Will quitting drinking reduce anxiety?

Will quitting drinking reduce anxiety? It’s not uncommon for people to use alcohol to help them cope with their worry. The link between anxiety and alcoholism, on the other hand, can become a deadly, self-perpetuating loop. According to scientific evidence, binge drinking can amplify anxiety symptoms or vice versa.


The internet is saturated with material and sites detailing how stopping alcohol improved my anxiety outside of the medical community. We decided to delve more into this subject.


Emotions are something that every human being goes through. Some of them are fantastic. Some of them are just awful. But everything is regular and natural. However, intense emotions can cause crushing fear and concern, which can lead to complex anxiety disorders.


Anxiety is one of the most prevalent and ubiquitous mental illnesses in the United States, impacting approximately 40 million individuals. They are actual, life-threatening medical diseases, similar to heart disease and diabetes. Unfortunately, the vast majority of patients do not obtain necessary therapy – only approximately 39% do – leaving a vacuum in care that causes them to engage in risky self-medicating behaviours.


Alcohol appears to be one of the most commonly utilised drugs in the absence of medicine and therapy.



Consider the following paradox: I use alcohol to cope with my anxiety, but I subsequently realised that stopping alcohol completely eliminated my anxiety. These ideas are written down and disseminated on the internet, in forums, and even on social media.


Anxiety disorders and alcohol use disorders (AUD) are frequently co-occurring conditions. For individuals who are feeling situational anxiety, using alcohol to “take the edge off” is a typical strategy. It’s known as the “tension reduction theory” in the scientific community. The idea basically states that alcohol may be used to self-medicate and protect the brain from anxious sensations.


Initially, consuming alcohol may aid in relaxation. It can help people feel more at ease in social circumstances and make difficulties appear less intimidating.


The following are some of the first impacts of alcohol:

  • Mood improvement
  • Anxiety decreases
  • There are less inhibitions.
  • Increased self-assurance


Positive sensations, on the other hand, are typically fleeting and come with hazards. These dangers might become even another source of concern. For one thing, drinking may significantly impair a person’s understanding and logic, leading to many people getting themselves into risky and even dangerous circumstances. It opens the door to the prospect of things going wrong, triggering fight or flight responses, which are the hallmarks of anxiety on repeat.


An individual who suffers from anxiety is three times more likely to develop an alcohol use problem.


Similarly, studies show that persons with particular mental health disorders including agoraphobia, generalised anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder are more likely to have AUDs.


While drinking may seem like a good way to unwind, it really has the opposite impact. With continuous alcohol use, anxiety-related feelings and anxieties are amplified. An anxiety condition can, on the other hand, be triggered by an alcohol use disorder.


Will quitting drinking reduce anxiety?

Finding non-alcohol methods to relax and mingle is recommended by science. For example, instead of eating dinner, go out for brunch, take an exercise class, or spend time outside. These activities have been shown to reduce symptoms and raise happy hormones in the body.


Symptoms of co-occurring anxiety and alcohol use disorder should be monitored in general. It’s essential to determine treatment needs and continuing counselling if you or someone you care about is suffering any of the following symptoms. Among the signs and symptoms are:


Are you jittery or irritable?

  • Feelings of impending danger or panic
  • Observing a rise in heart rate
  • Hyperventilating, sweating, or shaking are all symptoms of hyperventilation.
  • Tired all of the time
  • Having a sleep schedule that is inconsistent
  • Inability to focus


AUD can also be identified by the following signs:

  • Having a strong desire or need to drink
  • Blackouts are a common occurrence.
  • Drinking can also help you relax when you’re in a high-stress situation.
  • Alcohol causing problems at work or at home
  • Drinking while avoiding tasks that were pleasurable
  • Being in a risky position when inebriated
  • Having anxiety as a result of withdrawal symptoms


That is correct. Over time, abstaining from alcohol can help to reduce anxiety attacks. It also has the potential to lower the risk of long-term anxiety problems. Treatment options for dual diagnosis treatment are available.


Read also: What mental illness is associated with alcoholism? 

Read also: Do most alcoholics suffer from personality disorders?