Drink the Stress Away

Why do people go to the bar when they are stressed? I thought about the reason that people drink when they are having a bad day. Can alcohol really help you cope with stress? In shows and movies, characters tend to go to the bar or to a party to have a drink if they need to deal with a stressful situation. I have friends and family that say they drink to help deal with the issues they encounter in life. Many of my relatives and acquaintances go out to have a drink when they feel “stressed”. I don’t think drinking helps a stressful situation. I think people that drink to deal with stress believe the alcohol helps, so it actually works, like some type of placebo effect. Also people may think they have a better time when they drink alcohol, so if they are having a better time its easier to relieve stress.

I wanted to know the real answer, so I did some research on this topic. I found that alcohol can relieve or intensify stress, so some people that believe they are helping there situation may actually be making the stress worse. Alcohol consumption may stimulate or reduce the release of hormones that respond to stressors. Studies show that low doses of alcohol may help, but there are numerous factors that affect this. One factor is the reason for drinking, for instance; some people are social drinkers, which are possibly tied to stress. Alcoholism is also a factor. Research shows chronic stress causes people to drink more. Although many people clamim that alcohol helps deal with stress, studies show that it actually does the opposite.

These sites contain extra info on the subject:
http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/alerts/l/blnaa32.htm

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=54999

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7 Responses to “Drink the Stress Away”


  1. 1 psychphil90 April 11, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    This is a very interesting topic. I think that drinking can relieve stress if it is done in moderation. It is those people who “can’t wait to get drunk” that end up drinking too much, too often, and rely on the alcohol to relieve stress. That can lead to alcoholism. People just need to know their limits.

    • 2 Marianna Wills April 11, 2011 at 5:26 pm

      I agree with phil: the people who “can’t wait to get drunk” becuase they think they can escape from their problems rely on alcohol too much. Drinking to escape the problem will only get you drunk, have you do thinks you wouldn’t normally do, wake up the next morning with a hangover, and still have your problem. The only way to fix the problem is to face it. While that may take a lot of courage, it is still necessary and part of being who we are. They are many other health ways to deal with problems, many of which have already been blogged about such as exercise, sudoku, other puzzles, shopping, spa treatments, and so on.

  2. 3 lorenjn April 13, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    I believe that alcohol does not directly assist you in dealing with the stressors in your life. I do believe that people think that drinking will help them, or they think that if they drink their stress will dissolves. I also think that those who “can’t wait to get drunk” are individuals who have stress in their lives and they may find alcohol consumption to be the easiest way to relieve that stress. Another point I feel that is common is that some peole think that drinking will allow them to deal with the stress in an easier manner.

  3. 4 kristenlyon April 14, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    People who drink when they are stressed are confused. To have a bit of a rough day and have a few drinks to relieve some stress is fine. But, when it becomes a habit and when it is more than a couple of drinks to relieve stress, it is a problem. Many people do not know that alcohol is a depressant. While they may temporarily feel happier and relaxed, it will not last. The alcohol lowers serotonin and norepinephrine.

  4. 5 tdheikens April 14, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    I agree, if you find yourself leaning on alcohol too much as a stress reliever you will quickly find yourself an alcoholic. People often have a bad habit of falling into this trap after the loss of a family member or good friend. Drink to their memory, but you cannot drown yourself in it.

  5. 6 Laura May 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    This is something that I have recently experienced because being my last semester of undergraduate school I’ve been extremely stressed out. Learning about the fact that one glass of red wine a day is beneficial for the heart prompted me to think of alcohol in a different (positive) light than usual, so about a month or so ago I started drinking one glass of wine a few times a week. Then last weekend I was extremely stressed out so while I was at home I decided to binge drink to help me “release” some stress and let my mind have a break from everything that has been going on. Unfortunately it didn’t go well and I ended up feeling really sick and threw up, which is something that I haven’t done for over 10 years. It was alarming because I haven’t slept in a bathroom ever and this time I was so sick to the point that I slept in my bathroom for the first time (the good thing is that is clean and my floor mats are thick and comfortable). I don’t want to get into a cycle where I have to have alcohol to make me feel better or relaxed because I see that as alcoholism. So I haven’t had a sip at all of alcohol since then, and I’ve made a decision to drink only when I am already feeling better and not to make me feel better.

  6. 7 alilogue May 2, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    i think people drink to get their mind off of things, but realy alcohol is a depressant and once you begin to sobre up it makees things ten times worse for you. and once you hit the lowest point of all you turn to alcohol even more, and thats how people become alcoholics. what you need to do to relieve your stress is by working out or talking to someone, because their are no after side effects that can hurt you or make things worse it can only go up from there. i also have a good friend who was/is an alcoholic. he is trying to get better because he has hurt many people because of it. college does not help people because all of the work and partying around but you have to make the right decisions and if not your stuck with the consequences of it. i see how much my friend struggles everyday because of stress of college life and wanting to drink. i dont think its fair that people have to deal with these stressers but it can only make us stronger and have a better understanding about life. so seeing him suffer and knowing im there to help makes me stressed a little but i know im saving someone and making their life less stressful. the best thing you can do is talk to someone out of making the stupid decision of going for a drink when they are stressed because in the end it may end up hurting someone else. their are multiple other ways to relieve stress then drinking or drugs. its not worth it!


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