Sometimes you may just want a drink; it calms you down, or takes the edge off — or maybe it’s just for fun. But when you start using alcohol to always feel better, you’re going to have a problem. And those with preexisting conditions like anxiety disorders might think a few drinks to calm nerves is a good idea. But a recent study found that people with anxiety disorders who used alcohol or drugs to self-medicate were more likely to develop substance abuse problems.
The study compared data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, which looked at more than 40,000 people and their alcohol or drug use and anxiety disorders. It found that those who developed anxiety disorders were more likely to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs than those who did not. It also found that the substance abuse contributed to the anxiety.
Alcohol is a very dangerous drug that is easy to lose control of. If you suffer from anxiety tell your physician or psychiatrist regarding your drinking and drug habits and they can help with the right treatment.
No one is saying that everyone should stop drinking. But you should know why you’re taking that drink. If it’s just recreational and not that often, you’re probably good; but if you need that drink and it helps you feel better you might want to take a closer look at your actions and possibly seek help.