People often have a few drinks to have a good time and feel good. However, experts say that alcohol is a depressant rather than a stimulant. How can alcohol make people feel so good if it’s a depressant? For this reason, people often ask the question: “Is alcohol a depressant or stimulant?” Learn the answer, and, more importantly, how an alcohol rehab center in Southern California can help.
Is Alcohol a Depressant?
No matter how good alcohol makes people feel, it’s a depressant. They usually assume that depressants affect their mood. However, alcohol is a depressant because it slows down certain bodily functions. People who drink a lot tend to breathe slower and have a slower heartbeat.
The more that people drink, however, the more that it affects their mood. It’s common to see people who drink too much become overly emotional. They tend to fall further into depression when they drink alone.
The Biphasic Effect
Is alcohol a depressant? Although the answer is “yes,” why do people usually feel outgoing when they first start to drink? Experts refer to this phenomenon as the biphasic effect. It describes the two stages of drinking.
When people first start drinking, they usually start to feel a little better. Some even describe the feeling as stimulating. However, the more that they drink, the worse they start to feel.
Studies show that people usually feel better or happier when their blood alcohol content (BAC) reaches .05 percent. This level occurs during the first stage of the biphasic effect. After .05 percent, people reach the second phase of the biphasic effect. At this point, depression sets in.
It’s smart for people to stay in the first phase and never enter the second. It limits the possibility of having a hangover the next day.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
Some people live under the impression that certain types of alcoholic beverages cause depression more often than others. Because of that, they prefer certain drinks over others. However, there’s no evidence at all to suggest that certain beverages affect mood more than others.
Instead, people’s expectations affect how they react to alcohol. When they read that beer makes people act silly, for example, they act silly. When they read that champagne makes people flirty, they act flirty. Doctors call this conditioning, which involves hearing something so much that they believe it.
Get Help for Alcohol Addiction
Now that you know that alcohol is a depressant, it’s important to seek substance abuse treatment programs right away if you believe you have a problem. At Serenity Lodge, we offer a number of addiction treatment programs for people who abuse drugs, including:
- Residential addiction treatment program
- Intensive outpatient program
- Dual diagnosis treatment program
- 12-step program
Don’t attempt to fight alcohol addiction alone. Find out how our amenity-rich atmosphere can help you overcome addiction. Contact our friendly staff today at 866.379.4365 for more information.