Can Alcohol Help Anxiety

Although alcohol can temporarily numb anxious feelings, it doesn’t help with the root cause of the problem. In fact, drinking can make anxiety worse.

Alcohol is a depressant that affects the central nervous system. It can cause slurred speech, unsteady movement and altered perceptions. When combined with benzodiazepines, alcohol can cause extreme drowsiness or even death.


In some cases, medication may be necessary to help treat can alcohol help anxiety? disorder. Often, this is in the form of anti-anxiety medications. These drugs act as sedatives and depressants and can alleviate anxiety symptoms for a short period of time. However, they can also make you dependent on them if used to excess. This is why it’s important to consult a doctor before trying them out.

One type of medication used to treat anxiety is called a benzodiazepine, which helps people experience acute relief from the symptoms of an anxiety attack. These include Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin. However, consuming these drugs with alcohol can be dangerous and even cause addiction.

Another type of medication used to treat anxiety is called beta blockers, which can help reduce the physical sensations of stress, like a racing heartbeat and high blood pressure. These medications are usually prescribed with a MAOI, such as phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate) and isocarboxazid (Marplan). However, drinking while on these can cause them to become ineffective.

Psychological therapies

If you have an anxiety disorder, it’s important to learn healthier ways of coping. One of these ways is to try out cognitive behavioral therapy, which is proven effective at reducing alcohol use. Moreover, a therapist can help you identify the root causes of your anxiety and work with you to develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Medications can also help treat anxiety. For instance, tricyclic antidepressants like imipramine and clomipramine have shown promise in helping with some anxiety disorders. Additionally, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) have been effective for many people with anxiety. Benzodiazepines can also provide rapid relief for anxiety symptoms, but they’re only used to manage acute symptoms and must be taken with a doctor’s supervision due to their addictive nature. Examples include alprazolam (Xanax) and lorazepam (Ativan).

Self-medicating with alcohol can worsen anxiety symptoms, leading to more frequent episodes of drinking. This cyclical pattern can become dangerous, especially in someone who has a co-occurring anxiety disorder and alcohol addiction.

Support groups

In some cases, a healthcare professional will recommend therapy for both anxiety and alcohol use disorder. In particular, one type of therapy called cognitive behavioral therapy can help you address both disorders simultaneously. This type of therapy helps you evaluate the root causes of your anxiety and develop healthy coping skills. It’s also possible to find online alcohol and anxiety groups that offer support for both conditions.

These groups are a great way to connect with others who suffer from anxiety. They are also free to join and often less expensive than individual counseling. You can find these groups online and in person, and some are available for both English and Spanish-speaking people.

Some groups are led by trained professionals while others are primarily peer-to-peer. Some online groups even have discussion forums where you can share your experiences and ask questions with other members. It’s important to find a group that meets your needs and fits your schedule.


For those who are struggling with anxiety and alcohol use disorder, treatment options can be beneficial. A type of therapy called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps individuals change the way they think about their fears and struggles, which can improve how they cope.

CBT can also be used in conjunction with other treatments such as medication. However, drinking while taking certain medications can cause dangerous side effects, so it’s important to discuss your treatment plan with a healthcare provider.

People with anxiety often self-medicate by using alcohol to ease symptoms, but this can actually make them worse. In addition, over time, drinking can lead to alcohol dependence and a reliance on substances to manage stressors. This can result in a cycle of addiction and escalation of anxiety symptoms, so it’s important to seek help from an addiction recovery center when necessary.

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