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How can drugs and alcohol affect emotions?

Sheri Van Dijk
Psychiatry
Illicit drugs and alcohol are known as mood-altering substances because they change your emotional state. You have no control over this change, and it's not always a positive one. The consequences of using substances vary depending on the type of drug, but they can include the following:
  • depression (alcohol is a depressant)
  • anxiety
  • paranoia
  • disinhibition
Disinhibition leads to impulsive behaviors, such as sexual promiscuity; overexpression of emotions, which may result in aggression; dangerous driving; or other risky actions. Using substances can also impact your mood over a longer term. Having a hangover or crashing from a high usually leaves people feeling irritable, tired, and physically unwell. Some people notice that their mood is affected for days after drinking or using drugs.
Calming the Emotional Storm: Using Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills to Manage Your Emotions and Balance Your Life

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Calming the Emotional Storm: Using Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills to Manage Your Emotions and Balance Your Life

When you have difficulties managing your emotions, it can feel like you’re losing control of your whole life. Anger, hurt, grief, worry, and other intense feelings can be overwhelming, and how you...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.