotional Alcohol Dependency
Alcohol rewires the chemistry of the brain and can cause new or worsening emotional or mental issues. Some of these signs of an emotional dependence on alcohol include:
- A lack of restraint
- Self-destructive or compulsive behavior
- Guilt and loneliness
- New or worsening anxiety or depression
- Euphoric or manic feeling
- General discontent
Recognizing that there is a problem and help is needed is the first step toward recovery and the life you want to be living. The second step is reaching out to an addiction treatment center to begin the process of detox, rehab, and treatment.
Help Is Available for Alcohol Addiction at Right Step Houston
While the emotional effects of alcohol can be inviting, they can also cause a lot of harm. If you are addicted to alcohol and can’t seem to quit drinking, contact The Right Step Houston. We offer comprehensive treatment for all types of addiction, and we are here to help you on your journey to recovery. Call us at 1.844.768.0169 to find out more.