Is Alcohol a Stimulant or Depressant?
Alcohol is one of the most common drugs in our society, yet many people do not know that much about it. People often ask “is alcohol a stimulant, depressant, or something else?” This popularity has lead to alcohol being one of the most commonly abused substances. If you or a loved one are experiencing alcohol addiction, this information might help you when reaching out to an alcohol addiction rehab center in New Hampshire.
In short, the answer is no. Alcohol is technically classed as a “central nervous system depressant.” With that said, let’s dig a little deeper.
What This Means for You
The question “is alcohol a stimulant?” can be a little misleading outside of the scientific use of the terms. When people use alcohol they often use it for a “stimulating” effect such as lowering inhibitions or a “depressant” effect like self-medicating to cope with anxiety. This popular use of the terms has created some misconceptions about these substances.
Despite the popular use of these terms, they do have a scientific meaning that classifies them as either depressants or stimulants.
Difference Between Stimulants and Depressants
These two substances are classed differently because they have different effects on the body. Regardless of their effects on a person’s emotional state, they function the same on the body regardless of who you are. Stimulants are drugs that increase the activity of the central nervous system. Depressants, like alcohol, lower that same activity.
This might seem like a contradiction and can be the reason people ask: “is alcohol a stimulant?”
How Does Alcohol Work on the Body?
We’ve covered some of the science behind the question “is alcohol a stimulant?” and now let’s take a look at how this is working on a biological level. When someone consumes alcoholic drinks, the chemical alcohol in those drinks lowers the overall activity of the central nervous system. This can have the strange effect of making people appear more social or active than they really are.
This is because the brain has trouble communicating with itself when intoxicated with alcohol. The chemical signals the brain uses are slowed down making internal communication harder for the brain. This is the chemical backing for the “lowered inhibitions” seen in people who are intoxicated. Essentially, their brains are being slowed so much by alcohol they have trouble processing the consequences of actions.
This makes alcohol addiction a difficult medical condition to treat. While many people with alcoholism know that something is off, they might have trouble taking those first steps to recovery. This chemical effect on the body is also a reason people tend to use alcohol to self medicate for mental conditions like anxiety. Green Mountain Treatment Center offers a safe and supportive substance abuse treatment center in NH for those who need help.
Contact Green Mountain Treatment Center
Addiction and alcoholism can take away the control our loved ones used to have over their lives. Green Mountain Treatment Center offers comprehensive addiction treatment in New Hampshire including detox, aftercare programs, and cutting edge evidence-based treatment for dual diagnosis patients. Holistic therapy programs in NH help recovery last by teaching skills and teamwork. Contact us for any questions about our drug and alcohol rehab programs. Call today at 866.913.7957 to start your road to recovery.