Did you know that roughly 40 million adults suffer from anxiety every year? Anxiety can make you feel depressed, isolated and hopeless. So, you might think that having a few drinks to take the edge off is a good idea. But alcohol is a depressant and can actually make your anxiety worse, not better.
While drinking alcohol to try to relieve your anxiety isn’t recommended, doing it when you’re on an antidepressant like Lexapro can be downright dangerous.
What is Lexapro?
Lexapro is an antidepressant that belongs to the family of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI Class). This medication treats anxiety and depression by balancing serotonin levels in the brain and regulating your emotions. Both these improvements can relieve anxiety symptoms.
SSRIs are widely considered by the mental health community as one of the safest methods of treatment. However, ingesting additional substances like alcohol can impair the effects of medications like Lexapro and put your health at risk.
Can You Drink Alcohol When Taking Lexapro?
When you’re struggling with depression and anxiety, any form of relief can seem like a good idea – even if that form of relief is alcohol. Unfortunately, even a small amount of alcohol can lead to dangerous side effects.
Side Effects of Combing Alcohol with Lexapro
Some of the most common side effects of Lexapro include drowsiness, constipation and dry mouth. They are inconvenient, but not outright dangerous. However, combining alcohol with Lexapro can lead to much more severe side effects, including:
- Lack of energy
- Spikes in your blood pressure
- Liver problems
- Suicidal thoughts and ideation
- An increase in anxiety
- Worsening depression
Most mental health professionals advise against drinking when on an SSRI like Lexapro. Be sure to consult your doctor if you’re on this medication or are prescribed it in the future.
The Effects of Alcohol on Anxiety Disorders
Alcohol is oftentimes a go-to anxiety-reliever for those struggling with anxiety disorders because the substance works quickly. In some cases, people with an anxiety disorder drink because they don’t know the dangers of combining it with Lexapro. In other cases, Lexapro isn’t as effective as it should be. Either way, alcohol makes Lexapro virtually useless, providing temporary relief and then worsening anxiety symptoms after the high wears off.
Once you find yourself in a position where you’re relying on both Lexapro and alcohol to free you from anxiety and depression, it can be hard to right the ship. At this point, you may be struggling with both an anxiety disorder and an alcohol abuse disorder. This is why rehab centers like Fountain Hills Recovery offer dual diagnosis treatment.
Recover from Anxiety and Alcohol Abuse at Fountain Hills Recovery
At Fountain Hills Recovery, we know how challenging it can be to live with an anxiety disorder – especially during a year where the country is trying to manage an ongoing pandemic. As tempting as it may be, alcohol abuse is not the answer and will only make your anxiety that much worse.
Fortunately, our addiction and mental health treatment center in Arizona can help. We’re experts in dual diagnosis treatment and can help you find healthy ways to manage your anxiety without relying on alcohol. If you’re ready to break free from alcohol and anxiety, we’re here to support you. Contact our admissions team today to get started on your journey to lasting recovery.