Home \ Topics \ Anxiety \ Alcohol and Anxiety Don't Mix

Alcohol and Anxiety – Why They Don’t Mix

Next Article in Anxiety
Text Size

Alcohol is a no-no for most people with anxiety disorders, but people who experience anxiety, particularly disorders like PTSD, social anxiety disorder and panic disorders, are 2 to 3 times more likely than people in the general population to develop a substance abuse problem.

People with anxiety are clearly drawn to the use of alcohol and drugs, but how does a substance (alcohol) that temporarily abates anxious feelings actually exacerbate these conditions?

Reasons Why Heavy Alcohol Use and Anxiety Don’t Mix

  • Many people find that while alcohol can temporarily reduce symptoms of anxiety, the day after alcohol use, anxiety symptoms rebound with severity. There can be a real temptation to counter these exacerbated anxiety symptoms with alcohol once again, and this can start off a very negative spiral into alcohol abuse or alcoholism.
  • Binge drinking can cause physiological changes in the body that can trigger a panic attack
  • People abusing alcohol (or other drugs) may be less compliant on anxiety treatments, such as medications; and even if taking these medications as directed, alcohol may lessen their efficacy.
  • Alcohol withdrawal symptoms (which can include anxiety) can induce (or awaken) an anxiety disorder in some people. People who suffer from an anxiety disorder may endure more severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms
  • People abusing alcohol may cause themselves family, workplace or legal problems that serve to increase anxiety provoking thoughts

Don’t cope with anxiety through the use of alcohol or drugs. Although a tempting self-medication solution, these substances always make things worse.

 If you find that you do have a problem with both anxiety and alcohol or drug abuse/addiction, remember that treatment for the two conditions needs to be integrated to be effective.

Email It Send this page Print It Print friendly page Subscribe Subscribe to this topic category

Page last updated 08/12/2015

Creative Commons License
Copyright Notice
We welcome republishing of our content on condition that you credit Choose Help and the respective authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Uk Map
Call Now for
Rehab Options
24 hours ★ confidential ★ free
Request a Call
Enter your phone rumber and you’ll receive a call within 5 minutes.
Helpful Reading
Alcohol Addiction – the Straight Facts
Addicted to Alcohol? Learn About Alcoholism & Treatment © Josep Salvia I Bote
The difference between alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction (alcoholism), what puts you at risk of becoming an alcoholic and what to do once you’ve crossed that invisible line to addiction. Read Article
Addictions November 19, 2017
An Alcoholism Progression Timeline
A Timeline Charting the Progressive Nature of Alcoholism © Flannol
Here are 2 facts about alcoholism: It tends to get worse over time (it is progressive) and most people experience a fairly similar progression of symptoms and consequences. Here is a timeline which charts the progressive experiences of alcoholism through the early, middle and late stages. If you have a drinking problem, find out where you fall on the timeline and consider what’s coming in the future. Read Article
Alcoholism July 11, 2013
Alcohol Abuse and Stomach Pain? It's Probably Gastritis Heavy drinking can cause acute or chronic stomach pain. Read Article
Alcoholism April 04, 2008
Like Our Site? Follow Us!