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ALCOHOL: DANGEROUS STRESS RELIEF

According to the American Institute of Stress (AIS), job stress is the number one cause of stress for adults in America, and it has increased significantly within the past few decades. Job stress is correlated to high demands in the workplace; stress can also come from the perception of not having enough control on the job. Escalated levels of job stress are linked to the increased rates of:

  • Heart attack
  • Substance abuse
  • Hypertension

A lot of people believe that a glass of wine at dinner, a casual drink during happy hour, or a “nightcap” can help eliminate stress. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Though alcohol may temporarily alleviate some job-related stress, these long-term effects can cause huge problems for your mental health:

  • Depression 
  • Anxiety
  • Inability to sleep
  • Declining health

The human brain is similar to a well-oiled machine; to perform at its best, the brain requires a systematic balance of well-functioning chemical reactions. Abusing alcohol is not the best long-term plan to relieve stress.

Alcohol is a depressant that interrupts the balance of chemicals that are necessary for optimal brain performance. As a result, excessive alcohol consumption can negatively impact your actions and emotions, and permanently damage your long-term physical and mental well-being over time. 

The feeling of relaxation that accompanies your first drink is caused by chemical changes in your brain due to the alcohol. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that transfer signals between nerve cells (also called neurons) in your brain. Habitual drinking affects this signal transmission, and when high levels of alcohol are ingested, negative emotional responses may occur. When tolerance grows over time, your body demands even more alcohol to obtain the same intoxicating effect.

Long-term alcohol consumption can foster both anxiety and depression; this can make dealing with stress a lot harder in the long run. When we consume alcohol, our perception of a situation may become distorted, which can lead to inappropriate responses and misinterpreted cues. You might think that a colleague is after you, or that you’re about to lose your job, but in actuality, that may not even be the case at all. Alcohol changes the interpretation and perception of situations, making it more difficult to cope with the unavoidable stresses in life. 

Many people that struggle with anxiety opt to have a drink in certain social situations because alcohol decreases their inhibition. Despite this, lowering your inhibitions doesn’t come without its risks. For example, intoxicated people might make negative remarks regarding their boss and coworkers, or may even reveal confidential information in the midst of socializing. Reckless behavior such as this can yield consequences that are widespread and can’t be undone. 

All of the supervised detoxification programs at Asana Recovery are offered in a supportive and encouraging environment. We hold a deep commitment to ensuring your life-long recovery while guiding you down the path to a much healthier future. Give us a call us at (949) 438-4504 to gain more insight into our in-depth, comprehensive alcohol addiction treatment program today!

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