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Does Alcohol Help With Flight Anxiety?

Mark Halsey
Chief Editor of - Cleanbreak Recovery

Mark Halsey is a licensed therapist, founder, and chief editor of Clean Break Recovery. With over a decade of addiction treatment experience, Mark deeply understands...Read more

For those who experience flight anxiety, the idea of taking a plane can be daunting. But does alcohol help with flight anxiety? In this article, we will explore the potential benefits and drawbacks of consuming alcohol to relieve fear of flying. We will look at the research, examine potential risks, and discuss if alcohol can actually help with flight anxiety.

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Does Alcohol Help With Flight Anxiety?

Does Alcohol Reduce Flight Anxiety?

Even though the idea of drinking alcohol to reduce anxiety has been around for a long time, it’s still a controversial topic. Some believe that alcohol can help relieve anxiety in certain situations, while others believe it can make matters worse over time. When it comes to flight anxiety, is drinking alcohol a good idea?

The Effects of Alcohol on Anxiety

Alcohol is a depressant, which means that it can slow down the central nervous system and reduce feelings of anxiety. This can be beneficial in certain situations, such as when you’re feeling overwhelmed by a stressful event. However, drinking too much can have the opposite effect, making anxiety worse over time. It’s important to remember that alcohol affects everyone differently, so it’s important to be aware of your own individual reaction to alcohol.

The Pros and Cons of Drinking Alcohol for Flight Anxiety

There are both pros and cons to drinking alcohol for flight anxiety. On the one hand, it can help to reduce feelings of fear and tension. It can also help to take your mind off your worries and provide a distraction from the anxieties of flying. On the other hand, drinking too much can make anxiety worse, lead to impaired judgement, and increase the risk of dehydration when you’re in a confined space.

What Should You Do?

If you’re feeling anxious about flying, it’s important to remember that drinking alcohol is not a long-term solution. It is best to address the underlying causes of your anxiety and develop healthy coping strategies. This may involve talking to a trusted friend or professional, practicing relaxation techniques, and avoiding triggers that can cause anxiety.

Alternatives to Drinking Alcohol

If you’re feeling anxious about flying, there are some alternatives to drinking alcohol that can help to reduce anxiety. For example, listening to calming music, reading a book, or engaging in some other form of distraction can help to take your mind off your worries. Deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization techniques can also be helpful.

Tips for Flying With Anxiety

In addition to avoiding alcohol, there are a few other tips that can help to reduce anxiety when flying. For example, it’s important to get plenty of rest before your flight and to pack some snacks in case you get hungry. Wearing comfortable clothing and bringing a favorite blanket or pillow can also help to make the flight more comfortable. Finally, it’s important to remember to stay hydrated and to bring some form of identification with you.


Drinking alcohol may be helpful in reducing flight anxiety in some cases, but it is not a long-term solution. The best way to address flight anxiety is to address the underlying causes and develop healthy coping strategies. Alternatives to drinking alcohol, such as relaxation techniques and distractions, can also help to reduce anxiety. Finally, there are a few tips that can help to make flying more comfortable, such as getting plenty of rest and staying hydrated.

Few Frequently Asked Questions

Does Alcohol Help With Flight Anxiety?

Answer: No, alcohol does not help with flight anxiety and can actually make it worse. Alcohol can be a depressant that can slow down your body’s natural responses and make you feel more anxious. Instead of turning to alcohol to reduce flight anxiety, it is best to find other ways to manage stress, such as deep breathing exercises, listening to music, or talking to a friend.

What Are Other Ways To Help With Flight Anxiety?

Answer: There are several other ways to help manage flight anxiety. Deep breathing exercises are a great way to help relax and reduce stress. Listening to calming music or reading a book can also help distract you from any anxious thoughts. If possible, talking to a friend or family member can help ease your mind and help you focus on something other than your fear. Additionally, some people may find relief in using a mindfulness technique such as meditation or yoga.

Can Drinking Alcohol Lead To Risky Behavior On A Plane?

Answer: Yes, drinking alcohol can lead to risky behavior on a plane. Consuming alcohol can reduce inhibitions and make you more likely to act out of character. Alcohol can also impair judgment, causing you to make decisions that could be harmful to yourself or other passengers. It is best to avoid drinking alcohol before or during a flight to ensure a safe and comfortable journey.

What Are The Potential Side Effects Of Drinking Alcohol On A Plane?

Answer: Drinking alcohol on a plane can lead to a number of potential side effects. It can cause dehydration, fatigue, and nausea. Additionally, it can increase your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) due to the reduced cabin pressure and lack of movement. Finally, it can lead to risky behavior that can put you and other passengers at risk.

Is It OK To Drink Alcohol Before A Flight?

Answer: It is not recommended to drink alcohol before a flight. Alcohol can be a depressant and can make you feel more anxious and stressed. Additionally, it can impair your judgment and cause you to make decisions that may be potentially dangerous. Moreover, it can lead to dehydration and fatigue, which can make it difficult to enjoy your flight.

Can Alcohol Interfere With Medications?

Answer: Yes, alcohol can interfere with medications. It can reduce the effectiveness of certain medications and can also cause side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea. It is important to consult with your doctor before consuming alcohol while taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications.

Does Alcohol Help with Anxiety? | Ria Health Psychiatrist Dr Paul Linde Answers

Ultimately, the answer to this question depends on the individual and their specific experience with flight anxiety and alcohol. While alcohol may provide temporary relief for some individuals, it is not a long-term solution for dealing with flight anxiety, and it can lead to further health problems if consumed in excess. If you are experiencing flight anxiety, it is best to consult a professional who can provide you with the necessary tools and resources to reduce the intensity of the symptoms and help you to cope with the discomfort.

Mark Halsey is a licensed therapist, founder, and chief editor of Clean Break Recovery. With over a decade of addiction treatment experience, Mark deeply understands the complex needs of those struggling with addiction and utilizes a comprehensive and holistic approach to address them. He is well-versed in traditional and innovative therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness-based interventions.

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