Is alcohol a stimulant? Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances in the United States, with as many as 66 million Americans binge drinking at least once in the past year. Alcohol is legal and adults 21 and older can purchase it despite the fact that alcohol is highly addictive. Each year, alcohol plays a role in more than 80,000 deaths. Drunk driving also leads to tens of thousands of injuries and deaths each year.
Ethanol, the main active ingredient in alcohol which causes intoxication, is fatal in large doses. A healthy liver is able to filter and metabolize one serving of alcohol per hour, increasing the risks associated with binge drinking. Alcohol poisoning occurs when you consume too much ethanol and requires emergency medical attention.
Alcohol causes your brain to release excessive amounts of GABA, serotonin, and dopamine leading to both stimulating and depressant effects. But is alcohol a stimulant or depressant? And when would you need a meth addiction rehab center in San Antonio TX?
Is Alcohol a Stimulant or Depressant?
When you consume alcohol, it causes your brain to release GABA, serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters in excessive amounts. This triggers a rush as pleasurable neurotransmitters flood your system.
Alcohol intoxication can:
- Lower inhibitions
- Increase energy and happiness
- Impair motor skills
- Cause anger or irritability
- Impair judgment
But is alcohol a stimulant or depressant? Although alcohol can cause stimulating effects, it is a central nervous system depressant. Alcohol lowers your heart rate and can depress your breathing. While small amounts of alcohol typically lead to feelings of happiness, larger amounts can cause anger and irritability.
Alcohol can cause mood and personality changes and increase your chances of engaging in risky behavior. Alcohol severely impairs your coordination and motor skills, which can lead to injuries, especially if you drive drunk. Since alcohol can impair your judgment, you are more likely to engage in risky, illegal or dangerous behavior while drink.
In high amounts, alcohol is lethal. Excessive blood alcohol levels can cause you to stop breathing, making medical treatment absolutely necessary.
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism occurs when you compulsively drink alcohol even though you deal with negative consequences or want to stop drinking. Alcohol can cause physical and psychological dependence, making it difficult to stop without help. Alcohol abuse results in your brain relying on alcohol in order to release neurotransmitters. When you don’t drink, you experience powerful and intense cravings.
Alcohol can also cause serious withdrawal symptoms. Delirium tremors are a rare but fatal withdrawal symptom that can lead to death. Alcohol withdrawal can also cause disorientation, confusion, seizures, and dehydration.
Treatment for alcoholism and drinking disorders includes:
- Medically supervised detox
- Inpatient treatment
- Intensive outpatient programs
- 12 step recovery meetings
- Individual therapy
- Family counseling
Finding Help for Alcoholism Today
In understanding an answer to is alcohol a stimulant or depressant, it is important to remember that alcohol causes both effects. San Antonio Recovery Center, the leading alcohol, prescription drug, and meth addiction rehab center San Antonio TX offers, is here to help you find recovery. To explore your treatment options and learn more about our programs, call us today at 866.957.7885.