How have the holidays been going for you? Interesting I guess and probably stress-free as I hoped the holiday would have been an avenue and opportunity for proper relaxation?

This week, we would look and the correlation between STRESS AND ALCOHOL ABUSE.

Alcohol is a depressant that slows down the brain and the central nervous system’s processes.

However, brain research indicates that people exposed to stress are more likely to abuse alcohol or have a relapse of alcohol addiction. (Nora D.Volkow, 2007).

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America states that the signs of alcohol addiction include any of the following:

  • Drink alcohol four or more times a week
  • Have five or more drinks containing alcohol in a day
  • Not being able to stop drinking once you have started
  • Need a drink in the morning to get yourself going
  • Feel guilty or remorseful after drinking

A lot of people actually think alcohol is a good option to alleviate stress. Well, it gives immediate relief to stress but its long-term risks however outweigh the immediate relief it gives. Though alcohol relieves stress, a person has to drink more and more of it to reap its stress reducing effect until it eventually ruins your body, mind and your whole life.( Ironically, long term abuse of drugs makes users more sensitive to stress than non-users.(Nora.D Volkow,2007)

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism, alcohol use exacts a psychological and physiological toll on the body and may compound the effects of stress. Alcohol can provide temporary relief but it is ultimately self-defeating because it leads to addiction and masks the problem of stress but does not alleviate it. Alcohol abuse ultimately results in increased stress because invariably, it makes people get into a vicious circle of abusing alcohol more and more to escape the stress that is being caused by alcohol abuse.

Alcohol abuse could be a very complicated thing so why get into it to alleviate stress because on sudden withdrawal it could lead to adverse symptoms which include agitation, delirium, hallucination, tremors and seizures. Severity of withdrawal symptoms varies from one individual to another.

Well, in the previous stress series a lot has been said about the right things you can do to alleviate stress which include exercising, meditation, less worrying and trying various relaxation techniques. Moreover for the sake of the stress series which would be rounded off this week there are two other things you can do to help manage it well. Firstly, spending time with your hobby because doing what you derive pleasure in and what you do with ease helps reduce stress. Secondly, discussing your problems with someone close and not keeping it to yourself help to alleviate emotional-induced stress in its own way.

As we start the new year, start proposing good coping techniques to help alleviate stress as 2016 comes with its own stressful times.

So, I would end by saying Happy New Year in areas and watch out for better issues we would be discussing in this new year.


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