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emotional effects of alcohol

What are the emotional effects of alcohol?

What is Emotional Drinking? Emotional Effects of Alcohol-Alcohol Numbness, Emotional Flatness, Alcoholism & Emotional Abuse, Long-Term Mental Effects of Alcohol. Residential Alcohol Rehab Near Me.

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Emotional Drinking

Alcohol abuse can cause mental, physical, and emotional problems for alcohol abusers, and those who love them. The emotional effects of alcohol can be so severe that they lead to broken homes, lost jobs, and the inability to function. Sadly, far too many individuals know the pain of dealing with alcohol addiction. Too many people have been overcome by an alcohol problem. And too many families have been impacted by a loved one’s bondage to alcohol addiction. Let’s take a look at some of the most common emotional effects of alcohol abuse, and the impact they can have on abusers and their families.

The emotional effects of alcohol can be powerful among those who have an existing physical or mental health condition. Over the long term, however, alcohol can make these conditions even worse. Alcohol affects the brain’s cerebral cortex, which is where consciousness and thought processing take place. Drinking alcohol, especially in large quantities, interferes with rational thought. Alcohol consumption also depresses the behavioral inhibitory centers, causing a person to display poorer judgment and have less inhibition. This lack of inhibition usually leads people to drink more than they otherwise would.

emotional effects of alcohol
One of the emotional effects of alcohol is the inability to deal with feelings. Alcohol can mask feelings.

While you may feel good for a while after drinking alcohol, the effects are always temporary. A person who drinks alcohol may feel positive emotions while under the influence, but the emotional factors that led to alcohol abuse still remain after the intoxication fades. Experts on the subject have identified alcohol as a depressant drug that can create the effect of depression and anxiety as a result of drinking too much or drinking too fast. For those who already have clinical depression or anxiety, alcohol can worsen the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

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Emotional Effects of Alcohol 

Alcohol use can impact people financially. Using money to purchase alcohol can cause a financial strain. And, again, some people become so consumed by the alcohol addiction that they lose their jobs. But how does alcohol use affect people emotionally? Here are some of the ways in which this happens:

  • Alcohol use can lead to depression.
  • It often causes feelings of hostility, rage, or anger.
  • It can make people feel isolated from family and friends.
  • Many people develop low self-esteem because of alcohol use.
  • Some people may experience guilt and shame because of alcoholism.

Moods and emotions affected by alcohol can usually be grouped into three general categories, including:

  • Painful feelings: When a person uses alcohol to deal with painful emotions, they often try to overcome emotions of hurt,fear, sadness, grief, jealousy, embarrassment, shame, guilt or loneliness.
  • Happy feelings: Individuals who consume alcohol to manipulate emotions of happiness are usually attempting to heighten feelings of thrill, delight, general excitement, confidence, self-esteem, and connection/belonging in social situations. Research suggests that these motives are a common reason for drinking, especially among younger people.
  • Feelings of relaxation: Alcohol can seem to bring about a state of emotional calm. People report feeling sensations that include emotional numbness, comfort, and lack of concern about problems. These feelings happen because alcohol increases levels of a neurotransmitter called GABA, which inhibits nervous system activity and creates a calming effect.

Alcohol Numbness

Someone struggling with emotional pain may drink alcohol to achieve a state of numbness. Given the effects of alcohol intoxication, it’s possible to achieve temporary numbness by drinking. Excessive alcohol consumption can even lead to alcohol blackouts and lapses in memory.

While blacking out may help a person achieve a state of numbness, drinking to the point of a blackout is scary. During a blackout, a person has difficulty with rational decision-making and loses control of impulses. This increases the likelihood of risky activities, such as having unprotected sex and driving under the influence. The state of emotional numbness that comes with excessive alcohol consumption is outweighed by the risks that come along with it.

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emotional effects of alcohol
Everyone’s connection to alcohol is different, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to address that relationship and o stop emotional drinking.

Emotional Flatness

Because alcohol increases GABA levels, drinking can have a relaxing effect on the body. As a result, some individuals may use alcohol to calm their emotions, but these calming effects are also temporary. If a person increases their alcohol use over the long term and develops a tolerance, it will take greater amounts of alcohol to achieve the same calming effects. 

When a person with alcohol tolerance stops drinking or tries to cut back, they may experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms because their body is used to the presence of alcohol and its effects on GABA levels. Without the alcohol needed to increase GABA levels, the body undergoes withdrawal, leading to symptoms like anxiety. Ultimately, the emotional flatness that comes with alcohol abuse disappears, and it becomes even harder for a person to regulate their emotions.

Alcoholism and Emotional Abuse

Alcohol use disorder can cause serious disruption in families and personal relationships. During a period of alcohol intoxication, a person’s emotions are sometimes unreliable and raw, resulting in bouts of hysteria, anger, crying fits or even verbal or physical abuse. This leads others to avoid the person out of fear or due to their own inability to cope.

The person abusing alcohol is often seen as being easily provoked, untrustworthy, unreliable and unworthy of respect. Unfortunately, these are often some of the emotions that lead to alcohol use disorder in the first place. As a result, the cycle of abuse continues and feeds into itself.

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Long-Term Mental Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol use may provide temporary relief to someone struggling with emotional or mental health. Over the long term, however, alcohol abuse can make these problems worse. Consuming alcohol as a way to cope can lead to an alcohol use disorder — the clinical term for alcohol addiction.

Individuals with an alcohol use disorder show certain symptoms, such as continuing to drink even when it affects mental and physical health or causes problems in relationships with family and friends. In other words, the problems a person tries to fix with alcohol may actually worsen as alcohol addiction develops.

Other long-term effects of alcohol abuse include issues with learning and memory, social problems, and mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Overall, alcohol has a negative effect on emotional and mental health, even if it temporarily numbs emotions or creates feelings of euphoria.

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It is never too late to seek help for yourself a loved one. To determine the most effective ways to treat alcohol addiction and overcome the emotional effects of alcohol, it’s crucial to first get an accurate assessment of all the symptoms. When the symptoms have been evaluated by a mental health professional, it may be determined that another form of mental condition is present and needs a particular type of treatment.

Detox Treatment

The first step in treatment is medical detox. It will help you navigate the complicated withdrawal process, but it doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior that contribute to heroin abuse. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.

Cravings are very common during detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can provide necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the emotional effects of alcohol withdrawals.


Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of depression, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – is an effective treatment that involves making changes in both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression. 
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy – is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.” 
  • Person-Centered Therapy – is a strategy that allows and encourages clients to understand and resolve their concerns in a safe, supportive environment.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Substance abuse and mental health disorders often co-occur. In many cases, traumatic experiences can result in a mental health disorder and substance abuse. Dual diagnosis programs treat both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. In this strategy, both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder are treated simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend largely on the treatment for both disorders done by the same team or provider.

Medication-Assisted Treatments

Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use disorders and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.

If you or your loved one is suffering from alcohol or drug addictions, indeed, help is just a phone call away. Professional addiction treatment is necessary for fast and effective recovery. Contact us today at We Level Up treatment facility. We provide utmost care with doctors and medical staff available 24/7 for life-changing and lasting recovery. We offer an enhanced opportunity to return to a fulfilling and productive life

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[1] NCBI –

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