Alcohol and Anxiety An Intricate Interplay of the Two .pdf
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Alcohol and Anxiety: An Intricate Interplay of the Two
Alcohol and anxiety are intricately linked and the prevalence of one can lead to the other. There is a high
rate of comorbidity between alcohol and anxiety disorder. But again, it is like a chicken-and-egg situation
– who came first. The presence of one exacerbates the other and can turn things murkier. An anxious
person may seek solace in alcohol, while an anxiety disorder can stem from excessive drinking.
The situation in the United States is complicated with 40 million of the population reeling from anxiety
disorder. The irony is that the proclivity of anxiety disorder patients to drink alcohol is three times more
than others who do not suffer from this mental disease.
Anxiety in numbers
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA),
• Among people who have anxiety disorders, 20 percent have alcohol problems.
• Among alcoholics, 20 percent also have an anxiety disorder problem.
• Women are more susceptible than men to suffer from a comorbidity of alcohol and anxiety disorder.
The ADAA statistics suggest that 15 million people in the U.S. diagnosed with social anxiety disorder also
suffer from a drinking problem.
Why anxiety disorder patients abuse alcohol
People with a social anxiety
problem, for instance, are so
paranoid about facing the
public or mingling with
others that they avoid such
situations altogether. This,
in turn, has a detrimental
effect on their work, daily
relationships. All these
events trigger significant
anxiety within a person. So,
it is only obvious that such
people turn to alcohol for
the relief from internal
pressure and to survive a
stressful situation. However,
boomerangs and leads to dependence. Likewise, people with general anxiety disorder also resort to
alcohol for similar reasons.
Initially, alcohol may provide temporary relief, but it also triggers the onset of alcoholism and a
predicament ensues, which is even more deplorable. On the contrary, alcohol is known to increase
anxiety, irritability, or depression after a few hours of drinking or maybe the next day. Even moderate
amount of alcohol is enough to affect one’s mood and up the anxiety level.
Various studies have revealed that using alcohol to self-treat anxiety disorder makes people 2-5 times
more likely to develop alcoholism in less than three years.
Moreover, people with a comorbidity of alcoholism and anxiety disorder have greater difficulty in carrying
out daily activities and show severer symptoms than patients who have only anxiety disorder problem. In
fact, alcoholism makes recovery difficult for anxiety disorder patients.
Parameters of alcoholism
Not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic. There are many who drink socially to enjoy the moment but are
not habitual drinkers or alcoholics. A person is said to be an alcoholic when one of the following signs sets
• Drinking four or more times a week
• Having five or more alcoholic drinks in a single day
• Being unable to stop drinking once started
• Requiring a drink in the morning to get oneself going
• Feeling remorseful after drinking
• Others, including a relative, friend, co-worker, or doctor, expressing concern about the drinking habit
or suggesting to cut down, etc.
So, it is time to watch out for signs that make it important to consult a doctor. Treating alcohol addiction
and anxiety disorder at the same time can be daunting, but is not impossible.
If a loved one is grappling with alcoholism and you are looking for alcohol addiction treatment centers in
Colorado, the Colorado Alcohol Addiction Help can be helpful. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-5929261 for immediate assistance. Our experts can connect you to the best alcohol addiction treatment in
Colorado where recovery is complete and long-term.
For more information, please visit