Alcohol is one of those drugs that often polarized opinions. It’s not something people are keen to see hardcore regulations on like cocaine or heroin. In fact, it’s rarely even argued that we need stricter alcohol regulations at all. Most people are happy with the age limit preventing younger people from buying it.
However, why is there such leniency towards it when it’s clearly a dangerous drug? It affects the human body in so many negative ways. But, it also has a very bad effect on our mental health. This article aims to dive deeper into the discussion of alcohol and mental health.
Alcohol And Decision Making
Perhaps the most worrying aspect of alcohol is how it affects our mental state. It works like a lot of other drugs and is possibly worse than many other serious drugs too. There’s a big debate about the legalization of marijuana with some claiming it’s not that bad of a drug. One of their main arguments is that alcohol affects the brain more than marijuana does. In many ways, this is extremely truthful. Alcohol takes over someone’s mind and changes the way you think. It limits your ability to think rationally and make the right decisions. This causes so many people to do stupid things when they’re drunk, things they’d never do when they’re sober. It’s the reason you’ll never find a criminal defense attorney that doesn’t have their hands full with a DUI case. No sober person will ever admit that drink driving is a smart mood, every sober person will tell you not to do it. But, alcohol causes people to think certain ideas, like driving home drunk, are clever. This is such a serious problem, most other drugs that cause the mind to act in this way are banned.
Alcohol And Depression
Then, you have the other mental aspect of alcohol; depression. Many scientific studies classify alcohol as a depressant. It affects the all-important chemical balance in our brains that causes depression. Research proves that drinking alcohol regularly will decrease the serotonin levels in your brain. This is the chemical that helps control your mood. The big problem is that many people turn to alcohol as a crutch when they feel depressed. As a result, they slip into a vicious cycle of feeling more depressed and drinking liquid depression to try and ease the pain.
As we all know, depression is one of the most serious and common mental health problems in the world. Many people die from it every year, and alcohol is associated with numerous cases. We live in a world where it’s seen as ‘normal’ for kids to go to college and spend years of their life drinking alcohol regularly. You’re frowned upon for not having a party attitude in college and not drinking all the time and partying every other night. As such, generations of students are becoming more dependent on alcohol and allowing it to affect their brain. This then causes depression, so we have lots of people growing up silently suffering.
Should there be stricter regulations on alcohol given how badly it damages our mental health? It’s hard to come up with a case that argues there shouldn’t. Alas, it’s a billion dollar industry, and things don’t look likely to change. All that’s left to say is be careful if you drink, and only ever drink in moderation.