In terms of alcohol, one must stay the course as guided by their doctor! This means, after a sober and honest conversation, abiding by all recommendations.

I would be very surprised if there is a doctor that would recommend alcohol use. Many wouldn’t, but might state that a drink or two every now and then is reasonable.

That said, it is your brain. You must make the tough decisions. In my experience, alcohol is more pain than it’s worth. I would get paranoid a few hours in. Not to mention that, in my opinion and for my self, it’s not worth the risk.

Let’s keep this in mind:

Image result for alcohol and mental illness

The rest of this section is based on the fact that “legal” does not mean “safe”, drawing on the the national epidemic of legal “bath salts” and synthetic cannabinoids. No one evaluated them for human consumption before they were marketed. They simply had to stick a “not for human consumption” label on them, which customers would promptly ignore. Alcohol can cause destruction of similar magnitude. However, for one reason or another, it’s easy to acquire, despite the carnage it enables. Think for yourself!

These images serve to depict how lethal, addictive, and violent-inducing, alcohol can be. The alcohol addiction section serves as a more expository warning to those who may consume it. Simply because it’s legal, it’s not safe on the level that caffeine and nicotine usually are.

If you must:

Image result for alcohol safety

Image result for alcohol safety

In the midst of a burgeoning opiates epidemic in America, it’s difficult to say whether alcohol poses as much of a scourge as fentanyl-laced heroin. However, though both opiates and alcohol can be extremely addictive, and ruin peoples’ lives, opiates have never been known for creating violence. This is not the case with alcohol

A violent criminal is much more likely to face higher criminal penalties than a non-violent one. Alcohol furthermore can change very peaceful people into very violent people. In that sense, it is mysterious.

Previously Legal Stimulants

Similarly, on a horrendous scale, almost all of the legal “bath salts” were more dangerous than known and controlled stimulants, which made itself clear far before there was any real scientific study on them. The bath salt MDPV works by the same mechanism as Ritalin, but is four times as potent, and was being sold for very cheap. I have seen people being rendered severely schizophrenic from consuming these substances. They do so much, much more fast than abuse of ADHD medications could, with more abuse, binge-inducing, and overall addictive than even methamphetamine. This is not to say that stimulants are safe to abuse, they are not, but “bath salts” and other novel stimulants tend to leave people much more destitute. 

Previously Legal Cannabinoids

The case of synthetic cannabinoids also deserves merit here. In short: these chemicals are a far cry away from weed, or even from highly concentrated butane hash oil. Weed does not kill people largely because of how it interacts with the receptor that makes us high. This is by being a partial agonist, not a full agonist. This means that it has a ceiling on how much the receptor can be interacted with the chemical. THC stops activity from going too high, and also stops it from falling too low. This makes it far less addictive and less powerful than full agonists. By and large, the synthetic cannabinoids are full agonists. As such, people are much more likely to become addicted to them, and much more likely to suffer adverse effects from them. It may here be useful to go over the Types of Neurotransmitters  – Different Ways of Affecting Receptors page.

I have personally known people who have become schizophrenic, largely, by their own account, because they couldn’t get himself to stop smoking synthetic cannabinoids.

The image above serves to illustrate that, though THC and synthetic cannabinoids affect some of the same receptors, the synthetic chemicals push much more hard, and are liable to additionally cause a host of very serious physical conditions. At the same time, the addictive nature of the synthetic cannabinoid rivals that of hard drugs, cravings, withdrawal, and so on.

Here again we have a depiction of the physical maladies that can result from abuse of synthetic cannabinoids.

Sources: https://addicthelptherapy.netlify.com/alcohol-abuse-and-mental-health, https://alcohol.dasa.ncsu.edu/students/drinking-strategies/, http://bsuoutreach.com/uncategorized/drinking-alcohol-in-the-cold-weather-a-myth-debunked