Holiday Stress

30.11.2022 Nick Recent News

According to the CDC, the most dangerous times of the year for drug-and-alcohol-related deaths are December and January.

Some studies show that a number of people rely on drugs and alcohol to cope with anxiety or depression that increase during the holiday season. More people are anxious or depressed, and this will likely increase their alcohol consumption and drug use. Even though you may feel calmer afterward, feelings of anxiety can still be triggered . 

Alcohol consumption or drug use has a sedative effect on the body. It may lessen anxiety but in the long run it could result in tolerance, dependency, and damage to many organs of the body including the brain, liver, and heart.

Drinking alcohol or using drugs may temporarily boost serotonin levels, therefore making you feel happier but can also lower serotonin levels, and therefore either cause or exacerbate depression in the long term. Serotonin is a chemical in our body which is needed for memory, learning, and especially for feelings of  “well-being”.

Alcohol and drug use also depletes the body of vitamin B6 and folic acid, which the body needs to help cope with stress. Long-term exposure to drugs and alcohol reduces the levels of the GABA-benzodiazepine receptor in the central nervous system and reduces the brain’s ability to calm the mind and the body, and to cope with anxiety in the long run.

A stressed person trying to work in festively decorated office, being interrupted by noisy people celebrating Christmas season.

Substance abuse can also negatively impact blood sugar levels each time that it is consumed. Low blood sugar levels can cause dizziness, confusion, weakness, nervousness, shaking, and numbness, all of which can mimic the symptoms of anxiety, or even trigger an episode of anxiety.

Substance use may be an easy short-term fix for anxiety or depression, but it will do no good to your body in the long term. Instead, learn to manage anxiety in healthy ways such as exercise, music, and art. By managing your anxiety, you are not just taking care of your mental health but also taking care of your physical health.

For confidential support & treatment options, call 877-50-SOCIAL or 877-507-6242. Social Model Recovery System has been providing Substance Use and Mental Health Treatment services since 1986. We consistently deliver service that exceeds expectations.