Drinking to “calm the nerves” is such a common, cross-cultural piece of advice that it’s essentially impossible to identify where it came from in the first place. For many people, alcohol is more or less unnecessary to deal with everyday stress and anxiety. Perhaps they may want a dose of “liquid courage” before asking someone across the room to dance. But for people who struggle with anxiety disorders, regular alcohol consumption can be a too-easy form of self-medication. Attempting to treat an anxiety disorder with alcohol is an extremely maladaptive coping mechanism. In unfortunate cases, it can even lead to full blown alcohol use disorder (“alcoholism”). This may require either inpatient alcohol rehab or outpatient alcohol rehab to treat effectively.
There is some bio-chemical truth to “curing” anxiety with alcohol. Alcohol consumption releases dopamine and reduces inhibitions as its effects tap-dance their way through the blood-brain barrier. In short, alcohol makes you feel good. But only for a little while. If alcohol’s only effects on the body and brain were those that show up within an hour of one’s first drink, it might be a fairly decent treatment for anxiety.
What does alcohol have to do with it?
But alcohol doesn’t actually treat the root causes of anxiety. It just plays around with the brain to suppress and *mask* the symptoms of an anxiety disorder. Specifically, alcohol affects neurotransmitters in the brain. Initially, it may create feelings of relaxation, but as the effects wear off, it can lead to increased anxiety and restlessness. The root causes of anxiety still abide. As the body metabolizes alcohol and excretes its byproducts as urine, it can lead to a phenomenon known as “rebound anxiety.” This is when anxiety levels spike after being flattened. And often higher than they were before drinking began.
More sinisterly, alcohol essentially borrows tomorrow’s dopamine to be burned off today. This “dopamine debt” creates a punishing cycle where alcohol consumption leads to a lower-than-normal baseline level of dopamine in the day(s) afterwards. Lower dopamine levels intensify the symptoms of an anxiety disorder, leaving the victim more vulnerable to the worst effects of an anxiety disorder. Accordingly, alcohol can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to low-quality sleep. Sleep disturbances (or lack of sleep entirely from alcohol-related insomnia) are strongly linked to spiked feelings of anxiety. Finally, chronic alcohol use can lead to changes in brain chemistry and can contribute to the development or exacerbation of anxiety disorders.
Inpatient alcohol rehab as a solution
Developing alcohol use disorder is always a concern for those who consume alcohol regularly. For anyone attempting to self-medicate an anxiety disorder, psychological dependence on alcohol is just as big a concern as chemical dependency. A thorough evaluation by a trained medical professional is always required in this situation. But inpatient alcohol rehab, outpatient alcohol rehab and mental health treatment can be excellent solutions.
Our inpatient alcohol rehab facility at ARIA has the expert staff required and experienced in treating dual diagnosis cases. Which means we can effectively address both alcohol addiction and anxiety disorders. This integrated approach ensures that both conditions are treated comprehensively. Moreover, it ensures that their interplay is fully understood and cared for effectively.
Inpatient alcohol rehab also provides a highly structured and controlled environment. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with anxiety disorders. A predictable routine can reduce anxiety triggers and provide a sense of safety and stability. It can be difficult to effectively treat and heal anyone who remains in an environment that constantly feeds their anxiety disorder for the worse. For individuals with severe anxiety disorders, medication may be necessary. Inpatient rehab for alcohol and anxiety allows for close monitoring of any medication’s effectiveness and potentially required adjustments in dosage. This helps our staff ensure optimal treatment outcomes.
Outpatient alcohol rehab
For those who need treatment, but neither need nor want inpatient alcohol rehab, outpatient alcohol rehab is also an option. Outpatient alcohol rehab can offer several valuable benefits, especially for individuals with co-occurring anxiety disorders. Successfully finding inpatient alcohol rehab near me provides a structured and safe environment that outpatient alcohol rehab near me can’t match. But outpatient alcohol rehab provides flexibility and accessibility, making it a suitable option for many.
For some, remaining in a familiar home environment can be comforting and less anxiety-inducing for individuals with anxiety disorders. It allows them to practice the skills and strategies they learn in therapy in real-life situations. Furthermore, outpatient alcohol rehab enables individuals to maintain their existing support networks, including family, friends, and community resources. These networks can provide invaluable emotional support during the recovery process. For anyone looking for “outpatient alcohol rehab near me”, ARIA’s facility in Port Lucie, FL offers a convenient and effective solution to the problems of anxiety and alcohol.
Get help now!
The choice between outpatient and inpatient rehab should be based on an individual’s unique circumstances, level of addiction severity, and the severity of their anxiety disorder. At the Addiction Recovery Institute of America, our addiction specialists provide expert care for individuals who are struggling with substance use disorders. Our goal is simple: to provide each of our clients with the tools they need to achieve long-term recovery.
When you enroll in any one of the programs at ARIA, you are committing to sobriety, and a better future in recovery. We are dedicated to holding up our end of the bargain. We design individualized substance abuse treatment programs that serve each of our client’s individual needs. To get in contact, Call us at (844) 973 2611 or head over to our Contact Us page, fill out our information form and our representatives will get back to you as soon as possible.