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How Alcohol Impacts Mental Health

alcohol and mental health

Many people often overlook alcohol as one of the most common substances leading to physical and mental health problems. Indeed, most people are aware of alcohol abuse and dependency and have heard of organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous for those in recovery from the debilitating effects of alcoholism. But many are unaware of the link between alcohol and mental health.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol has been linked to an increased risk of developing depression, anxiety disorders, and substance use disorders. In fact, alcohol is the most commonly abused substance among people with existing mental health issues and is often used as a coping mechanism for stress, anxiety, or depression.

When alcohol use disorder and a mental health condition are both present in an individual, a co-occurring disorders treatment program is required. Both alcoholism and mental health issues must be addressed simultaneously for true healing to take place. Imagine Omaha offers mental health treatment services for teens and adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 and can help with co-occurring disorders treatment. Call 888.306.2681 today for more information.

Alcohol and Mental Health

Unlike many other addictive substances in the United States, alcohol is legal and readily available. And while the legal drinking age may be 21, many teens and adolescents have no problem accessing alcohol.

Alcohol can affect physical and mental health in many ways, including short-term and long-term effects.

Short-Term Effects of Alcohol Use

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Impaired judgment
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Loss of inhibitions
  • Poor motor coordination
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering information
  • Sleep disruption or insomnia
  • Nausea and vomiting

Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Use

  • Increased risk of developing mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Physical health problems such as liver or kidney damage, high blood pressure and stroke, anemia, heart problems, and weakened immune system
  • Memory loss and cognitive impairment
  • Poor decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • Increased risk of alcohol poisoning, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and alcohol addiction.

It is important that young people be aware of the risks of alcohol use and, if alcohol abuse is suspected, seek help from a qualified mental health professional. Alcohol can have serious long-term effects on mental health and should be avoided as much as possible.

What Are Effective Treatments for Alcohol and Mental Health?

If alcohol abuse is suspected or diagnosed, the best course of action is to seek professional treatment as soon as possible. At Imagine Omaha, a qualified mental health professional can provide an individualized alcohol and mental health treatment plan that may include the following:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This type of therapy focuses on changing thought patterns and behaviors that may be contributing to alcohol use.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): This type of therapy is used to help manage emotions, reduce stress and conflict, and develop healthy coping skills.
  • Anger Management: This type of therapy helps individuals learn how to manage their anger and resolve conflicts without alcohol.
  • Medication: Certain medications can be used in conjunction with alcohol and mental health therapy to reduce alcohol cravings or treat underlying mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety.

Alcohol abuse can lead to many physical and mental health problems, so it is essential to seek help if alcohol use becomes a problem. With proper treatment, individuals can learn to manage alcohol use and improve their overall mental health.

Reach Out to Imagine Omaha Today

For more information about alcohol abuse and mental health, please call Imagine Omaha at 888.306.2681 or reach out online for individualized treatment options. We are here to help you every step of the way in your journey toward mental and emotional well-being.