Blood Pressure

How Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure can result from a variety of factors. But, does alcohol increase blood pressure? Yes, the more you drink, the higher your risk of developing high blood pressure. But how does alcohol increase blood pressure? 

In the U.S., high blood pressure is a common health problem. In fact, almost 75 million adults have high blood pressure. Unfortunately, it can lead to severe medical conditions such as heart failure, stroke, and heart attack. 

What is Blood Pressure?

Each heartbeat pumps blood into the arteries. Blood pressure is the force of this blood pushing against arterial walls. Blood pressure is at it’s highest when your heartbeats. This pressure is known as your systolic pressure and is the first recorded number. Your blood pressure is at it’s lowest in between beats and is the diastolic number. 

Factors of High Blood Pressure

Some critical blood pressure thresholds include:

  • Normal – Less than 120/80 mmHg
  • Prehypertension – Between 120/80 and 129/89 mmHg
  • Stage 1 Hypertension – Between 130/80 and 139/89 mmHg
  • Stage 2 Hypertension – 140/90 mmHg and higher
  • Hypertension crisis – over 180/120 mmHg

High blood pressure is when your blood pressure stays elevated longer than usual. Also called hypertension, high blood pressure makes the heart beat harder. Over time, this can lead to kidney disease, stroke, and heart attack.

Causes of High Blood Pressure: Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure?

Family history and genetics increase your risk of hypertension. But your lifestyle and behaviors can also increase your risk. However, high blood pressure is a silent killer because of the lack of symptoms.

Lifestyle factors that increase your risk may include:

  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Being overweight
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Substance Use Disorder (SUD), particularly Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure?

Anyone can develop high blood pressure. But, certain factors can increase your risk, such as drinking alcohol. Just one alcoholic drink can increase blood pressure, although it typically corrects itself in 2 hours. 

Factors of High Blood Pressure: How Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure? 

Blood pressure is also indirectly affected by alcohol. This effect is because alcohol affects the entire body, which affects blood pressure. These effects include:

  • Nervous system – Although little is known about the effects of alcohol on the nervous system, alcohol can affect nerves throughout the body. And, the nervous system helps control blood pressure.
  • Change in pressure receptors – Baroreceptors sense blood pressure and make adjustments when needed. Alcohol affects these receptors and increases blood pressure. 
  • Increases cortisol – Cortisol, a stress hormone, can raise blood pressure. Alcohol increases cortisol production, therefore increasing blood pressure. 
  • Increases calcium levels – Alcohol increases calcium amounts in the muscles that line arteries. As a result, the arteries become constricted, which elevates blood pressure.
  • Weight – Blood pressure increases if you are overweight. Alcohol is empty calories that, over time, cause weight gain and increases blood pressure. 

One factor alone does not cause high blood pressure. Instead, it is a combination of factors that together leads to high blood pressure.

High Blood Pressure: Does Beer Raise Blood Pressure?

Heavy and regular consumption of alcohol can increase blood pressure. For this reason, it’s crucial to drink in moderation. Furthermore, it can lead to irregular heartbeats, stroke, and heart failure. 

Drinking in moderation means two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. A standard drink is:

  • 12 oz beer
  • 4 oz glass of wine
  • 1.5 oz of 80-proof liquor
  • 1 oz of 100-proof liquor

Binge Drinking: Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure?

Does alcohol increase blood pressure? Yes. In addition, drinking over several days, binge drinking, and long-term heavy drinking can cause chronic hypertension, which is a risk factor for coronary artery disease. 

Furthermore, binge drinking can lead to atherosclerosis. This condition is the narrowing and hardening of arteries, which increases blood pressure. Between the increase in sugar from binge drinking and the constant rise in blood pressure, it puts people in danger of a stroke or heart attack.

Explaining the Phases of Alcoholism and How Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure?

There are five phases to explain alcoholism and high blood pressure. They include:

  • Phase 1: Alcohol does lead to an increase in blood pressure. The effects of alcohol on blood pressure are independent of age, race, and sex.
  • Phase 2: Abstaining from alcohol will reduce both systolic and diastolic numbers.
  • Phase 3: Resuming the consumption of alcohol increases blood pressure again.
  • Phase 4: The continuous rise in blood pressure can lead to liver damage.
  • Phase 5: The onset of end-stage liver disease is when blood pressure is typically it’s highest.

Should You Drink With High Blood Pressure?

If you have high blood pressure, you should avoid drinking alcohol. Doctors often recommend exercise and a healthy diet for those with high blood pressure. And part of a healthy diet is avoiding alcohol. 

What is Blood Pressure

Although alcohol does contribute to high blood pressure, the American Heart Association (AHA) says those with hypertension should drink in moderation. However, the less you drink, the better it is. Furthermore, The AHA recommendations may not work for everyone, so it’s crucial to talk to your doctor.

Low Blood Pressure and Drinking Alcohol

If you have low blood pressure, does alcohol increase blood pressure? You should never use alcohol to treat low blood pressure. In fact, people with low blood pressure can still raise blood pressure when drinking alcohol.

Can Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder Reverse High Blood Pressure?

Alcohol use disorder is treatable but is it possible to reverse alcohol-induced high blood pressure?

Although there are multiple ways to treat alcohol-related high blood pressure, the most effective is to quit drinking. But, this lifestyle change isn’t easy. Above all, you are not alone. Our therapists at Sana Lake walk with you through our comprehensive, holistic addiction treatment.

It’s More than Just Treating Alcohol Use Disorder

Although treatment for alcohol use disorder will help normalize blood pressure, it takes more than just addiction treatment. A healthy lifestyle is required for normal blood pressure. So, regular exercise and physical activity can go a long way to healing your body.

Instead of sitting in front of the tv with a beer, take a walk, a bike ride, or play sports with friends. A healthy diet goes hand-in-hand with exercise. Throw out the junk food and replace it with fruits and vegetables. 

The healthier you become, the higher your motivation to maintain Recovery for Life. 

How Does Stress and How Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure?

A huge part of a healthy lifestyle is managing stress. Stress especially plays a role in high blood pressure. When stress and alcohol use disorder are combined, you are at a greater risk of high blood pressure.

In treatment for alcohol use disorder, you will learn coping skills to manage stress. Stress management not only lowers blood pressure but also encourages lasting recovery. 

What to Expect in Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Misusing alcohol is a serious problem that affects your health and quality of life. We have focused on how alcohol increases blood pressure, but there is more. Alcohol also causes other adverse effects, such as work and relationship problems. 

High Blood Pressure

Depending on the severity of your alcohol use disorder and other factors, inpatient treatment is highly recommended. Even though blood pressure typically returns to normal when you stop drinking, it can sometimes increase. 

For this reason, medical detox and inpatient treatment provide 24-hour supervision. In detox, this supervision can manage withdrawal symptoms as they begin. At the same time, inpatient addiction programs offer safety and supervision to prevent the recurrence of use. 

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of alcohol use disorder can prevent you from having to ask, “Does alcohol increase blood pressure?”

  • Drinking more than intended
  • Unable to stop drinking
  • Drinking to cope with mental and physical issues
  • Blacking out from drinking
  • Engaging in risky behaviors
  • Relationship issues
  • Job loss because of alcohol use
  • Legal troubles such as a DUI

Inpatient Treatment at Sana Lake

Besides inpatient treatment providing a safe environment free from drugs and alcohol, it also eliminates distractions and fears that interfere with recovery. Furthermore, it can be challenging to find support in recovery. Maybe you pushed away your family and healthy friends when they didn’t accept your addiction. But, group therapy proves you are not alone in recovery. 

Inpatient treatment gives members the chance to receive and provide support and guidance to motivate and encourage Recovery for Life. Our inpatient program offers individualized treatment plans that include individual and group traditional and holistic therapies. Our therapies focus on ensuring members feel heard and understood as well as recover from past traumas. 

Improve Your Life and Health at Sana Lake Recovery

If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol use disorder, there is hope. You deserve to be happy and healthy while living your best life. Contact us today, and start your recovery journey.

References: 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16922819/

https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/limiting-alcohol-to-manage-high-blood-pressure

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/01.HYP.0000218586.21932.3c

Paul Melnuk

Check out this article on Forbes from our very own Paul Melnuk!

“This past year has been a tough one for everyone. Communities, government bodies, businesses and individuals have all dealt with the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and continued civil unrest that have gripped the country for much of the year. 

While statistics have been coming out en masse for months regarding the impact of 2020’s events, the conversation around substance use and addiction rates can’t take a back seat. I believe it is every bit as much of a crisis and, left unfettered, it will continue to inflict prolonged damage on the country on both a sociological and economic level…”

Read the Full Article Here:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/01/07/how-addiction-treatment-industries-can-provide-successful-long-term-outcomes/?sh=5196919e7e64

rehab instead of jail

Is it Possible to Substitute Rehab for DUI Jail Time?

Driving under the influence can be a dangerous situation for you and the people around you. Not only can you cause harm to yourself but you can injure or potentially kill another person. A person may be suffering from alcoholism or alcohol misuse underneath this situation. In some circumstances, a person may be able to attend rehab instead of jail time. 

This is dictated by a couple of different factors and may not be available depending on the state. Rehab can be an excellent way of growing and learning from your mistakes. DUI help through rehab can be extremely beneficial and much more productive than jail time. There are several things a person can do to attend DUI rehab instead of jail. Getting comprehensive help from qualified professionals can help a person a lot. 

At Sana Lake, we want to help you get to a better place. Alcohol can take over a person’s life and cause them to act dangerously and carelessly. Our passionate staff is ready to help you improve and become sober. Rehab can be an option instead of going to jail for months or even years. Let’s take a look at the ways a person may be able to attend rehab instead of jail time and how Sana Lake can help you today!

What is DUI?

DUI stands for driving under the influence, specifically under the influence of alcohol. This goes for anyone operating a vehicle and can be applied to more than just a car. A person can receive a DUI for operating a watercraft, mopeds, and even lawnmowers if they are under the influence. If a person is caught driving a vehicle while intoxicated they are arrested and charged. This is a very serious offense and can damage a person’s record and (potentially) their life.

dui rehab instead of jail

There are serious consequences for driving intoxicated, not only with the law but with those around you. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are injured or killed due to car accidents involving a drunk driver. In some severe cases, a person dealing with alcohol use disorder (AUD) may drive under the influence a multitude of times. Driving under the influence causes a massive risk for those driving around the person and themselves. 

When a person initially gets a DUI it is considered a misdemeanor. However, if anyone is injured or killed due to the incident (under the influence of alcohol or drugs), a person will be charged with a felony. There are some states that immediately charge a person with a felony if their BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is high. However, in most cases, the standard is a BAC that is 0.15 or higher. This is a huge red flag that comes with consequences.

The Severe Consequences of a DUI

Apart from being charged with a felony or misdemeanor, there are other consequences for driving under the influence of drugs. It is important to know the consequences of a person’s actions so you can plan accordingly. This of course comes down to a case-by-case basis. How much you were drinking, who was injured, and other factors can make the consequences worse. Other consequences of a DUI include:

  • The intense expenses for the DUI (court bonds, towing charges, attorney, trials, etc.) 
  • Ramifications to a person’s driving privileges (restricted, revoked, or suspended driver’s license). Note that those with first-time offenders may just have their license suspended for 90 days (this of course depends on the case) 
  • Probation for a period of time
  • The possibility of an alcohol education program
  • Possible jail time 
  • The chance of paying more fines after conviction 
  • A requirement to undergo substance use disorder treatment

A DUI is a serious offense that can cost a person thousands of dollars and sometimes, even their life. It is important to get serious help if you or a loved one is struggling with drug addiction. It can take one bad decision to cost someone their life. Under no circumstance should you or anyone you know drive under the influence of drugs. Be smart and think about the consequences that could occur if you are not careful. 

Avoiding Jail if a Person is Arrested for DUI

Every case of DUI is different and there are several factors that determine whether you will go to jail or perhaps rehab. However, the most telling factor is how much a person has to drink when they are arrested. 

If a person’s BAC is very high, they will most definitely be going to jail. Another big factor of whether you go straight to jail over rehab is compliance. It is important to comply and follow the requests of the police officers arresting you. As a citizen, you have your individual rights but being kind and compliant can go a long way in the future. 

Some states of different laws when it comes to aiding alcoholics who are facing DUI charges. This varies greatly from state to state. In some states like California, a first-time offender can avoid jail altogether (this varies depending on the case and any injuries/deaths involved). In cases where injury or high speeding are involved, a person will go straight to jail, even on a first-time offense. With this in mind, compliance with court requests and seeking rehab help can help a person avoid jail.

It is worth noting that if this is a person’s third or fourth offense, they will have a much more severe sentence. Jail time is almost guaranteed if a person has repeated offenses over the last 10 years. However, there are things you can do to ensure you can look for DUI rehab instead of jail 

Addiction Treatment Instead of Jail Time

Seeking a residential rehab (like Sana Lake) can be a great alternative to jail time. Residential treatment usually has a person staying in a rehab center with 24/7 supervision and assistance. This can be extremely beneficial and can help a person cope with their alcohol or drug problem with professional help. 

The treatment plan will most likely have to be laid out for the court, along with meeting obligations and program agreements. A person will need approval from the judge (this is where consulting a lawyer can help in these matters). 

The quality of the treatment center also plays a role in whether or not you can attend DUI rehab instead of jail. At Sana Lake, we provide quality care as we take all factors in mind when treating you or a loved one. Residential rehab can be a great alternative to jail time and can provide long-term sobriety in the process.

Depending on the case you can also look for possible outpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment allows a person to live out their life while attending weekly sessions. This is typically for those who have prior responsibilities back at home (work, school, kids, etc.). However, the judge may be skeptical about outpatient treatment because of its need for transportation and accessibility. Other factors like your compliance, the detail of the DUI, and your age can have an impact on the decision. 

Addiction and Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment

If a person is able to trade for jail time for DUI help, they can now focus on comprehensive addiction treatment. Drugs and alcohol can have a serious negative on a person’s body, mind, and behavior (hence the DUI). Luckily, there are evidence-based therapy and treatment options to help someone out of their hole of addiction. At the end of the day getting help can be the difference between a life of stress and addiction and a life of sobriety and mental ease. 

Detox

Detox is usually the first step of any alcohol or drug-related addiction. Detox completely rids the body of any and all alcohol. During the process, a person will experience the withdrawal effects of stopping their drug intake. This is where our staff at Sana Lake come in to make sure the process goes smoothly and safely. If you are able to go to rehab instead of jail time, your residential treatment will begin with detoxification. 

Therapy Options

Addiction and alcohol abuse is just as much of a mental thing as it is a physical one. Different therapies are used to pinpoint the reasons why a person uses drugs in the first place. In almost all cases of drug addiction, therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which focuses on behavioral and thought changes for the better. As well as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) in some cases. Each can help you cope with the stresses of life and any cravings you may experience. 

Let Sana Lake Help you Today!

Even with a DUI, there are better alternatives with DUI rehab instead of jail. After that, it’s about getting quality care for long-term sobriety. At Sana Lake, we want to help you towards a better life for you and your family. Let our passionate team help you today with our drug and alcohol treatment program. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options and addiction resources. 

covid heroes

Forgotten Heroes of the COVID Pandemic Story

Parenting can be challenging at the best of times. The COVID pandemic has added a whole other dimension to being good parents and role models to our children.

Mention the coronavirus in any situation and you never know what kind of reaction you’ll get. Attitudes, beliefs, and tempers have run rampant in media, in public, and in personal relationships. Should we wear masks, or not? It is a hoax, or not?

Amongst all the uncertainty and angst, we have been hearing more lately about the real heroes of this story, the heroes that may be going unnoticed: our children.

They hear us. They listen to the news, even from the other room. They may not know or understand exactly what’s happening as a result of the onset of COVID-19, but they sense it. They know something’s not right. And they’re scared.

We at Sana Lake want to acknowledge and honor these heroes. The young ones, the parents, relatives, caregivers, and all who have a hand in raising and caring for our little people. With school starting or just around the corner, how do you make the best decisions for you and your family, and help your kids weather the stress?

There’s no right answer. 

The decisions are hard ones, no matter how we look at it. We honor your courage.

To the teachers who would like nothing more than to offer reassurance to your students, you are unsung heroes, too. We can imagine how frustrating it must be to hear and see the heartbreaking stories of kids trying to learn in less than ideal conditions. Children trying to learn in abusive homes, surrounded by substance users acting out their addictions, or with screaming babies in the background. Children who want connection but don’t have internet access nor a computer, or have challenges keeping up in an online world.

The stories have touched us deeply. We extend our utmost respect and support to all the children in our communities, their families, relatives, friends, and professional support networks through this COVID pandemic.

You all are our heroes.