Is Alcohol a Stimulant?

top view of cut out white human head with colorful gears isolated on grey

Alcohol is a sedative. It is a chemical depressant. By that I mean it decreases or inhibits nerve activity. Some people struggle with this concept because their personal experience of drinking is that a drink energises them (over here in the UK one of the many terms used for an alcoholic drink is a ‘livener’). […]

The End of Lockdown – Socialising

Millennial adult friends socialising together at home

In my last post, I looked at why lockdown has caused many people to drink more. But drinking more isn’t everyone’s story. A lot of people used lockdown as a springboard for stopping and have been very successful. But for these people, the ending of lockdown will bring its own challenges. After all, one of […]

Why Lockdown Led to an Increase in Drinking

woman looking outside window

The lockdown has had quite a profound effect on many people’s drinking.  Some people have found that their drinking has increased (often dramatically) and others have found that the lockdown was their key to stopping. People in this second group may have stopped for anything up to a year, but many of them feel that […]

Genetics and Addiction

Family generation green eyes genetics concept

I’ve read a lot recently about the link between genetics and addiction. I thought it was worth doing a post clarifying the position. The starting point, I think, is that genetics cannot dictate behaviour. Behaviour is learned, not inherited. There is no gene that can make you compulsively keep picking up a drink and drinking […]

The Root of All Addiction is Pain – or is it?

This topic has come up a few times recently and I thought it was worth doing a post just to clarify the situation. As a starting point, using absolutes in terms of addiction is always fraught with difficulties. Addiction is a complicated mix of physiological, chemical and psychological factors. We can talk more in absolute […]


Man Raiding The Fridge At Night

I deal with different aspects of cravings in both AE1 and AE2 and I thought it would be useful to put it all together in one place. A craving is a hugely misunderstood concept, people think of it as an outside occurrence, something that happens to them over which they have no control. It’s like […]

Can Alcohol Cause Sleeping Problems?

Young beautiful woman having trouble sleeping

I deal with alcohol and how it affects sleep in Alcohol Explained, but I think it is worth going into a bit more detail on exactly how drinking alcohol impacts our sleep. To appreciate the effect fully we need to understand three things; how our brain works, how alcohol affects it, and sleep. The first […]

Is Red Wine Good For You?


This is an old topic that keeps coming up, and it is something that a lot of people struggle to get away from; the idea that drinking moderately is healthy, and in particular that red wine has certain health benefits. I thought it would be useful to do a post just clarifying the position. Let’s […]

Alcohol Free and Low Alcohol Beers and Wines


This is an interesting topic, and one that I think would benefit from further discussion. Some people consider that alcohol-free wines and beers helped them immensely to quit drinking, others avoid them as completely as they do the full alcohol versions. There are a few points to make. The first point to make is that […]


Work life balance choices

Someone posted in the Facebook group recently saying she was frustrated and angry from looking at her friends on social media posting pictures of the meals and drinks they were having. She saw the falseness of it all but she wanted to be able to buy into that again. She just wanted to go back […]