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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Alcohol Alert Number 85 - The Link Between Stress and Alcohol

Today, more and more servicemen and women are leaving active duty and returning to civilian life. That transition can be difficult. The stresses associated with military service are not easily shed. But dealing with stress is not limited to recent Veterans. A new job, a death in the family, moving across the country, a breakup, or getting married—all are situations that can result in psychological and physical symptoms collectively known as “stress.”

One way that people may choose to cope with stress is by turning to alcohol. Drinking may lead to positive feelings and relaxation, at least in the short term. Problems arise, however, when stress is ongoing and people continue to try and deal with its effects by drinking alcohol. Instead of “calming your nerves,” long-term, heavy drinking can actually work against you, leading to a host of medical and psychological problems and increasing the risk for alcohol dependence.

This Alert explores the relationship between alcohol and stress, including identifying some common sources of stress, examining how the body responds to stressful situations, and the role that alcohol plays—both in alleviating and perpetuating stress.

Read Full Alert     (PDF)