Find Local Treatment Options
Call 800-481-6320 to speak with an alcohol or drug abuse counselor.

How Hangover Episodes May Be a Sign of Developing Alcohol Dependence

After a long night of drinking or an especially wild party, it’s not uncommon to wake up the next morning with a hangover. A hangover episode can easily set the tone for the day in terms of the overall feeling of malaise it brings it about, making it difficult to fulfill work and family obligations.

For someone who experiences hangover episodes on a regular basis, the ongoing effects of alcohol on the brain’s delicate chemical system can easily set the stage for alcohol dependence to take shape.

What Causes Hangover Episodes?

The brain uses neurotransmitter chemicals to maintain a chemical and electrical equilibrium capable of regulating the body’s major systems. According to Scripps Research Institute, this equilibrium works to maintain a balance of inhibitory and excitatory chemicals in the brain at all times.

Alcohol’s relaxing effects come about through its ability to alter neurotransmitter chemical outputs, which in turn offsets the brain’s natural chemical balance. Ingesting large amounts of alcohol forces the brain to adapt to alcohol’s effects by desensitizing affected chemical processes, which causes an increase in brain tolerance levels. Once tolerance levels increase, alcohol must be present at a certain amount in order for the brain to function normally.

After a bout of excess drinking, once the effects of alcohol wear off, the brain enters into a hyper-excitatory mode in attempt to compensate for the lack of alcohol. This response triggers the uncomfortable symptoms commonly experienced during a hangover episode.

For help finding treatment that meets your needs call our toll-free helpline at 800-481-6320.

Alcohol Withdrawal Effects

During a hangover episode, alcohol withdrawal effects account for the uncomfortable physical symptoms experienced. In effect, alcohol withdrawal effects reflect the state of dysfunction taking place within the brain’s chemical system.

Hangover Episodes

Depression and anxiety are common alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, withdrawal effects typically take the form of:

  • Frequent mood swings
  • Tremors
  • Irritability
  • Confused thinking
  • Nausea
  • Profuse sweating
  • Problems sleeping
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue

For someone who drinks regularly, it’s not uncommon to consume more alcohol in an effort to gain relief from uncomfortable withdrawal effects. This practice plays a pivotal role in the development of alcohol dependence.

Anxiety Effects

With regular alcohol use, experiencing repeated hangover episodes starts to take a toll on the brain’s ability to recover from alcohol’s effects. Consequently, drinkers start to experience considerable anxiety when the brain’s in “need” of more alcohol. This condition makes a person especially sensitive to daily life stressors.

According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism, this anxiety response greatly contributes to continued alcohol abuse and paves the way for alcohol dependence to develop. In effect, alcohol interferes with the brain’s ability to manage stress to the point where a person becomes dependent on alcohol’s effects to handle daily life stressors. This not only perpetuates the alcohol dependence cycle, but also sets a sure course for addiction to develop.

Why You Should Seek Help for Drug and Alcohol Dependence

Treatment Considerations

While the occasional hangover episode may pose little risk of engaging in regular alcohol use, any time a pattern of drinking develops, the withdrawal effects brought on by hangovers predispose a person to developing alcohol dependence. Without needed treatment help, this cycle of alcohol abuse and dependence will continue on indefinitely making it increasingly difficult for a person to break free of alcohol’s hold.

If you suspect you or someone you know struggles with alcohol dependence and need help finding treatment that meets your needs, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-481-6320 to speak with one of our addictions specialists.

More Rehab Centers Resources

Learning to Be Honest in Recovery

As stated by the National Library of Medicine, “Lying and stealing” are some of the most damaging behaviors a person can participate in when they become addicted to drugs, and unfortunately, these are some of the clearest signs of a serious addiction. For these reasons, learning to be honest is one of the most important….

Continue reading

Prescription Drug Addiction Amongst Veterans Rising

We need to take a stand for our veterans and stop prescription drug abuse!

Veterans form Vietnam, Desert Storm, Operation Freedom or one of the many other wars or fights that have recently been initiated from our country are finding themselves back at home and unable to cope with the trauma that was felt over seas. As a result, many veterans are turning to prescription medications as a way….

Continue reading

How Long Does Therapeutic Community Treatment Last?

A therapeutic community (TC) is a type of treatment program that many residential rehab centers use to help recovering addicts learn better behaviors associated with drug use, socialization and combatting negative perceptions and attitudes held by those individuals. This type of treatment program can be confrontational and is usually very structured, but it is often….

Continue reading

Which Type of Rehab Center is Right for Me?

There is more than one type of rehab center, and while they all have their merits, it can help to compare them in order to find out which one is right for your needs. Make sure to ask yourself what aspects of a treatment program are most important to you before you begin, and it….

Continue reading

How a Rehab Center Treats People with Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder, or BPD, is one of several personality disorders, including paranoid personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder. BPD is a complex and serious mental illness. Those who are diagnosed with it are unable to manage their emotions appropriately and this seriously impacts relationships. They find it difficult to regulate their emotions and thoughts;….

Continue reading

Benefits of Local Rehab Centers

rehab centers

There are local rehab centers, which offer programs for the treatment of various drug and alcohol addictions as well as offering psychological counseling services. Drug and alcohol addictions are a huge challenge to try to overcome, however local rehab centers are able provide a safe, medically supervised environment for those who are struggling with addictions…..

Continue reading

Signs of Depression You May Be Overlooking

As one of the most commonly experienced mental health problems, depression can affect people of all ages and backgrounds diminishing one’s quality of life in distinctive ways. Depression can vary in severity and duration with some conditions taking so severe a toll on a person’s well-being as to bring on full-blown disability. Signs of depression….

Continue reading

Still can't find the help you are looking for?Get Started Now
Accepted Insurances / View the full list
For inquiries call800-481-6320

Accepted Insurances Does My Insurance
Cover This?

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Share This