There is a close connection between alcohol and anxiety. Being a central nervous system (CNS) depressant and easily available, alcohol is often used for self-medication purposes to treat anxiety and other disturbing conditions of the mind. Considering the fact that alcohol is a highly abused substance, it plays a key role in inducing panic attacks as well.
Although alcohol helps initially in alleviating pain and worries, the prolonged use and abuse eventually turns it into the worst solution. In fact, it can push the users toward increased dependence that can end in the form of addiction. By depleting the happiness hormone serotonin, increasing dehydration and heart rate, and affecting blood sugar and nervous system, alcohol abuse causes a range of mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, etc.
People addicted to alcohol tend to have altered brain chemicals that can eventually lead to mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, in the long run. While people suffering from a mental health issue are likely to have a predisposition to alcohol, they are more prone to developing co-occurring disorders.
Excessive drinking and withdrawal from alcohol increase anxiety levels
While there are a number of health issues related to alcohol abuse and addiction, there are also a number of symptoms associated with withdrawal from alcohol. Based on the severity and intensity, alcohol withdrawal symptoms include minor withdrawal, major withdrawal, seizures and delirium tremens (DTs).
These unpleasant symptoms occur when a person dependent on alcohol stops drinking suddenly due to which his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) significantly drops. Although many of these symptoms occur as a part of the hangover, they disappear as soon as the person indulges in a drink.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), produced by the American Psychiatric Association, highlights that alcohol-induced anxiety occurs only when one witnesses the extreme levels of anxiety symptoms than expected during intoxication or withdrawal from alcohol.
Most of the alcohol withdrawal symptoms can occur within few hours after the last drink. They usually tend to last for few weeks and can range from mild anxiety to panic attacks. Some of the studies have highlighted that deaths due to DTs, including characteristics like confusion, rapid heartbeats and fever, range from 1 to 5 percent.
Minor symptoms like insomnia, tremors, heart palpitations, nausea, sweating and upset stomach can occur within 6 to 12 hours after the last drink. Patients can also experience audio and visual hallucinations within 12 to 24 hours after the last drink. Alcohol-induced anxiety can begin during the substance abuse and can last as long the individual continues the abuse.
Live a trouble-free life
Due to lack of awareness, a considerable number of people accept alcohol as an aphrodisiac or as a depressant potential enough to alleviate stress. However, the matter of the fact is that withdrawal from alcohol can be dangerous if attempted without the help of a medical professional. It can lead to chronic physical and psychological symptoms, including extreme anxiety and frequent panic attacks. A comprehensive assessment and a focused treatment plan are imperative to prevent a relapse.
If you or your loved one is suffering from co-occurring disorders, it is important to take necessary medical help before things go out of control. If you want to know more about dual diagnosis treatment in California, you can connect with the California Dual Diagnosis Helpline. You may call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1736 or chat online to get in touch with the best dual diagnosis rehab in California.