Alcohol is a chemical substance found in drinks such as beer, wine, and liquor. It can also be found in some common household items such as mouthwashes, medicines, cleaning products, and essential oils. Alcohol is typically made by a chemical process using fermentation that uses sugar and yeast resulting in a chemical called ethanol.

Alcohol triggers your brain to release the reward-system chemical dopamine that can lead your brain to link positive feelings with drinking and motivate you to crave more. It also affects serotonin, which plays a role in things like mood or sleep, and can eventually lead to an alcohol addiction when abused.

What Is a Depressant?

Depressants are drugs that slow down the activity of the central nervous system. By decreasing the electrical activity in the brain, depressants produce a calming effect in the body and slows down the brain’s normal functioning. Depressants can decrease your level of awareness, lower your pulse and heart rate, and reduce your breathing. For these reasons, depressants are referred to as ‘downers’.

A depressant is a type of drug that slows down brain activity, which causes the muscles to relax, and calms and soothes a person. They are often used to treat insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, and seizures.

Some examples of depressants include:

  • Alcohol
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Sleeping Pills
  • Opioids

What Is a Stimulant?

Stimulants are a class of drug that speeds up the connection between the brain and the body. They can make a person feel more awake, alert, confident, and energetic. Taking too large of a dose can cause overstimulation and induce anxiety, panic attacks, seizures, headaches, stomach cramps, aggression, and paranoia. Long-term use of strong stimulants can have severe adverse effects.

Some examples of stimulants include:

  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamines
  • Prescription Stimulants
  • Nicotine
  • Caffeine

Alcohol as a Depressant 

Even though many people use alcohol as a pick-me-up, or to make them feel better, it is a central nervous system depressant. Alcohol, like other depressants, impairs and slows both physical and psychological activity.

Because of the way that alcohol slows down brain activity, it reduces the person’s ability to make rational decisions. It also contributes to lessened inhibitions and distorted judgment. For this reason, many people report making decisions while intoxicated that would not have been made sober. 

Get Help with Alcohol Addiction Today

At Grand Falls Addiction Treatment Center, we offer a comprehensive program that combines detox services with psychological therapy and support so that our patients can rebuild their lives and live a life of sobriety. Contact us today to learn more about our programs and how we can help you or your loved one overcome addiction.

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