Many people may turn to alcohol when they are feeling anxious or depressed, hoping to alleviate their symptoms.
However, a recent study has found that people with anxiety or major depressive disorders may experience more alcohol-related symptoms and problems than people without those disorders, even if they drink the same amount.
This could help explain why those with these disorders are at a higher risk of developing an alcohol use disorder (AUD).
This study involved analyzing data from over 26,000 adults who had reported drinking in the previous year.
The researchers looked at individuals who had never had an internalizing disorder diagnosis, those who had a past diagnosis but had since recovered, and those with a current diagnosis.
The researchers compared the levels of AUD-related symptoms in these groups, while accounting for other factors such as family history of alcohol problems and drinking patterns.
The results showed that those with current or past anxiety or mood disorders had higher levels of AUD-related symptoms than those who had never had an internalizing disorder diagnosis.
Even when taking into account the amount of alcohol consumed, these individuals were at a higher risk of experiencing negative consequences from their drinking.
The study also found that those who had multiple internalizing disorder diagnoses had an even higher risk of experiencing negative consequences from their drinking.
The study suggests that there may be shared neurobiological mechanisms underlying both AUD and internalizing disorders, which may help explain why these conditions are often co-occurring.
It also highlights the harm paradox effect, which refers to negative consequences from substance use within a certain group that exceeds those experienced by people outside that group.
The findings of this study suggest that it may be necessary to modify “safe” drinking recommendations for people with anxiety or mood disorders.
It also emphasizes the importance of addressing mental health concerns in individuals who are struggling with alcohol use.
By addressing both mental health and substance use issues, individuals may have a better chance of overcoming these challenges and improving their overall well-being.
How to prevent alcohol symptoms
Preventing alcohol-related symptoms can be challenging, especially for those with anxiety or mood disorders. However, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of experiencing negative consequences from alcohol use. Here are some tips:
Avoid Binge Drinking
Binge drinking, which is defined as consuming a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time, can increase the risk of experiencing alcohol-related symptoms such as blackouts, memory loss, and hangovers.
To prevent these symptoms, try to avoid binge drinking and limit the amount of alcohol consumed at any one time.
It is important to drink responsibly and to be aware of the amount of alcohol being consumed. The recommended limit for men is no more than 2 standard drinks per day, and for women, no more than 1 standard drink per day.
It is also important to keep track of how many drinks have been consumed and to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery after drinking.
Drinking water or other non-alcoholic beverages can help to reduce the risk of alcohol-related symptoms such as dehydration and hangovers.
Drinking water or other non-alcoholic beverages between alcoholic drinks can help to maintain hydration and prevent the body from becoming dehydrated.
Eat Before Drinking
Eating a meal before drinking can help to slow down the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, which can reduce the risk of experiencing negative consequences from drinking.
Eating a meal that contains carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats can help to slow down the absorption of alcohol.
If you are struggling with alcohol use, seek help from a healthcare professional or a support group. There are many resources available to help individuals overcome alcohol use disorder and to prevent alcohol-related symptoms.
If you care about alcohol, please read studies that drug for skin diseases may treat alcohol addiction, and scientists can hear alcohol in voice.
For more information about wellness, please see recent studies about COVID infection and vaccination linked to a heart problem, and results showing alcohol use is widely accepted in the US, but even moderate consumption is linked to harmful effects.
The study was published in Alcohol: Clinical & Experimental Research.
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