Why Is Alcohol Called a Depressant?

Alcohol is a depressant which is a class of drugs that inhibit the function of the central nervous system (CNS). In doing so both physical and psychological activity are impaired. CNS depressants like alcohol reduce brain activity and awareness by blocking messages from nerve receptors to the brain; this changes a person’s judgments, perceptions, movements, emotions, and senses. When depressants are abused a person is vulnerable to many health risks, as well as accidental injury and death. Other drugs that fit into the depressant category are sedatives, tranquillizers and anesthetics.

Do Depressants Make You Feel Depressed?

Mostly due to the name, many people believe depressants cause people to feel depressed. While depressants “depress” the central nervous system, they do not cause a person to be depressed while under the influence. Depressants can initially make a person feel quite pleasant; alcohol relaxes its users and puts them at ease. However, depressants are rarely used in limited form. When alcohol is misused, the consequences can be life-threatening. Alcohol is extremely addictive, and when abused long-term the drug can eventually lead to symptoms of depression.

What Are the Side Effects of Alcohol and Other Depressants?

When used as directed, or in limited quantities, alcohol and other depressants can provide feelings of relaxation and reduce the symptoms of anxiety. However, when alcohol and other depressants are abused a person can become intoxicated very quickly. Common side effects of alcohol and other depressants include the following:

  • Impaired motor skills and coordination
  • Mental cloudiness and confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Cognitive and memory impairment
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Slowed or stopped heart rate
  • Slowed or depressed breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Emotional instability and severe mood swings
  • Euphoria
  • Sleepiness, unconsciousness
  • Seizures

What Are the Dangers of Alcohol and Other Depressants?

While intoxicated, alcohol can lead to a number of damaging consequences. Alcohol causes people to lose their inhibitions, which can result in people taking greater risks and making poor decisions that they would never make sober. While intoxicated, people are also vulnerable to unintentional accidents and injury. Lack of physical and mental coordination due to alcohol intoxication can cause bodily harm to the person drinking and also people nearby.

Other implications of alcohol and other depressants are overdose and death. Alcohol overdose results in alcohol poisoning, and the results can be deadly. Because alcohol impairs one’s emotions and awareness, people under the influence are known to get into fights and arguments. They may say things they do not mean, and will regret them the next day. Alcohol abuse can destroy families, marriages, friendships and careers.

Alcoholism Help

Sobriety provides an infinite amount of benefits. People are blessed with social, relational, occupational, and financial opportunities each and every day. Unfortunately, many people miss out on these opportunities because of a problem with alcohol or drugs. If substance abuse has become a problem in your life, decide to get help today. Please call our toll-free helpline to speak with a rehab professional about the treatment options that can help you find true sobriety. We are here 24 hours a day to assist you in your search for a better life. Please call now.

Speak with an Admissions Coordinator 877-345-8494