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Alcohol, Depression & Antidepressants

Lots of people drink to “drown their sorrows” after they’ve been through a hectic week at work, a bad breakup, or another stressful life event. Because we all know, a few glasses of wine or beers can calm you down, and relieve anxiety.

While a drink or two every once in a while when you’re stressed out is one thing, turning to the bottle every time you’re overwhelmed could be a sign of a bigger problem.

Studies show a strong link between alcohol abuse and depression, but the question is, “Does drinking regularly lead to depression, or are depressed people more likely to abuse alcohol?”

Drinking Worsens the Symptoms of Depression

Since nearly one-third of individuals with major depression have an alcohol problem, in many cases the depression was there first. Unfortunately, drinking only worsens the symptoms of depression.

Depressed individuals who overdrink suffer from more frequent and severe episodes of depression, are more likely to drive under the influence and have suicidal thoughts.

Heavy alcohol use can make antidepressants less effective, and combining the two can lead to dangerous drug interactions.

Why Alcohol & Antidepressants Don’t Mix

Alcohol is a depressant, which means drinking too much can actually lead to depression. When you drink too much alcohol, you’re more likely to make bad decisions and be impulsive.

You could ruin your relationships, drain your bank account, or get behind the wheel and seriously injure yourself or someone else in a drunk driving accident.

If you’ve been diagnosed with depression, it’s best to avoid combining alcohol and antidepressants. By combining the two, not only can your symptoms worsen, it can be extremely dangerous.

Here’s a few reasons why:

  • Drinking can counteract the benefits of antidepressants.
  • Alcohol increases the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • If you drink alcohol and are on an antidepressant, and another medication, the side effects can be worse.
  • If you’re on antidepressants called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), alcohol can cause a dangerous spike in blood pressure.
  • Combining alcohol with antidepressants affects coordination, judgement, and reaction time (motor skills). It’s worse than if you had alcohol alone.
  • Alcohol and antidepressants can have sedative effects. When you combined the two, this is intensified, making driving extremely dangerous.

If you are facing DUI charges because you were caught driving under the influence of alcohol (even if it was a small amount) and antidepressant medications, call the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc.

As one of Orange County’s premier DUI defense firms, we have a full understanding of the science behind combining alcohol and drugs!