Actors trying to depict a drunken individual will often stagger and stumble around and slur their speech in order to communicate intoxication. It is universally recognized as drunken behavior, but only recently have the “sloppy drunk” behaviors been explained as immune system-induced responses to alcohol intake.
Women react differently than men to alcohol, and this means that they may respond better to gender-specific treatments for alcoholism, according to new research form the Rutger’s Women’s Treatment Project.
22 Aug 2011
Many people have long believed that a simple cocktail can help them relax, but the link between alcohol and stress is really a double-edged sword. Acute stress is believed to hasten alcoholic drinking. However, the ways in which severe stress can actually increase the consumption of alcohol are not yet clear.
A recent report on Doctor NDTV suggests that alcohol can dampen the negative emotional or physical effects of stress. The research involved 25 healthy males who were asked to perform a public speaking assignment that was known to increase stress and to complete a non-stressful assignment to compare it against.
After completion, the first male study group received alcohol administered intravenously, equivalent to two normal drinks and a placebo, while the other group received them in the opposite order, with the placebo first. Both groups were monitored to test their anxiety levels.
The results showed a multifaceted interaction between stress and alcohol, meaning it lowered the hormonal reaction to stress but prolonged the negative experience of the situation that was skewed while the stress lowered the enjoyable aspects of the alcohol. The conclusion: Using alcohol to manage your stress may in fact make matters worse.
The study further showed that stress may change the way we feel when drinking alcohol and cause us to drink more. Drinking more to relieve stress or tension may ultimately make you feel worse and prolong your stress.
Our stress response can actually benefit us because it helps us react to unpleasant events. If we alter the way our body handles stress, we may in turn be increasing the chances of later developing a stress-induced disease that possibly leads to alcohol addiction. Using alcohol to cope with stress may, in fact, only add to your problems and extend your recovery period from the initial stressor.
A new government study shows that more people are getting treatment for prescription drug abuse than they were ten years ago, and alcohol treatment is increasing after declining for several years.
Depressed people who are in treatment for alcoholism may benefit from being treated for both disorders at once, according to a new study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
Alcoholism and depression often appear together. In one study of over 43,000 adults, about 21% of those who were dependent on alcohol were also clinically depressed. Among the alcoholics in treatment, the percentage with both conditions was over 40%. Traditionally, patients go through alcohol detoxification, psychotherapy and residential treatment for alcohol dependencies first, and after that, their doctors and therapists address the problems of depression. The reason for this is that alcoholism can cause depression, and it is easier to diagnose depression once alcoholism is no longer in the picture. Also, medications for depression react with alcohol.
A person’s struggle with addiction is never easy. Worse, admitting that one has a problem and needs help is only the tip of the iceberg. Many trials and tribulations await those who are serious about trying to kick their bad habit for good. But upon entering treatment, addicts should be supported and treated with respect and concern. They should also receive the most up-to-date, current care available to aid in their recovery. Unfortunately, the testimonies of many who leave recovery facilities are not consistent with this type of care.