Is Alcohol A Stimulant Or Depressant?
Alcohol consumption is an act a lot of people engage in either to blow off steam or just have a nice time. However, when you don’t keep a watchful eye on how much you consume, alcohol tends to have a negative impact on your health and emotional well-being. You can gauge the effects of alcohol if you have the right awareness. If someone asked, is alcohol a stimulant or depressant? Can you provide an answer?
In this article, we will be covering the topic, “Is alcohol a stimulant or depressant?” So, you can better understand the effects of alcohol on your central nervous system and your life in general.
Note: They are called depressants because of how they impact the central nervous system, not your mood. Examples of depressants are cannabis, ketamine, and heroin.
How Is Alcohol Affect Your Physical And Emotional Well-Being?
The first dose of alcohol has stimulating properties (can trigger the release of dopamine); however, it is largely a depressant. With the introduction of alcohol, the central nervous system decreases in function. In general, your body make-up (alcoholic tolerance) and the quantity you consume are what determine the effects of alcohol on you.
Alcohol tolerance is affected by many factors which include:
- Body chemistry
When your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is approaching 0.05mg per litre, that is when the stimulant effects of alcohol kick in. However, when it gets to 0.08mg per litre, those stimulant effects are substituted for the depressant effects. This is why you are expected to call a designated driver once your BAC levels get to that point.
Taking in alcohol in small doses keeps you in the safe zone. Those small doses can increase your energy and cause you to feel stimulated. People usually get it wrong by consuming larger doses expecting the same outcome. Larger doses do the opposite – rather than triggering the release of dopamine and energizing you, they (alcohol) reduce the functionality of your central nervous system.
Furthermore, as your heart rate and blood pressure decline, so does your ability to think clearly and make decisions from a healthy mental standpoint. The more you drink, the slower your reaction becomes, and you begin to feel sedated. Moreover, when you take larger alcohol doses, dopamine release is suppressed, and you begin to feel sad and/or depressed.
The following are other effects of alcohol as a depressant:
- Reduced inhibitions
- Decline in coordination
This is why even health experts advise that drinking should be done moderately. Moderate drinking for women means one drink a day and two drinks a day for men.
Note: When you mix stimulants with alcohol, the consequence on your body system will be detrimental, hence it is not advisable.
Note also that there are people who tend to feel more stimulating effects from alcohol than the depressant effects, and such persons are usually at a high risk of delving into alcoholism than others.
People make the mistake of viewing alcohol as a stimulant. This is not true. When you take alcohol initially, it triggers the “happy hormone” or dopamine, thus making you feel energized and stimulated. However, after the initial doses, there will be a disagreement between the alcohol and the central nervous system. That’s when the alcohol starts slowing down your heart rate, blood pressure, and reducing the clarity of your mind.
I hope this article was helpful to you. If you want to replenish your bar with interesting drinks, do not pass by our best alcohol reviews. Enjoy yourself now!
What is a stimulant?
A stimulant is any element that has the ability to increase the activity of the central nervous system in human beings. They have the capacity to increase blood pressure and heart rate. One very good example of a stimulant is caffeine.
What is a depressant?
A depressant is a substance that has the ability to reduce the activity of your central nervous system. They can also reduce heart rate and blood pressure. An example is heroin.
Is alcohol a hallucinogen?
Alcohol is not a hallucinogen, and it is not normal to have hallucinations during and after alcohol consumption. Any case like that can mean the development of a mental illness associated with heavy drinking.
Why does alcohol give me energy?
A single gram of alcohol contains 29 kilojoules or 7 calories which is more than the kilojoules or calories obtained from proteins and carbohydrates. Those calories are what gives you energy.