How Alcohol Affects The Central Nervous System – Over the past few years, alcohol abuse has continued to rise in the U.S. For many people, alcohol is a numbing agent in times of stress.
In some cases, drinking alcohol is a function used to relieve symptoms associated with anxiety or depression. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for intermittent or social alcohol use to transition into alcohol addiction when it becomes excessive.
How Alcohol Affects The Central Nervous System
When alcohol enters the body, it quickly creates a domino effect of physical reactions. Most of these directly affect the central nervous system.
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The effects of alcohol on the central nervous system are depressing. For some individuals, alcohol translates as more of a stimulant.
In both cases, alcohol can simultaneously reduce the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain. It can be extremely dangerous and can directly affect a person’s ability to make decisions or control emotions.
When rational thought processes are impaired, a person may consider mixing alcohol with benzodiazepines (benzos). These substances can also be mixed before drinking alcohol if the user wants to enhance the stimulant effects or the numbing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
However, the risks of mixing alcohol with benzodiazepines are huge. From short-term side effects and long-term health problems to life-threatening risks, one should not ignore the dangers of mixing benzos and alcohol.
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Benzodiazepines are drugs that belong to a class of drugs known as psychoactive sedatives. They are often prescribed for patients suffering from anxiety, seizures, cerebral palsy or mental health disorders. The effects of benzodiazepines can also help treat patients dealing with sleep problems.
When taken according to prescription rules, benzos can be productive in helping people overcome both physical and mental challenges. However, abuse of these drugs can quickly lead to a substance use disorder. For this reason, the Drug Enforcement Administration classifies all benzodiazepines as controlled substances. Commonly prescribed benzos include but are not limited to:
Like alcohol, benzos act directly on the central nervous system as depressants. They also reduce neurotransmitter activity in the brain.
This enhanced effect makes the combination of benzodiazepines and alcohol more dangerous to the body. While they are commonly prescribed, it is important to note that benzodiazepines are not intended for long-term use.
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Mixing alcohol with any other highly addictive substance is always dangerous to health. That said, many people don’t realize how quickly the dangers of mixing alcohol with benzodiazepines can present themselves.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, benzos are commonly abused along with opioids, alcohol, or other prescribed benzos. There are many possible reasons why someone might willingly ignore the risk of combining these substances.
In some cases, benzos are mixed with alcohol to enhance the effects of alcohol on the body. Those who try to combine the two substances are already struggling with mental health or reckless behavior. Therefore, they are willing to ignore the dangers of mixing alcohol with benzodiazepines.
Another reason someone might associate benzos and alcohol is accessibility. Benzos are commonly prescribed drugs. That makes them widely available in social situations and very attractive to those already struggling with substance abuse.
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In other situations, people ignore the dangers of mixing alcohol with benzodiazepines due to misinformation. Many people are under the false impression that mixing a benzo with alcohol has less dangerous side effects than mixing a benzo with an illegal drug.
When the two depressants are mixed, the central nervous system can be depressed to dangerous levels. That’s what happens when people take alcohol and benzos.
Mixing these substances causes the user to engage in unnecessarily risky behavior. It can lead to possible injury and even death. In some cases, the central nervous system is suppressed to the point where the user quickly becomes unconscious.
As soon as alcohol and benzos combine in the human body, the user experiences excessive side effects. These significant fluctuations can be serious and come with life-threatening risks.
How Alcohol Affects The Nervous System
While all of these side effects pose health risks, they can quickly prove fatal in combination. Examples of severe physical damage related to mixing alcohol and benzos can include stroke and cirrhosis of the liver.
Even if the side effects of combining these substances do not cause immediate physical harm, the addictive effects of benzos and alcohol can affect the user in the long term. It is not uncommon for those who begin mixing alcohol and benzos to develop an addiction to one or both.
The intense “high” created by using these substances together may require increased doses to achieve similar feelings of euphoria. Attempting to reduce intake may later lead to alcohol withdrawal symptoms. If a user is experiencing alcohol withdrawal as well as withdrawal symptoms associated with benzos, the effects can be overwhelming.
In these situations, many users will often ingest more than they intended. It can lead to accidental and fatal overdose.
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At first, a person suffering from addiction may cling to the idea that they can stop using the substances in question whenever they want. It is a false sense of control that becomes as dangerous as an addiction.
Unfortunately, addiction goes far beyond the simple desire to satisfy a craving. Addiction is a disease that requires participation in specialized treatment programs to manage and eradicate.
Unless an addict is willing to accept the benefits of time in a treatment center, a regular mix of alcohol and benzos will negatively affect many areas of their life. Often, these adverse effects must reach a certain threshold for the addict to consider addiction treatment as an option. That may be equally true for alcoholism treatment and benzodiazepine treatment.
Many individuals who mix alcohol and benzos experience a marked decrease in their physiological responses to situations. The enhanced effects of depressants on the central nervous system can significantly reduce response time.
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Ultimately, this also affects both the gross and fine motor skills needed to keep up with the demands of daily life. It can make it almost impossible for a person to carry out responsibilities at work or at home. It also puts them in a very dangerous position when they need to remove themselves from harmful situations and cannot act quickly.
Additionally, those who mix alcohol and benzos over the long term inevitably put themselves at increased risk of developing serious mental health disorders. Mental conditions such as anxiety and depression are commonly increased in those who partake in this type of substance abuse.
The list of possibilities undoubtedly extends beyond these distortions. However, poly-drug abusers are specifically listed above.
There are also many other health risks from long-term abuse of alcohol and benzo combination. Addicts in this situation usually develop severe gastrointestinal problems. They are also at greater risk of developing cardiovascular complications and disease.
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Long-term combination of alcohol and benzos increases the risk of liver damage. Today, many medical experts also believe that there is a general link between dual substance abuse and an increased likelihood of developing dementia.
Frequent mixing of alcohol and benzodiazepines can also negatively affect all types of relationships. The cognitive and physical impairments associated with poly-drug abuse involving alcohol and benzos often make it nearly impossible for individuals to thrive in a professional setting.
Sustained suppression of neurotransmitters can cause significant fluctuations in mood and personality. It can make it extremely difficult to maintain meaningful relationships with family and friends.
Over time, an addict is drawn into a mindset that focuses solely on satisfying the need for alcohol and benzos. It can push other goals such as personal, professional, academic out of the picture.
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Finally, it is important to note that whenever alcohol and benzos mix in the human body, the risk of overdose increases. The fatal consequences of this dangerous practice are related to both substances in question. This type of death is often associated with brain damage from complete organ failure or suppressed oxygen flow.
Ultimately, chronic abuse of alcohol and benzos has both immediate and long-term effects that everyone should be aware of. Underestimating risk can prove fatal.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction, the caring professionals at Haven New England are here to help. Our premier drug and alcohol detox center is the place to find the strength to heal and get your life back. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment programs and speak with a representative. Alcohol increases a person’s risk of developing serious health problems in the brain and central nervous system. There is a negative relationship between alcohol and the nervous system. There are many health risks when it comes to alcohol abuse and addiction.
With continued use, alcohol can begin to affect both the brain and the central nervous system. Alcohol addiction can be crippling to a person and everyone around them. Also, it can be extremely difficult to stop drinking without medical help. This is due to the severe withdrawal symptoms that come with drinking.
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When people drink too much alcohol, they may experience blackouts. Blackout is defined as amnesia during intoxication. If a person has a blackout, he or she does not “forget what happened” because the memories
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