Drug and alcohol use can result in untold harm to peoples’ personal and professional lives – no single type of person is affected by substance abuse. Lots of people like to reward themselves with alcohol for a ‘job well done’, a deadline met, a deal achieved. A few drinks can become a habitual ritual to ‘wipe away’ the strain of the weekday and any other situational demands that family and work can throw up.
From a nutritional perspective, alcohol raises the blood sugar, which also increases our brain serotonin levels – improving mood. Stimulants like cocaine, amphetamine and even nicotine, increase brain dopamine levels – making us feel happy, motivated and euphoric and letting us forget our anxiety and pressures.
These effects are only temporary. Artificially high levels of “feel good” brain chemicals get used up. The consequences are a low mood, sleep problems, apathy, poor motivation, depression and anxiety. We then end up in an addictive pattern – wanting more alcohol, caffeine, sugar or drugs to raise our mood to feel ‘alright’ again.