How does alcohol affect people with anxiety?

This is how alcohol works on the body

Relaxed, energetic and sexy - this is how women feel after drinking a high-proof long drink. This is what a British team of researchers found out. The scientists investigated which emotions alcoholic beverages trigger. They asked 30,000 people from 21 countries about their favorite drinks and how they felt afterwards.

According to the test subjects, white wine and beer primarily have a relaxing effect. High percentage changes the mood the most. Spirits made 30 percent of those surveyed aggressive, while red wine only made seven percent. Especially in men, the consumption of hard alcohol such as schnapps resulted in aggressive behavior.

This is how alcohol works

Alcohol is a strong cell poison. It quickly reaches the brain via the bloodstream. There the alcohol changes the transmission of information between the cells. This has different effects - physically and mentally. As described in the UK study, many people experience that their mood changes as soon as they drink. Not only the type of drink is decisive, but above all the amount.

Small amounts of alcohol usually have a relaxing and mood-enhancing effect, and feelings of fear are reduced. However, as the alcohol level increases, this positive mood quickly turns into irritation and aggression. Since the effects of alcohol gradually increase, those affected usually do not even notice this percentage.

  • From 0.5 per mille: Concentration, alertness and the ability to react decrease, and the willingness to take risks increases
  • From 0.8 per mille: Drunkenness is more evident, perception impaired, reaction time greatly slowed, difficulties in coordinating movements
  • From 1 per mille: Intoxication begins, difficulty speaking, loss of orientation, confusion, overestimation of oneself
  • From 2 per mille: Significant balance and concentration problems, memory disorders, slack muscles, hardly any ability to react
  • From 3 per mille: Muscles continue to slacken, clouding of consciousness, memory loss, weak breathing
  • From 4 per mille: Risk of coma and failure of vital organ functions

The alcohol tolerance varies from person to person. Most of them show signs of severe alcohol intoxication above a blood alcohol concentration of three per thousand. Above a value of five per mille, drinking excesses often end fatally.

Information on the responsible use of alcohol is available, for example, from the "Know your Limit" campaign run by the Federal Center for Health Education.