How are Alcohol and Anxiety Related?

Last Updated: Feb 24th 2020

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky

Alcoholism and anxiety are frequently co occurring disorders. Unfortunately, many people misunderstand this relationship and use alcohol to reduce or avoid anxiety. Overall, excessive drinking actually makes anxiety worse. Frequently, this leads to increased consumption to cope with these higher levels of anxiety. To understand both mental illnesses, let’s explore the relationship between alcohol and anxiety.

Alcohol and Anxiety

To answer whether alcohol helps anxiety isn’t as straightforward as it seems. Because alcohol is a depressant, it can reduce anxiety. However, the heavy use of alcohol builds tolerance. This means that if you self-medicate with alcohol, you’ll have to take more and more to get the same effect.

As with any drug, you’ll have to deal with the after-effects. People who drink alcohol are familiar with hangovers, which often include headaches and upset stomach. However, if you drink frequently, you’re more prone to higher levels of anxiety. This might tempt you to start drinking again. Unfortunately, this is how people develop serious drinking problems. The signs that you or a loved one use alcohol to cope with anxiety include:

  • Using alcohol to reduce social discomfort.
  • Feeling compelled to drink at any social event.
  • Drinking to increase confidence.
  • Drinking to reduce negative thoughts or suppress painful memories.

How Rehab Helps You Overcome Addiction

Serious problems like alcohol addiction and anxiety are never simple to overcome. The first step to recovery is realizing you have a problem. The next is asking for help. 1st Step Behavioral Health, a drug and alcohol rehab facility in Pompano Beach, Florida, helps people overcome alcohol addiction and other associated problems like anxiety. Some of the methods used at our facility include:

1st Step Behavioral: A Comprehensive Treatment Facility

The experienced staff at 1st Step Behavioral use diverse methods to help you overcome alcohol and anxiety. Recovering from addiction is a challenging process that’s particular to each individual. That’s why the treatment process at 1st Step Behavioral always addresses the specific needs and circumstances of each client.

At 1st Step Behavioral, you’ll learn that addiction doesn’t control your life. By participating in our rehab program, you’ll acquire practical tools to help reach lasting recovery. It’s never too late to get help. Call now at (866) 319-6126.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.