Is alcohol a stimulant or depressant? If you want to be more knowledgeable and informed about whether alcohol is a stimulant or depressant, the undisputed facts covered in this write- up will with no doubt suit your needs. According to fact- findings, alcohol can serve both sides i.e. it can be considered a depressant as well as a stimulant. However, our team at Addicts Helpline understand the amount of alcohol consumed is what determines how to categorize this product.

Once alcohol consumed in moderation, its initial effects will act like a stimulant. But based on experimentation, some medical researchers will always claim that alcohol is often in the depressant category of drug types. This is because once consumed excessively, alcohol will act like tranquilizers and sedatives, since it will slow down the activity in the user’s central nervous systems. Here are the various theories explaining alcohol as a stimulant and as a depressant:

Alcohol as a Stimulant

Alcohol is considered the legal drug substance being currently being sold in the market that is consumed by very many people. Be informed that alcohol is a drug by its self. Like other types of drugs, alcohol is associated with several side effects which can easily cause harmful side effects both to your physical as well as mental health. Some of the damages caused by alcohol can end up being irreparable and even lead to death.

We here at Addicts Helpline know Alcohol is a very interesting drug since it can cause a biphasic outcome to you depending on the quantity you consume. A small amount of alcohol in your bloodstream will cause dopamine to be released in your brain; a factor that can make you have the desired effect of having a bustle. For instance, courtesy of consumption of small quantity of alcohol, you can become more confident, happy, outgoing, relaxed and extroverted. When alcohol gives you such effects, it is considered as a stimulant.

Effects of Alcohol as a Stimulant

Since alcohol is a legit drink, accepted in society and readily available, people forget that it can turn out to be a poisonous drink which can be addictive and hard to quit. Most people will always prefer alcohol consumption over other types of drugs since it is cheaper, legit and because they believe there isn’t stigma connected to drinking it. However, the truth of the matter is alcohol is a substance that is addictive and linked with terrible detrimental health concerns. If you’re not careful, alcohol can cause more damage than other types of drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

Abusing alcohol for a long time can make a person turn out to be dependent on this substance. This can eventually lead to addiction and in the long run make the person turn out to be an alcoholic. Once you reach the stage of being considered an alcoholic, you are likely to be a victim of numerous alcohol related disorders such as stroke, cancer, heart disease and liver failure, among others. Note that some of these health issues associated with alcohol can lead to death. According to studies, alcohol abuse is the leading cause of car accidents, crimes and domestic violence. Once you become an alcoholic, the most suitable option you can use to get help is seeking for the services of a professional counselor.

Alcohol as a Depressant

As we’ve seen, some factors associated with alcohol consumptions such as its ability of increasing heart rate and making a person develop aggressive behavior makes this substance to be categorized as a stimulant. However, the cognitive impairment brought about by alcohol intake is a feature of a depressant.

Addicts Helpline understands Alcohol consumption can impact your brain in several ways. For instance, it can bind to receptors for GABA i.e. gamma- aminobutyric acid, which is a neurotransmitter or brain chemical that is responsible for producing the feeling of sedation, relaxation, and calm as well as suppression of heart rate and breathing. Alcohol once in your body can also inhibit glutamine i.e. a neurotransmitter which excites your central nervous system. As previous discussed, alcohol consumption can lead to the release of dopamine i.e. a chemical responsible for making a person attain feelings of reward. Courtesy of alcohol, as dopamine increases in your body, good feeling will keep on emerging. This may make you to continue drinking alcohol, to increase the release of dopamine. As you keep on consuming alcohol, more depressant effects eventually will develop.

According to studies, alcohol does not in any way excite your nervous system if you’re a consumer, but instead, it’s the excess release of dopamine which will invoke pleasurable, rewarding effects which make sometimes may make you feel energetic. However, that this effect is somewhat misleading since the more you continue consuming alcohol, the more your central nervous system will continue to be depressed even though more of dopamine will be released.

Mixing Alcohol with Other Drugs

Alcohol, like sedatives, muscle relaxers, and benzodiazepines are all central nervous system depressants. This is because all these substances can repress activity in your brain and body. Once you combine alcohol with another sedating drug, the risk of life threatening central nervous system depression will consequently increase. For instance, alcohol in conjunction with any kind of sedating drug will slow down your central nervous system activity; a factor that can increase the likelihood of you suffering from a coma or other alcohol related disorders that can be fatal.

However, Addicts Helpline knows alcohol combined with stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamines, and caffeine can increase activity in your central nervous system. Alcohol consumers in some cases normally use stimulants when consuming alcohol to decrease depressant effect of alcohol and counteract adverse effect of alcohol as a stimulant by using it to get rid of things such as nervousness and anxiety.

Be informed that alcohol combined with stimulants is also very dangerous. Other dangers that alcohol consumption can pose include; major anxiety and depression, suicidal thoughts, aggressions, irritability, hallucinations, delusions, and even psychosis.

Bottom Line

As you’ve seen, is Alcohol a stimulant or depressant? In fact, it indefinitely be both in one. If you are an alcohol addict, do not hesitate to seek for the services of a qualified physician so that you can be advised accordingly.