Initially, alcohol can help with stage fright, also known as performance anxiety, which is a type of social anxiety. The alcohol does tend to take the edge off, as it is effective at reducing anxiety in the short term. But this effect does not tend to last. The biggest problem with alcohol is that it starts to lose its effect at reducing anxiety, and then you need ever-increasing amounts of alcohol with each successive performances. This is called tolerance, where you need more and more of a drug to get the same effect with each successive, repetitive use.
Another big problem with alcohol is that you can then develop a dependence on the drug, where you will seek out the drug to the detriment of other important parts of your life, such as relationships, job performance, and financial well-being. With both tolerance and dependence, and with the important parts of your life in ruins, you then develop an alcohol addiction, and this will require a separate treatment plan to deal with a drug addiction.
So it is not recommended that you take alcohol to deal with stage fright, given the high addictive potential of alcohol. There are other more effective and safer ways to deal with stage fright. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help to deal with your anxiety-inducing performance situation, by gradually exposing you to your fears. If the exposures cause too much anxiety, then there are medications such as beta blockers (i.e. propranolol) which can help to reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety. Benzodiazepines such as Ativan (lorazepam) and Klonopin (clonazepam)can also be considered, but they have the potential for addiction, although to a lesser extent than that of alcohol. If possible, it is preferable to not even consider benzodiazepines, given the addictive potential.
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