Does a little alcohol make you more productive?

By David Joel Miller.

Alcohol’s effect on productivity – Morning Question #28

A Kranz (wreath) of Kölsch beer.

A Kranz (wreath) of Kölsch beer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alcohol is not likely to make you more productive. People used to believe that alcohol was a stimulant and increased your productivity. It is not a stimulant, it is a depressant.

What alcohol does do is reduce the function of parts of the brain; as a result, people lose their inhibitions. So people who put things off and avoid things because of anxiety and shyness may do things while they have alcohol in the blood stream that they otherwise would not do.

Taking more chances can be good if it helps you overcome inhibitions and gets you to try something for the first time. But it can also be bad if the thing you try that one time has harmful consequences, like sex with a new partner or drugs. Having to use chemicals to overcome anxiety also increases the risk you will become dependent on that chemical to cope with that problem the next time it arises.

This false belief in alcohol’s ability to increase productivity resulted in a lot of authors, newspaper men and other creative types abusing alcohol and resulted in a lot of alcoholism.

There is no magic substance to make you more productive or creative.

Good health practices, some exercise and reducing the internal censor that inhibits you from trying new things can go a long way towards increasing your productivity.

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books


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