Woman with the alcohol shakes after a night out

Alcohol Shakes: Am I an Alcoholic?

Alcohol shakes can be a sign that a person’s drinking has reached a perilous point. If you have been experiencing this symptom, but you don’t take the appropriate steps to end your alcohol use, you may be exposing yourself to life-threatening consequences.

What are Alcohol Shakes?

Alcohol shakes are one of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal that involve twitches and tremors. This shakiness is most common in the arms and hands, though it can also affect other parts of the body as well.

Discussions of alcohol withdrawal typically involve someone who is trying to stop drinking after developing alcohol use disorder (which is the clinical term for alcoholism). Alcohol shakes can definitely be a part of this process, but they aren’t limited to people who are making a concerted effort to end their alcohol use. 

The experience that is commonly referred to as a hangover is actually a form of alcohol withdrawal. For people who drink infrequently, common withdrawal symptoms after a night of heavy drinking include headache, nausea, and dehydration. But for someone who has been drinking heavily for an extended period, “the morning after” may also include the alcohol shakes. 

In extreme cases, the frequency and severity of alcohol shakes can cause people to start drinking as soon as they wake up, in an attempt to ease their tremors so they can function.

Are the Shakes from Alcohol Withdrawal Dangerous?

Alcohol shakes don’t necessarily pose a grave danger on their own – but they can be a sign that a person’s alcohol use has progressed to a dangerous point:

  • If someone has been experiencing alcohol shakes on a regular basis, there is a good chance that their chronic alcohol abuse has also caused other (possibly less obvious) harm. For example, while it is fairly well known that alcohol abuse can lead to liver disease, it is not as widely understood that a person may not exhibit symptoms of this damage until it has reached an irreversible stage.
  • If a person develops alcohol shakes while trying to quit drinking on their own, the distress caused by their tremors and other withdrawal symptoms can become overwhelming, and push them back into active alcohol abuse. 
  • If a person experiences excessive shakiness while going through withdrawal, this can be a symptom of delirium tremens (which is commonly referred to as the DTs). The DTs are a set of particularly dangerous withdrawal symptoms that, if not treated, can be fatal. This underscores the importance of professional detoxification for people who have severe alcoholism.

Does it Mean I’m an Alcoholic if I Get the Shakes?

Alcohol shakes are not specifically mentioned in the criteria for alcohol use disorder as established in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). However, the presence of alcohol withdrawal symptoms is one of the criteria in the DSM-5.

Alcohol shakes strongly suggest that a person has become addicted to alcohol. Anyone who develops this symptom may be in crisis, and they should consult with a healthcare provider. An addiction treatment expert or another qualified professional can assess the full scope of their symptoms, provide an accurate diagnosis, and recommend appropriate treatment options.

How to Stop Alcohol Shakes?

The best ways to stop alcohol shakes are to either quit drinking or dramatically reduce the amount and frequency of your alcohol use. 

If you have become addicted to alcohol, quitting drinking can be quite difficult – but it is by no means impossible. When you get the right type of treatment, you can end your alcohol use and develop the skills that will help you achieve successful, long-term recovery.

For many people who have developed alcohol use disorder, the path to recovery begins with detoxification, or detox:

  • Detox is a short-term program where you can receive both medical and therapeutic support to protect your health and minimize your discomfort while you go through withdrawal. 
  • Detox for alcohol withdrawal typically lasts about five days, though the exact duration of the process can vary depending on a variety of individual factors.
  • Once you have completed detox, you can transition directly into the next phase of your treatment. This can minimize your risk of immediate relapse and help you establish a strong foothold in early recovery.

After you have completed detox – or if you don’t need this service – your best next step may be inpatient rehab or an outpatient program.

  • While you are in an inpatient rehab program, you will live at the treatment facility. This gives you access to round-the-clock supervision and support while providing temporary respite from the stresses and distractions of daily life. A typical day in inpatient rehab includes several therapies and support services, along with nutritious meals and time for relaxation and reflection.
  • At the outpatient level, you will only need to be at the facility while you are receiving treatment. When there are no sessions scheduled, you can return to your home or to a supportive residence. Depending on your needs and the structure of the program, you may even be able to work part-time, take classes, or volunteer in the community while you are in treatment. 

Some people complete detox, transfer into inpatient rehab, then step down to an outpatient program for additional support before they transition out of care. Others only spend time in one or two of these programs. There is no “right way” to get help for alcoholism and overcome the alcohol shakes. All that matters is finding the path that’s right for you.

Contact Our Medical Alcohol Detox to Safely Withdraw Today

If alcohol shakes or other withdrawal symptoms have been preventing you from safely quitting drinking, Sanctuary Treatment Center is here for you.

Our full continuum of care includes medical detox, which can help you to rid your body of alcohol safely and with minimal discomfort. Our alcohol addiction treatment center in Los Angeles, California, also offers inpatient rehab and outpatient treatment options, so that you can learn how to live a healthier life, free from the constraints of compulsive alcohol abuse.

To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, visit our Contact Us page or call us today. 

Woman with alcohol withdrawal syndrome

Understanding Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS)

Alcohol is one of the most frequently abused substances in the United States, and alcohol use disorder (alcoholism) is one of the most common addictions. Once someone has developed this disorder, the distress of alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) can make it extremely difficult for them to quit drinking. This can be particularly true of people who try to end their alcohol abuse on their own, without proper professional care.

What is Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome?

When a person develops alcoholism, their system adapts to the continuous presence of alcohol. When this person abruptly stops drinking, or when they are prevented from acquiring and using alcohol, their body can respond with a variety of painful physical and psychological symptoms. Clinical professionals refer to this experience as alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

Symptoms of AWS

The type, intensity, and duration of alcohol withdrawal symptoms can vary considerably from one person to the next. Factors that can influence a person’s experience with alcohol withdrawal syndrome include their age and gender, how much and how long they have been drinking, and if they have any co-occurring medical or mental health concerns.

With these caveats in mind, someone who goes through alcohol withdrawal syndrome may develop physical symptoms such as the following:

The psychological impact of alcohol withdrawal can include the following types of symptoms:

  • Powerful cravings for alcohol
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium

Is Alcohol Withdrawal Actually Deadly?

For people who have become addicted to most drugs, withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable, but it rarely poses a long-term health threat. Unfortunately, alcohol withdrawal can be both painful and dangerous. The risk is especially high for people who have a long history of heavy alcohol abuse.

As an indicator of the risk faced by heavy drinkers, a 2010 study in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism reported a 6.6% fatality rate among 436 alcohol withdrawal patients who received care at one Spanish hospital over a 16-year period. 

More than 70% of the patients whose data were included in the Spanish study developed delirium tremens. Typically referred to as the DTs, delirium tremens is a severe subset of alcohol withdrawal syndrome that involves the following symptoms:

  • Visual hallucinations
  • Extreme disorientation
  • Dangerously high heart rate
  • Hypertension
  • Seizure

Experts estimate that more than one of every three people who develop the DTs would die if they didn’t get appropriate medical care. Thanks to the ability of treatment professionals to address these symptoms, the actual fatality rate among people who have the DTs is estimated to be between 1%-5%

What are the Available Treatments for Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome?

The best option for dealing with alcohol withdrawal syndrome is to enter a medically supervised detoxification program. Here are a few of the many potential benefits of starting your treatment experience with detox:

  • If you try to quit drinking on your own, the distress of withdrawal can quickly push you back into active alcohol abuse. When you’re in detox, you won’t have access to alcohol or other addictive substances, which eliminates your risk of immediate relapse. 
  • Reputable detox programs are staffed by experienced professionals who are familiar with all aspects of the withdrawal process. Knowing that you are being cared for by dedicated individuals who can address any contingencies that may occur can be a source of great peace of mind.
  • Your detox treatment team will be able to offer both medical and therapeutic support to safeguard your health and minimize your discomfort. A member of your team will be available 24/7, so you will always be able to summon help if your symptoms become too intense.
  • Participating in therapy while you’re still in detox can prepare you to fully engage in the post-detox phases of your treatment, which can improve your ability to achieve successful, long-term recovery.
  • When you complete detox at a rehab center that also offers inpatient and outpatient programming, you can transfer directly into the next phase of your treatment. This promotes continuity of care and reduces your risk of early relapse.

What Comes After Detoxing From Post-Acute Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome?

As we’ve established in this post, detox can be an essential step for people who want to free themselves from the chains of compulsive alcohol abuse. But detox alone can’t prepare you to address the psychological, behavioral, and social aspects of recovery. This is why it is so important to enroll in an inpatient or outpatient program once you’ve completed detox.

  • While you’re in residential or inpatient rehab, you will live at the facility where you’re receiving care. This provides temporary respite from the pressures and distractions of everyday life, so you can focus your full attention on your treatment and your recovery. Residential rehab programs typically offer daily schedules that feature a variety of therapies and support services, along with structured recreation and leisure time.
  • In an outpatient rehab program, group therapy is usually the main method of care, though other services are typically also offered as well. Depending on which type of outpatient program you enroll in, you may take part in either full or partial days of treatment. When the program is not in session, you can return to your home or to an alternative supported residence. 

Determining which level or levels of post-detox care are right for you is a personal decision that you should make in consultation with the members of your treatment team. Some people transition from detox into residential rehab, then step down to an outpatient program. Others go from detox to outpatient care. 

Remember: There’s no such thing as one perfect path to recovery. What’s most important is finding the path that’s perfect for you.

Contact Our California Alcohol Detox Center Today

If alcohol withdrawal syndrome has kept you trapped in the downward spiral of compulsive drinking, please know that help is available. Sanctuary Treatment Center offers personalized residential and outpatient services for adults who have been struggling with alcoholism and certain co-occurring mental health concerns. 

Features of care at our alcohol rehab program in southern California include a safe and respectful environment, personalized treatment plans for all patients, multiple forms of therapy, and thorough aftercare support. With the guidance and support of our dedicated treatment professionals, you can start living the healthier life that you deserve.

To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Contact page or call us today.

Get answers to questions about getting a DUI

DUI Questions Answered

Anyone who drives after drinking alcohol or using other drugs risks a wide range of negative outcomes, including being arrested for DUI. In today’s post, we answer many common questions about DUIs in the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions About DUIs

What is a DUI?

DUI is short for “driving under the influence.” Many people use this abbreviation as a synonym for drunk driving, but it can also be applied to someone who is operating a motor vehicle while impaired by a variety of other substances, including cocaine, marijuana, opioids, and hallucinogens.

In 49 states plus the District of Columbia, a driver can be arrested for DUI if they are found to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. In Utah, a driver can be given a DUI if their BAC is 0.05% or higher. Legal limits for other drugs can vary from state to state.

(Most DUI-related laws in the U.S. are established at the state level. One quasi-exception to this is the 0.08% BAC limit, which is a federal standard in the United States. However, states are allowed to enact stricter BAC limits, as Utah has done.)

Also, it’s important to note that the 0.08% BAC limit only applies to adults ages 21 and over. For drivers in the 16-20 age range, some states have a zero tolerance policy, which means that any BAC above 0.00% qualifies as a DUI, while other states have a 0.01% or 0.02% BAC threshold.

What is the Difference Between a DUI and a DWI?

DWI is short for “driving while impaired” or “driving while intoxicated.” Some states use this term instead of DUI. Some other states use OVI (operating a vehicle while intoxicated). 

In most cases, there is little to no difference among DUI, DWI, or OVI – these are simply state-specific legal terms that describe driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

Is a DUI a Felony or a Misdemeanor?

As we noted in our response to an earlier question, most DUI-related laws are enacted by state legislatures. This means that limitations, terminology, and penalties can vary from one state to the next. This includes if a DUI is classified as a felony or a misdemeanor.

In California, where our addiction rehab facility is located, most DUIs are misdemeanors. However, certain factors can raise a DUI from a misdemeanor to a felony in California. Examples of these factors include:

  • If the DUI resulted in an injury to (the or death of) another person
  • If the driver has been convicted of three or more DUIs, DWIs, or OVIs from any states within the past 10 years
  • If the driver has previously been convicted of a felony DUI
  • If the DUI occurred while the driver was transporting a passenger under the age of 14

Can You Get a DUI on a Scooter or a Bicycle?

Yes, in most states (including California), you can get a DUI if you were riding a bicycle or scooter while impaired by alcohol or other drugs. 

Can You Get a DUI on a Horse?

Though this happens far less frequently than DUIs involving scooters or bicycles, you can get a DUI in several states – including California – while riding a horse, or while holding the reins of a horse that is pulling you in a buggy. 

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Driving Record?

In California, if you are convicted of a DUI, it will typically remain on your record for 10 years. (To be precise, the 10-year timeframe begins the day you were arrested, though it only applies if you are eventually convicted.) 

Most other states retain DUIs on drivers’ records for five or 10 years. One state that doesn’t follow this trend is Florida, which mandates that DUIs remain on drivers’ records for 75 years after the offense.

Can You Still Get a CDL With a DUI on Your Record?

Getting a DUI can impact your ability to qualify for or retain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). 

For example, if you get one DUI – regardless of whether you were driving a commercial or private vehicle – your CDL will automatically be suspended for at least one year. This is a federal law.

A second DUI can result in a much longer suspension, including the possible lifetime revocation of your CDL. 

It is possible to obtain a CDL with one DUI on your record, though two DUIs will disqualify you from applying. Of course, even if you are able to acquire a CDL, having a DUI on your record can make it much more difficult for you to be hired.

Does a DUI Show up on Your Passport?

Having a DUI should not impact your ability to acquire or keep a U.S. passport. Also, neither DUIs nor other convictions are indicated on passports. 

However, possessing a U.S. passport does not automatically grant you entry into foreign nations. Many countries ban visitors who have felony convictions, and some extend that prohibition to travelers who have DUIs or other misdemeanors.

How Much Does a DUI Typically Cost?

A DUI can be quite expensive – and not just in a financial sense. Your reputation, career progression, and relationships are examples of the many areas of your life that can be negatively impacted if you get a DUI.

But for the purposes of this answer, let’s focus solely on the financial costs of a DUI. First, as is the case with so many of our DUI answers, we need to reiterate that the costs of a DUI can vary from state to state. Regardless of your state, though, it’s safe to say that a DUI is likely to cost you several thousands of dollars. Here are examples of the many factors that can contribute to the high cost of a DUI:

  • Bail money after you are arrested
  • Court costs and fines if you are convicted
  • Attorney fees
  • DMV fees to have your license reinstated after suspension
  • Fees related to the towing and impounding of your vehicle
  • Fees for ignition interlocks, DUI/traffic/alcohol safety classes, and other requirements
  • Higher automobile insurance premiums

Many reputable sources estimate that the cost of one DUI can range from $10,000 to $20,000.

Can Your License Be Suspended After Your First DUI?

A DUI conviction is almost always accompanied by a suspension of your driver’s license. The duration of this suspension can depend on factors such as which state you live in and how many prior DUIs you have on your record. 

In California, which is home to Sanctuary Treatment Center, a first-time DUI typically triggers a license suspension of four months to one year. Subsequent DUIs will result in much longer license suspensions.

Will You Go to Jail on Your Third DUI?

In addition to losing your license for a longer period of time, a third DUI will also increase the likelihood that you will spend time in jail. This is not a foregone conclusion, as the judge may take several factors into consideration when determining your sentence. 

You should also realize that you don’t have to be convicted of three DUIs before you face jail time. Even a first-time DUI can be result in jail time in certain circumstances.

How Can You Avoid Jail Time After Getting a DUI?

As we noted in our answer to the previous question, your risk of being sentenced to jail for a DUI can be influenced by several factors. These factors include your blood alcohol content (some states mandate harsher penalties for particularly high BACs, usually 0.15% or above), how many prior DUI convictions are on your record, and if anyone was injured or killed as a result of your DUI.

The best way to avoid jail time after being arrested for a DUI is to be found not guilty of the charge. If you are convicted – especially if you are convicted multiple times – it may be virtually impossible to avoid spending time in jail.

Will My Employer Be Notified About My DUI?

Employer notification requirements vary from state to state and profession to profession. It’s unlikely that the court will directly contact your employer, but they may learn about your DUI via other means. 

For example, in California, the DMV will notify trucking companies if someone on their list of employees loses their license as a result of a DUI. Also, since DUI arrests, court cases, and convictions are all a matter of public record, your current or potential future employers may become aware of your DUI if they conduct a background check on you. 

Depending on your job, your contract, or your possession of certain professional licenses, you may be required to notify the licensing board and/or your employer yourself if you are arrested or convicted of a DUI. 

Can Going to Rehab Prevent You From Going to Jail After Getting a DUI?

In certain circumstances, a judge may view going to rehab as an acceptable alternative to jail for a DUI. However, this is not meant to imply that enrolling in a rehab program is some sort of “get out of jail free” card. Once you have been convicted of a DUI, your willingness to get professional help will be just one of many factors that the judge may weigh while determining your sentence.

What to Do if You Can’t Stop Drinking and Driving

Regardless of any sentencing implications, professional treatment may be your best choice if you can’t stop drinking and driving. 

Continuing to use alcohol or any other drug after incurring harm (such as getting a DUI) as a result of prior use is one of the symptoms of addiction. If you simply can’t stop drinking and driving on your own, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones, as well as to other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, to get help.

There is no single path to sobriety. When you’re seeking help for alcoholism or another type of addiction, what’s most important is finding a provider that will assess your need and then develop a customized plan just for you.

Contact Sanctuary Treatment Center About Our Alcohol Rehab Center in Los Angeles, CA

Sanctuary Treatment Center is a trusted provider of comprehensive, personalized care for adults in the Los Angeles area who have become addicted to alcohol and other drugs. Our rehab center offers a full continuum of care, including detox, inpatient treatment, and outpatient programming. 

To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Contact Us page or call us today.

Woman dealing with drug and alcohol craving

How to Stop Drug and Alcohol Cravings

The ability to manage drug cravings can be an essential recovery skill. If you’re not able to do this on your own, you may benefit from therapy, education, and/or certain prescription medications.

What Exactly Are Cravings?

Drug cravings are intense, powerful urges to use substances. When someone attempts to end their use of a drug that they have become addicted to, they may continue to experience cravings long after other withdrawal symptoms have subsided.

In some cases, drug cravings occur naturally, such as when a person first stops using a substance and their body struggles to adapt to its absence. 

In other cases, cravings may be triggered by external events or circumstances. For example, if a person who is in recovery from alcohol use disorder (alcoholism) visits a bar or restaurant where they used to drink frequently, the sights, sounds, and even smells in that environment may cause them to experience alcohol cravings again.

Learning to manage alcohol cravings or other drug cravings is an important step on the path toward successful, long-term recovery from addiction.

Why Do Some People Crave Drugs When Others Don’t?

Addiction impacts different people in different ways. The same is true of withdrawal and recovery. Though there are common aspects to all of these experiences, there can also be considerable variations from one person to the next. One of these variations can involve the frequency and intensity of cravings.

Virtually everyone who goes through withdrawal will have some level of cravings. Some people may only experience minor urges, while others may struggle with extensive, long-lasting compulsions.

The likelihood that a person will have drug cravings can be influenced by many factors, including:

  • Which drug they had become addicted to
  • The amount and frequency of their prior substance abuse
  • The effectiveness of their coping strategies
  • Their ability to avoid triggers
  • The type of treatment they receive
  • Neurobiology and genetics

What Are the Ways to Stop Drug and Alcohol Cravings?

There unfortunately isn’t a simple way to eliminate drug and alcohol cravings. But there are a variety of steps you can take to manage these urges, so they don’t derail your recovery. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Practice mindfulness: One of the core tenets of this practice is that you are not controlled by your emotions. Mindfulness can help you acknowledge feelings such as drug cravings, and then let these feelings go without acting upon them. Over time, this can help to release the hold that cravings have on your life.
  • Stay active: Incorporating an enjoyable form of exercise into your daily schedule can yield myriad benefits, including helping you manage drug cravings. When you are actively engaged in an activity that motivates and energizes you, you will be less likely to focus on alcohol cravings or urges to abuse other substances.
  • Know your triggers: Once you have identified the circumstances that can trigger drug cravings, you can change your behaviors to avoid these situations. If it’s impossible to avoid a trigger, you can at least prepare yourself ahead of time so that you can respond in a healthy manner, without resorting to substance abuse. 
  • Resist isolation: Sometimes the simple act of talking to someone else about what you’re going through can help you put your current challenges into proper context. Active addiction can be isolating, but connecting with others can be a valuable means of managing difficult emotions and protecting your recovery.

If Those Don’t Work, What Are My Treatment Options?

If you haven’t been able to overcome or manage your drug cravings on your own, don’t despair. When you find the right type of treatment, your life can get much better. Here are just a few of the many options that may help:

  • Medication: Certain prescription medications can ease alcohol cravings as well as cravings for certain other substances, such as opioids. Depending on what’s best for you, medication can be either a short- or long-term solution.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a goal-focused form of psychotherapy. If your goal is to become better able to manage drug cravings, CBT sessions can help you identify maladaptive thoughts and beliefs that may be linked to these cravings. Then you can work with your therapist to make the changes that will reduce the impact of future cravings.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): Distress tolerance is one of four skills that are often taught through DBT sessions. The other three skills are mindfulness (which we mentioned in the previous section), emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. DBT sessions can be a valuable element of care for someone who has been experiencing strong drug cravings.
  • Holistic services such as music therapy, art therapy, and food and nutrition education can help you make essential lifestyle changes and develop better stress management capabilities, both of which can be beneficial in terms of easing the impact of drug cravings.

At Sanctuary Treatment Center, we’ll work with you to identify the full scope of your needs, then select the therapies and services that can help you achieve personal goals such as learning how to effectively manage drug cravings. 

Contact Our Drug And Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center in Los Angeles, CA

Sanctuary Treatment Center offers a full continuum of customized care for adults who have become addicted to alcohol and other drugs. Programming options at our addiction treatment center in Los Angeles include detoxification, inpatient care, outpatient rehab, and aftercare support. At every level of care, you can expect to receive personalized service and comprehensive support from a team of highly skilled professionals.

To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Contact Us page or call us today.

Man with yellow eyes from drinking alcohol

Yellow Eyes From Drinking Alcohol

Yellow eyes from drinking alcohol can be a sign of a serious, potentially fatal, health problem. Anyone who experiences this symptom should seek immediate medical attention.

What Does it Mean When Your Eyes Turn Yellow From Drinking Alcohol?

If you develop yellow eyes from drinking alcohol (or alcoholic jaundice), this may mean that you have a dangerous condition known as alcoholic hepatitis. 

In addition to impacting the sclera (the white part of your eye) alcoholic jaundice can also cause yellowing of your skin. 

The only way to be certain if you are experiencing alcoholic jaundice, or if some other cause is responsible for your yellow eyes, is to be examined by a qualified medical professional.

Can You Get Rid of Yellow Eyes From Drinking? 

Once they understand what has caused their eyes to become yellow, many people wonder if alcoholic jaundice will go away. The answer to that question depends on how severe your condition has become. 

Yellow eyes from drinking alcohol may be reversed in the following circumstances:

  • The cause is diagnosed early enough.
  • You quit drinking.
  • You receive appropriate medical care.

This underscores the importance of never ignoring symptoms such as yellowing eyes or skin. Waiting to get help can have devastating consequences.

Understanding Alcoholic Hepatitis

As we mentioned in the previous section, yellow eyes from drinking alcohol can be a sign of alcoholic hepatitis. But what is alcoholic hepatitis, and are their symptoms other than jaundice that may indicate you’ve developed this condition?

Alcoholic hepatitis is the second of three stages of alcoholic liver disease. It occurs after fatty liver and before alcoholic cirrhosis. These conditions are caused by the strain that heavy drinking places on the liver. Over time, your liver will develop fatty tissue, then scarring. As this damage worsens, the ability of your liver to filter toxins from your bloodstream will diminish.

Signs & Symptoms

In addition to yellow eyes from drinking, other signs and symptoms of alcoholic hepatitis include:

  • High body temperature
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloating
  • Tenderness or pain in the abdomen
  • Persistent exhaustion
  • Weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dark, bloody vomit


If alcoholic hepatitis is not diagnosed in time and treated appropriately, the potential negative effects can include:

  • Malnutrition
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Muscle stiffness and tremors
  • Progression to alcoholic cirrhosis
  • Irreversible scarring of the liver
  • Liver failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Coma
  • Death

Will Going to Rehab Cure Alcoholic Hepatitis?

To have any chance of preventing alcoholic hepatitis from causing additional harm to your body, you must quit drinking. Since most people who develop this condition are also struggling with alcohol use disorder (alcoholism), this may be extremely difficult to accomplish. 

Going to rehab can help you end your alcohol abuse and learn how to live a sober lifestyle. Unfortunately, rehab doesn’t guarantee that you will be able to reverse the effects of alcoholic hepatitis. That depends on several factors, including the extent of the damage that you have already incurred and the type of treatment you receive.

In cases of severe alcoholic hepatitis, the only remedy may be a liver transplant.

Treatment Options for Alcoholism

The best time to get treatment for alcoholism is the moment you realize you have developed an addiction. You don’t have to wait until you’ve hit rock bottom, lost your job, ruined your relationships, or developed symptoms such as yellow eyes from drinking. 

If you think you may need help, make an appointment for an assessment today.

There is no single course of alcohol treatment that works for everyone. If your assessment results in a diagnosis of alcoholism, the professional who evaluated you should be able to recommend options that align with your history, needs, and goals. 

The right treatment options for you may include one or more of the following: 

  • Detoxification: Detox is a short-term program that offers medical and therapeutic support to help you get through alcohol withdrawal. Many people don’t realize that, in severe cases of alcoholism, trying to complete withdrawal without professional care can be fatal.
  • Inpatient rehab: At this level of care, you will live at the center where you are receiving treatment. Inpatient rehab features multiple forms of therapy and support services as well as round-the-clock supervision. 
  • Outpatient treatment: This level is ideal for people who don’t need 24/7 monitoring. Some patients step down to the outpatient level for additional help after completing inpatient rehab. Others transition directly from detox to outpatient care. 

When you are evaluating rehab centers, be sure to ask about which levels of care they offer and how they will determine which services are right for you. Addiction affects everyone in a unique manner. To be most effective, treatment should be a personalized experience that addresses your specific needs. 

Contact Our Alcohol Rehabilitation Center in Los Angeles, California Today

Sanctuary Treatment Center offers a full continuum of care for adults in the Los Angeles, California, area who have become addicted to alcohol and other drugs. We also serve adults whose struggles with addiction are accompanied by anxiety, depression, and certain other co-occurring mental health concerns.

At Sanctuary Treatment Center, you can expect to receive close personal attention and comprehensive support from a team of supremely talented professionals who truly care about you. We understand how devastating untreated addiction can be, and we want you to experience the hope and joy of sustained recovery.

To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Contact Us page or call our center today.

Woman going through alcohol induced psychosis

About Alcohol Induced Psychosis

Psychosis is typically associated with acute mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. But this condition can also be brought on by excessive substance abuse. For example, one of the many potential negative effects of chronic heavy drinking is the development of alcohol-induced psychosis.

What is Alcohol-Induced Psychosis?

Alcohol-induced psychosis can be referred to by several other terms, including alcohol-induced psychotic disorder, alcohol-related psychosis, alcohol hallucinosis, and alcohol psychosis. For the purpose of consistency, we will refer to this condition as either alcohol-induced psychosis or alcohol psychosis throughout this post.

By any name, alcohol-induced psychosis is a disruption in a person’s ability to accurately perceive and effectively interact with their environment. It is characterized by extreme disorientation, hallucinations, and delusions. 

A StatPearls article by a team of experts from St. Luke’s University reported that about 4% of people with alcoholism (alcohol use disorder) will develop alcohol-induced psychosis. 

It is important to understand that alcohol-induced psychosis is different from (and more serious than) extreme drunkenness. A person who develops this condition can continue to experience signs and symptoms of psychosis for weeks after they have stopped drinking.

What Causes Alcohol Psychosis?

Alcohol-induced psychosis can result from extreme alcohol intoxication or occur during withdrawal. It is most common among people who have become addicted to alcohol.

Experts don’t fully understand exactly why some people develop alcohol-induced psychosis while most others don’t – but they believe it is related to disruptions in the body’s ability to produce and disseminate certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine. Abnormalities in various areas of the brain may also play a role.

According to the article that we cited in the previous section, the following factors can increase a person’s risk of alcohol-induced psychosis:

  • Becoming addicted to alcohol at a young age
  • Having low socioeconomic status
  • Being unemployed or living on a pension
  • Living alone

Various experts have estimated that as many as 20%-30% of people who experience alcohol-related psychosis will later develop schizophrenia or a similar disorder.

Signs & Symptoms of Alcohol-Induced Psychosis

As we noted earlier, alcohol-induced psychosis involves disorientation, hallucinations, and delusions. It can also cause a person to experience intense fear, to the point of paranoia. 

This is what it can feel like to have hallucinations as a result of alcohol psychosis:

  • Hearing music, voices, or other sounds that don’t actually exist
  • Seeing people, objects, or light patterns that no one else can see
  • Feeling that bugs are crawling over or underneath your skin

Here are a few examples of delusional thinking that can result from alcohol psychosis:

  • Becoming convinced that your spouse or partner is cheating on you, even though there is no credible reason to think this
  • Claiming that your thoughts and/or behaviors are being controlled by some external force
  • Expressing suspicion that you are being spied on, persecuted, or otherwise harassed

Understandably, these symptoms can undermine a person’s ability to work, go to school, or maintain healthy relationships. 

The delusions and paranoia that are characteristic of this condition can also prompt people to behave impulsively and aggressively. This can cause them to harm themselves or others. This, in turn, can lead to serious medical and legal problems.

Treatment Options for Alcohol Psychosis

Alcohol induced psychosis treatment center in Los Angeles, California

If someone has developed alcohol-induced psychosis due to heavy drinking, the most important first step in treating this condition is helping the individual quit drinking. If they develop alcohol psychosis during withdrawal, focused interventions may be needed to keep them safe.

In either case, the proper response to alcohol-induced psychosis should involve professional care from a reputable treatment provider. Depending on the needs of each patient, they may need to spend time in one or more of the following programs:

Treatment in each of these programs may include both medication and therapy.

The medical component of treatment for alcohol-induced psychosis may involve benzodiazepines, antipsychotics, and sedatives. There is no single psychopharmacological approach that works best for every person. It can take a bit of time to identify the correct medication.

Sustained sobriety is essential to prevent a recurrence of alcohol-induced psychosis. This is why the therapeutic part of treatment is so important. Therapy can help people develop the skills they need to establish and maintain an alcohol-free lifestyle. 

Addiction Therapy Options

As with medication, the most effective types of therapy can vary considerably from one person to the next. In addition to the severity of the person’s struggles with alcohol abuse, the presence of co-occurring mental health concerns can also influence which therapeutic services may be most helpful.

Beneficial therapy options for someone with alcohol use disorder can include:

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Individual, group, and family therapy
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy
  • Other trauma-focused therapies
  • Holistic therapy
  • Neurofeedback
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

Remember: There is no single right way to treat someone who has been impacted by alcoholism, alcohol-induced psychosis, and co-occurring mental health conditions. What is most important is finding a treatment provider that will assess the full scope of the patient’s needs, then use the information from that assessment to develop a truly customized treatment plan. 

Contact Our Alcohol Rehab at Sanctuary Treatment Center in Los Angeles, California

If someone in your life has developed alcohol-induced psychosis or is struggling with other effects of alcohol addiction, Sanctuary Treatment Center is here to help. At our center, adults who are struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental illnesses receive customized services from a team of highly skilled and extremely dedicated professionals. Working together, we can help your loved one end their alcohol abuse, overcome the impact of alcohol psychosis, and build a foundation for long-term recovery.

To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Contact Us page or call us today.

Why do people get angry when drunk?

Why Do Some People Get Angry When Drunk?

It’s no secret that alcohol affects different people in different ways. Some people become more outgoing after they have consumed alcohol, while others become more withdrawn. As they continue to drink, some people appear to become happier, while others descend into despair. What causes these changes? For example, why do some people get angry when drunk?

Why Do People Get Angry When They Get Drunk?

Multiple studies have established an association between alcohol intoxication and anger. However, determining the mechanism of this cause-effect relationship has proved to be difficult. 

In other words, the data is clear that negative emotions such as anger and irritability often increase when a person drinks – but researchers have not yet conclusively answered the question, “Why do people get angry when drunk?”

One theory is that alcohol doesn’t cause anger, but it exacerbates this emotion in people who are already prone to angry outbursts. 

Here’s how this phenomenon is described by the authors of a December 15 article in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment: “Anger, alcohol, and aggression relationships have been demonstrated in various laboratory paradigms where those high on trait anger and aggressiveness tend to engage in greater aggression when provoked and under the influence of alcohol.”

The December 15 article also noted that, when assessed for anger and aggression, people who have alcohol use disorder (which is the clinical term for alcoholism) typically score higher than those who do not have a history of compulsive alcohol abuse.

Will People Who Get Angry When Drunk Ever Change?

In addition to the question, “Why do people get angry when drunk?” an important related query is “Will someone who gets angry when drunk ever change?”

Considering the research that we mentioned in the previous section, the effort to reduce a person’s propensity for angry outbursts when drinking can hinge on two factors:

  • Getting them to end or significantly reduce their alcohol use
  • Helping them develop effective anger management strategies

Without accomplishing one or both of these goals, it’s unlikely that someone who gets angry when drunk will ever exhibit significant behavioral changes. But if the individual gets the guidance and support they need to better manage their anger and limit their alcohol intake, they can absolutely change for the better.

What Do I Do if My Spouse Gets Angry When Drunk?

What to do when my spouse gets angry when drunk

If your spouse or partner habitually gets angry when drunk, this can have a profound negative impact on your peace of mind, as well as on the quality of your relationship. Here are a few tips that may help:

  • First, do what you need to do to protect yourself. If your spouse or partner becomes aggressive when angry and drunk, get somewhere safe until they are no longer intoxicated.
  • Even if they’re not aggressive or violent, understand that you can’t reason with them while they are under the influence of alcohol. Also know that you don’t have to subject yourself to threats or other forms of verbal harassment. You can remove yourself from the situation, just as you would do if you were in physical danger.
  • When your loved one is sober, talk to them about your concerns. Depending on how they are affected by alcohol, they may not even realize (or remember) how they act when they are drunk. Of course, this does not excuse their actions, but it may indicate the severity of the problem they have with alcohol.
  • Emphasize to your spouse or partner that they need to get professional treatment, both for their alcohol abuse and their insufficient anger management skills. Offer to help them research treatment options, and emphasize your love and support. But make it clear that they need to get help for the sake of their health and the stability of your relationship.

Types of Treatment for When Alcohol Becomes a Problem

If you don’t like how you act when you’re under the influence of alcohol, the quick answer is to stop drinking. But for many people, this quick answer is far from easy. If you have developed an addiction, it can be extremely painful – and even dangerous – to abruptly end your alcohol use.

Thankfully, with effective professional help, you can rid your body of alcohol and make the lifestyle changes that will support successful recovery.

Depending on how your body and mind have been impacted by alcohol, your path to improved health may include receiving care in one or more of the following programs:

  • Detoxification: Alcohol detox is a short-term program that can help you get through withdrawal. Detox professionals may offer both medical and therapeutic support to ease your distress and safeguard your health.
  • Inpatient rehab: At the inpatient level of care, you will live at the facility where you are receiving treatment. Features of inpatient rehab include multiple forms of therapy, comfortable patient rooms, nutritious meals, and round-the-clock supervision by a team of skilled professionals.
  • Outpatient treatment: In an outpatient rehab program, you only need to be at the facility when treatment is in session. This gives you many opportunities to practice your developing skills in a real-world environment, while still retaining a structured connection to customized clinical care.

Some people step down to outpatient treatment for additional support after completing detox and inpatient rehab. Others forgo detox, or transition directly from detox to outpatient treatment. There is no single perfect course of treatment for alcohol addiction. What’s most important is finding the programming that best meets your specific needs.

Contact Our Los Angeles Rehab Center at Sanctuary Treatment Center

Sanctuary Treatment Center is a respected provider of personalized services for adults in the Los Angeles area whose lives have been disrupted by addictions to alcohol and other drugs. Our dedicated treatment professionals can assess the full scope of your needs, then develop the customized programming that will put you on the path to successful, long-term recovery. When you’re ready to start living the healthier life you deserve, the Sanctuary Treatment Center team is here for you. To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Contact Us page or call us today.

Can you drink alcohol on antidepressants

Can You Drink Alcohol Moderately on Antidepressants?

Can you drink on antidepressants? Many prescription medications are accompanied by warnings that they should never be mixed with alcohol or certain other substances. In today’s post, we review whether or not this type of warning applies to SSRIs, SNRIs, and other antidepressants.

Dangers of Mixing Alcohol With Antidepressants

Alcohol abuse is commonly associated with depressive disorders. In some cases, people abuse alcohol in an attempt to self-medicate or temporarily numb themselves to their emotional distress. In other cases, the devastation of chronic alcohol abuse causes people to develop depressive disorders.

But what happens when someone begins to take a prescription medication to treat their depression? If they don’t have alcohol use disorder (alcoholism), can they continue to drink from time to time – or is absolute sobriety a requirement if you want to safely benefit from an antidepressant?

When it comes to mixing alcohol with antidepressants, there are typically two major concerns:

  • Will alcohol prevent the antidepressant from working properly?
  • Will the combination of alcohol and the antidepressant pose an additional health threat?

Are these legitimate concerns? According to virtually every reputable source, yes, they are. 

Some sources – such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – note that the potential negative effects of mixing alcohol with an antidepressant can include death.

So, the short answer to the question, “Can you drink on antidepressants?” is that you shouldn’t. In the next few sections, we provide a more detailed response, along with answers to a few other questions about alcohol and antidepressants.

Worst Antidepressants You Can Mix With Alcohol

As we alluded to at the top of this page, there are several different types of antidepressants. Let’s take a look at how the general prohibition against drinking while on an antidepressant applies to four of the most common types:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): This category includes some of the most frequently prescribed antidepressants in the United States. Examples of SSRIs include Paxil (paroxetine), Lexapro (escitalopram), and Zoloft (sertraline). The side effects of drinking alcohol while taking an SSRI can include dizziness, drowsiness, increased depression, and suicidal ideation.
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs): Examples of commonly prescribed SNRIs include Effexor (venlafaxine), Cymbalta (duloxetine), and Pristiq (desvenlafaxine). Possible effects of heavy alcohol abuse while you’re on an SNRI include rhabdomyolysis, a rare but serious condition that involves the breakdown of muscle tissue and the release of proteins into the bloodstream.
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): This is an older class of antidepressants that aren’t typically prescribed unless a person doesn’t respond to an SSRI or an SNRI. The effects of combining alcohol with an MAOI can include a potentially fatal spike in blood pressure. 
  • Tricyclic antidepressants: As with MAOIs, tricyclics are older medications that are rarely used as a first-line treatment for depression. But if you do receive a tricyclic antidepressant, drinking alcohol can cause increased sedation, diminished reaction time, and other side effects that could jeopardize your continued health.

Given this information, it’s safe to say that MAOIs are the worst antidepressants to mix with alcohol. But there is no such thing as completely safe alcohol use when you are taking any type of antidepressant. 

Can You Drink Moderately on Antidepressants? 

If you are taking an SSRI or an SNRI, it can be possible to drink a small amount of alcohol without risking serious consequences. However, as we have mentioned multiple times already, any alcohol use in combination with any antidepressant can raise your risk for dangerous side effects.

Antidepressants affect different people in different ways. Alcohol does, too. This means that the answer to the question, “Can you drink moderately on antidepressants?” can vary a great deal from one person to the next. 

The best way to find out if you can drink moderately while taking an SSRI or an SNRI (and to determine what, exactly, “moderately” means in this scenario), you should consult with the doctor who prescribed your antidepressant.

What to Do if You Accidentally Consume Alcohol While on Antidepressants

If you accidentally consume alcohol while on an antidepressant, the first thing you should do is stop drinking. The ideal next steps will be influenced by what type of antidepressant you have been taking and how the alcohol has interacted with that medication.

If you believe that you are at risk for serious complications, contact your doctor or find someone to transport you to an emergency room or urgent care facility. Depending on the nature of your reaction, you may need to call 911 or contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

What if You’re Addicted to Alcohol or Antidepressants?

If you suspect that you have become addicted to alcohol and/or an antidepressant, you should contact your doctor or schedule an assessment with a reputable addiction treatment facility

Substance use disorders (addictions) are chronic, progressive conditions. Thankfully, they are also treatable. When you get the right type and level of care, you can end your substance abuse and build a foundation for long-term recovery. But if you don’t get proper treatment, you expose yourself to myriad devastating outcomes, including overdose and death.

Don’t jeopardize your future. Get the help you need so that you can live the healthier life you deserve.

Contact Our Drug and Alcohol Rehab Center in Los Angeles, California

Sanctuary Treatment Center offers personalized care and comprehensive support for adults who have become addicted to alcohol, prescription antidepressants, and other substances. Treatment options at our center in Los Angeles, California, include detoxification, residential care, and multiple outpatient programs. With our help, you can develop the skills that will support your successful recovery. To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Contact Us page or call us today.

Man is wondering if alcohol can cause stomach ulcers

Can Alcohol Cause Stomach Ulcers?

Experts estimate that 5%-10% of the population will develop stomach ulcers. Even though millions of people have ulcers, this medical condition remains widely misunderstood. For example, many people ask, Do certain foods cause ulcers? Others wonder, can alcohol cause stomach ulcers?

What Are Stomach Ulcers?

Stomach ulcers, which are also referred to as peptic ulcers, are sores or raw areas that occur in the lining of the stomach or the small intestine. 

When an ulcer occurs in the lining of the stomach, it is described as a gastric ulcer. When it is located in the small intestine, it is classified as a duodenal ulcer.

Burning stomach pain is the most common indicator that a person has a peptic ulcer. Ulcers can be successfully treated with a variety of medications, though in certain extreme cases surgery may be required.

Can Alcohol Cause Stomach Ulcers?

Can alcohol cause stomach ulcers? Most experts say no.

The two most common causes of stomach ulcers are bacterial infections and the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs):

  • The Helicobacter pylori (or H. pylori) bacterium is a prime cause of peptic ulcers. According to the Cleveland Clinic, 50%-75% of people throughout the world have this bacterium in their system – but for most people, it thankfully doesn’t cause any ill effects.
  • The NSAID category includes aspirin and ibuprofen. Long-term use of these drugs, using them in greater amounts than recommended, or taking them in combination with certain other medications can lead to ulcers.

Heavy drinking can be a risk factor for ulcers, and continued alcohol abuse can exacerbate the symptoms of ulcers and prevent them from healing properly. However, the general medical consensus is that alcohol use is unlikely to be a direct cause of a peptic ulcer.

If alcohol can’t cause stomach ulcers, why is it considered to be a risk factor? The primary reason for this is that chronic alcohol abuse can lead to an inflammation in the lining of the stomach. This condition is known as gastritis. Having gastritis can be a precursor to developing a peptic ulcer.

Can drinking alcohol cause stomach ulcers

How to Know if You Have a Stomach Ulcer?

Many people who have stomach ulcers don’t experience any symptoms, at least not at first. When symptoms do occur, they are likely to include the following:

  • Indigestion
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Heartburn
  • Quickly feeling full when eating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Excessive belching or burping

Some people experience more severe symptoms and/or complications from stomach ulcers. As reported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Issues (NIDDK), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), these symptoms and complications can include the following:

  • Bloody, black, or tarry stool
  • Blood in vomit
  • Vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • Severe, sharp abdominal pain that occurs suddenly and doesn’t dissipate
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Elevated pulse

If you have a stomach ulcer and you keep drinking, the continued presence of alcohol in your stomach or lower intestine can irritate the ulcer. This can increase your risk for more intense suffering, as well as the development of symptoms or complications such as the ones listed above.

The NIDDK advises that anyone who has severe symptoms of an ulcer should get immediate medical attention.

What To Do if Drinking Alcohol Has Created an Ulcer?

Anyone who develops an ulcer for any reason should stop drinking alcohol. As we noted in the previous two sections, continued alcohol use can make ulcer symptoms more painful, cause the ulcer to worsen, and prevent healing. 

If you have been living with alcohol use disorder (which is the clinical term for alcoholism), it may not be easy to quit drinking. But it is still necessary. In this case, getting professional care from an alcohol addiction treatment center may be the ideal choice.

Treatment for compulsive alcohol abuse can take many forms, including detoxification, inpatient rehab, and outpatient programming. 

Detox can help you get through alcohol withdrawal safely and with as little discomfort as possible. During inpatient and outpatient care, you can begin to understand the issues that may have contributed to your alcohol abuse, while also developing the skills that will support your successful recovery.

Depending on the severity of your symptoms and which level of care you are in, customized treatment for alcohol addiction may include elements such as the following:

Contact Our Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center in Los Angeles, CA

It’s important to realize that there’s no single path to recovery that’s right for every person. When you’re looking for addiction treatment, focus on finding a provider whose services and treatment philosophy align with your needs and goals.

Worsening stomach ulcers are just one of the many negative effects that can result from untreated alcohol addiction. The longer you remain trapped in the downward spiral of alcoholism, the greater your risk becomes for devastating physical, psychological, and social consequences. 

But when you choose Sanctuary Treatment Center, you can stop drinking and start living a much healthier and more hopeful life. At our alcohol addiction treatment center in Los Angeles, California, you will receive customized services and comprehensive support from a team of highly skilled professionals. With our help, you can build a solid foundation for successful, long-term recovery.

When you’re ready to get started, the Sanctuary team is here for you. To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Contact Us page or call us today.

Is alcohol a stimulant

Is Alcohol a Stimulant?

Sometimes, alcohol use leads to diminished inhibitions, elevated mood, and talkativeness. Other times, it causes people to become sullen, morose, and withdrawn. So, is alcohol a stimulant? Is it a depressant? Or is it something else entirely?

Stimulants vs. Depressants

Many common legal and illegal drugs – including several prescription medications – fall into the categories of stimulants and depressants. 

Substances are classified as stimulants or depressants based on how they affect the central nervous system (CNS). 

Stimulants excite neurons in the CNS, prompting them to produce certain hormones that accelerate the transmission of messages throughout the body. Depressants have the opposite effect. They slow the process down, which delays the ability of the CNS to transmit messages back and forth between the brain and the body.

Examples of Stimulants

The following commonly used (and frequently abused) substances are all stimulants:

  • Caffeine
  • Nicotine
  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamine 
  • Methamphetamine

Many prescription medications, such as ones that are often used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, contain amphetamines. This means that these medications are categorized as stimulants.

Is Alcohol a Stimulant? 

You may have noticed that alcohol is in the List of Depressants in the previous section. So, that clearly answers the question, Is alcohol a stimulant?, right?

Well, not completely.

Here’s the deal: Alcohol is not a stimulant. However, when some people drink alcohol, they may initially experience stimulant-like effects. For example, they may become more outgoing and energetic – which is similar to what you would expect to occur when someone takes a stimulant.

However, these effects typically don’t last very long. And as they fade away, they are replaced by symptoms that we commonly associate with depressants, such as sleepiness, slurred speech, impaired coordination, slower breathing and heart rate, and a sense of confusion or disorientation.

Why Does Drinking Alcohol Give Some People Energy?

Now that we have established that the answer to the question, Is alcohol a stimulant? is no, that leads us to another question: If alcohol isn’t a stimulant, why does drinking it cause some people to temporarily become more energetic?

When a person first drinks alcohol, the presence of this drug can trigger the central nervous system to release a flood of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine has been referred to as a “feel-good” chemical. This is because it’s associated with feelings such as pleasure, reward, motivation, attention, and arousal. 

Drinking alcohol is not the only way to increase dopamine levels. Dopamine releases can be prompted by an array of other experiences and activities. This includes exercising, listening to music, having sex, eating junk food, and meditating. 

The initial dopamine rush that occurs when a person starts drinking can give them a boost of energy. It can also increase their motivation and activity levels. This is why people can become much more gregarious than usual when they have had their first few drinks.

What Does it Mean? 

Feeling a rush of energy or a lifting of your mood when you drink doesn’t mean anything in terms of your character or personality. As we described in the previous section, alcohol can trigger the release of dopamine, which can cause you to temporarily become happier and more outgoing. Your initial pleasurable reaction to alcohol is a factor of chemical processes within your central nervous system that you have no control over.

However, if using alcohol is the only way you can experience pleasure or deal with sadness, this means you may have a serious problem. There’s nothing wrong with using alcohol if you are of legal age and if you drink responsibly. But when the desire to have a drink is replaced by the urge to consume alcohol, then it may be time to get help.

What to Do if Alcohol Causes Problems?

Continuing to use a substance after you’ve experienced many negative outcomes is a symptom of addiction. In other words, if your alcohol use has caused problems, but you have continued to drink, this is another sign that you may need professional help.

The clinical term for alcohol addiction is alcohol use disorder. This condition is also commonly referred to as alcoholism. No matter which words you use, alcohol addiction is a chronic, progressive disease that has the potential to damage your physical, psychological, and social well-being. Thankfully, it is also a treatable disorder.

If you are concerned about how much or how frequently you drink, a good first step is to be assessed by your family doctor or a reputable alcohol rehab center. Being evaluated by a qualified professional can help you understand the scope of your needs. The results of your assessment can also help you determine what types and levels of care may be best for you.

Begin Rehab for Alcohol in Southern California

When you are ready to stop drinking and start working toward successful recovery from alcohol addiction, the Sanctuary Treatment Team is here for you. Our alcohol rehab center in Southern California is a safe and welcoming place where you can receive customized care from a team of dedicated professionals. With our help, you can find your path toward a healthier and more hopeful future. Contact us today to learn more.

We Take Insurance!

Sanctuary Treatment Center accepts most private PPO insurance plans, as well as some private HMO plans. Through private insurance plans, individuals and families can access high quality addiction treatment services. If you have questions regarding insurances, please give us a call.

Sanctuary Treatment Center in Los Angeles is a Joint Commission accredited rehab center

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