Can Alcohol Help Me Cope With Stress?

Question: I like to drink alcohol to help me cope with stress, and just about everyone else I know seems to do it, too. Is this a good idea? Can I become an alcoholic?

Answer: The consumption of alcohol to deal with stress is never a good idea. There's several reasons for this. First of all, the use of alcohol like any other drug, could lead to problems with dependence or abuse. With dependence we mean if you continually use alcohol there's a risk that you'll require more and more alcohol to get the benefits of the stress relief.

Second of all, it doesn't really help you think clearly or problem solve effectively, and so it doesn't' really teach you to create solutions to the problem that's creating the stress.

There is a risk you can become addicted and it leads to also potentially further symptoms that are part of the stress reaction that you're trying to reduce such as stomach upset, dry mouth and other physical symptoms that people associate with stress.

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