5 Disadvantages of Using Alcohol as Grief Support

5 Disadvantages of Using Alcohol as Grief Support

Grief is a response to loss or a very difficult situation.

Grieving can be quite overwhelming to the extent that normal routines like sleeping, eating, and socializing with friends and family become a chore.

Most times when people grieve, they usually turn to people for support or other things for comfort to help them through the grieving process.

For some people, alcohol is their go-to source of support while grieving.

Using alcohol for grief support is most common among people who were habitual consumers of alcohol.

This is because they know from experience that alcohol helps to numb difficult emotions or forget the issues they are facing for a while.

In this case, they might turn to alcohol to support them through grief.

This might result in excessive consumption of alcohol because the pain and sadness from grief are constant.

For people who are not habitual drinkers, based on the wrong advice of people around them that using alcohol as grief support is helpful, or that it makes grieving less challenging.

They might find themselves consuming alcohol and may start to depend on it.

Despite the fact that some people use alcohol as a form of grief support, reliance on alcohol for support is bad.

There are numerous disadvantages to using alcohol as grief support.

Firstly, using alcohol as support may lead to over-dependence on it which might lead to substance abuse.

Most times, people who use alcohol as grief support find it difficult to process the negative emotions they feel in a healthy manner.

This makes it difficult for them to cope with the grieving process or resolve it within time.

It might also lead to health problems or aggravate latent health complications the person is suffering from.

Another disadvantage of using alcohol as grief support is that the person may pose a risk of violence or assault to the people around them.

It also has negative effects on their family and social life in general.

Read on to gain insights into the 5 disadvantages of using alcohol as grief support.

Grief & Loss Therapists in Colorado

Jackie Erwin, LPC

Jackie Erwin, LPC

(719) 345-2424
Derek Bonds, LPC

Derek Bonds, LPC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

(719) 345-2424
Mikayla Braukhoff, LPC

Mikayla Braukhoff, LPC

(720) 449-4121
Shannon Hamm, LPC, CCTP

Shannon Hamm, LPC, CCTP

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Jasleen Karir, SWC

Jasleen Karir, SWC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Naomi Kettner, LPC, NCC

Naomi Kettner, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Cassondra Chagnon, LPCC

Cassondra Chagnon, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518
Heather Comensky, LPC

Heather Comensky, LPC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121

Over-Dependence on Alcohol 

Using alcohol as grief support is generally unhealthy.

A healthy form of support would ensure that you resolve the feelings when you are by yourself and you can cope with them.

This is not the case for alcohol.

The fact that it acts as a sedative means you are left asking for more and this may lead to over-reliance on it.

The temporary relief it provides also leaves you with a much deeper issue to be resolved.

Whereas using alcohol as grief support would help in the short term, in the long run, it leaves you with much bigger problems.

It then becomes a habit that makes you long for more and you are at risk of using it to cope with any stressful or difficult situation you experience.

In a bid to numb the pain and sadness, some people may turn to excessive consumption of alcohol.

This might lead to over-dependence on it and in some cases, addiction.

Makes it Difficult to Process Emotions 

While using alcohol as grief support may provide temporary relief from the pain you might feel from grief, it is not healthy for providing support during grief.

When you rely on alcohol, it makes you unable to process the emotions you are feeling.

The healthy thing to do while grieving is to work through all the stages of grief and overcome it.

This would be by acknowledging all your feelings and resolving them.

The only thing it does is suppress how you feel.

Once the effect wears off, the feelings come back.

And this makes it difficult to resolve your feelings and work towards getting through the grieving process effectively.

Alcohol does not provide adequate support for a person grieving.

Instead, it could prolong and worsen the grieving process.

It Aggravates Health Problems 

Consuming alcohol generally leads to health problems.

It is also a leading cause of health problems such as; liver disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, digestive problems, weak immune system, memory problems, and dementia.

It reduces appetite which might lead to malnourishment and vitamin deficiency.

Using alcohol as grief support can also magnify existing health problems a person might be suffering from.

It also worsens the symptoms that are associated with grief and make them debilitating illnesses.

They include depression, insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, stomach distress, and obesity.

Its strongest influence is on depression and in most instances, it worsens it.

This is because, on its own, alcohol is a depressant that makes you feel relaxed when you consume it.

Unfortunately, after it wears off, you are left with feelings of shame or more depression.

It Increases the Risk of Violence 

A person who is grieving and uses alcohol as grief support poses danger or risk to the people around them.

This is because alcohol makes it difficult to restrict yourself from doing things.

It gives 'dutch courage' which makes you prone to risky behavior or activities.

It also leads to impaired memory, judgment, and poor coordination.

As a result, people who use alcohol as grief support are at risk of becoming violent toward the people around them.

They are capable of committing sexual assault, domestic violence against their partners or children, crime, suicide, and homicide.

They are also prone to driving under the influence of alcohol and may be arrested for DUI or causing motor accidents.

Thus, alcohol is not the ideal form of grief support.

Negative Impact on Family and Social Life

Using alcohol as grief support makes one prone to making bad decisions.

Such decisions could have severe consequences on your work, family, and social life.

You might fail to report to their workplace without the necessary permission, neglect your family and friends, and just sink deep into grief.

This would negatively impact your relationships, job performance, and finances.

In most situations, you may be in denial of the severity of your condition and might refuse help.

This makes it difficult for your family or friends to provide the support you need.


People suffering from grief are vulnerable to reliance on alcohol to get rid of the negative emotions, pain, and sadness they are experiencing.

Using alcohol as grief support is however disadvantageous because it may lead to overdependence and abuse, difficulties in processing emotions, risk of violence, health complications, and negative impact on one's life.


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July 13th, 2024

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