Is Alcohol Considered a Drug?
Alcoholism is a condition with a lot of misconceptions associated with it. It is not determined by how many drinks a person consumes in a period of time, it does not become more likely the longer a person drinks nor does it matter what type of alcohol is consumed.
Alcoholism is a condition where a person feels a nearly irresistible need to consume alcohol. Because the alcoholic has a feeling that alcohol is a necessity to them it makes it very difficult, but not impossible, to stop without any outside support. Without treatment alcoholism can easily become a destructive force in a person’s life, tearing apart families and friendships.
The more that you know about alcohol and alcoholism, the more prepared you will be when it comes to protecting yourself from this harmful disease. Make sure that you become educated about alcoholism and what it means for you and your family so that you can stay safe and keep yourself and your family as informed as possible, and that you know how to go about getting help if needed. Help is just a phone call away (800-303-2482).
Is Alcohol Considered a Drug?
There is a great debate about whether or not alcohol is a drug. The true answer to this question has to do with your definition of “drug,” though, because there are all kinds of different drugs, including recreational and illicit drugs, prescription drugs, vitamins and minerals and so on. With so many different types of substances and supplements out there, it should make sense why it can be hard to classify something like this. Alcohol is legal to buy and consume, after all, so why would it be classified as a drug in the same manner that cocaine or marijuana would be?
Alcohol is capable of altering your state of consciousness, and it is quite capable of impairing your natural ability to function in a normal manner. Because of these two facts, many people classify alcohol as being a drug.
Many people believe that alcohol is harmless and therefore it should not be considered a drug. Consider this, however: Your body actually perceives alcohol to be a poison or a toxin. When you drink alcohol, the inebriated feeling that you experience is your body telling you that you have been poisoned. When you drink alcohol, your brain and your liver have to work particularly hard to deal with the effects. Over time, you can cause serious damage to your body, especially when you are drinking to excess. What this means is that in truth, alcohol is not nearly as safe or harmless as many people have perceived it to be in the past.
There are other types of harm that alcohol is capable of causing as well. Think about how many unwanted pregnancies occur every year as a result of drinking to excess. Think about how many babies are born every year with birth defects because their parents drank. There are numerous other harmful events that occur as a result of alcoholism and drinking to excess including senseless deaths through violence and auto accidents just to name a few. With all of this harm resulting from alcoholism, drinking problems and drinking to excess, it should make total sense why alcohol is perceived to be a drug.
Because of the harmful nature of alcohol, and because alcohol is capable of hurting the person drinking and so many people around them, the government is constantly working to regulate alcohol and how it is sold, purchased and used. When the drinking age is lifted higher, or bans are placed on the sale of alcohol, or when taxes are added to the sale of alcohol, these are all attempts by the government to make it harder for alcohol to be acquired in an attempt to slow down the damage that it causes.
Another consideration to make when it comes to deciding whether or not alcohol is a drug is the addictive nature. Alcohol is capable of being both physically addictive and emotionally addictive. The physical addiction to alcohol comes from the physical tolerance that forms when you continue to drink alcohol. When you first start drinking, you might get buzzed after a drink and drunk after three. As you continue to drink alcohol, you may suddenly find that it takes between two and three drinks in order to get buzzed, and significantly more to become drunk. This physical tolerance is your body becoming accustomed to the alcohol in your system. Unfortunately as you continue to drink, your body is only going to require more and more of the alcohol in order to get the same effect. This is how the physical addiction forms, because your body is going to be constantly craving more and more of the substance in order to get the same effect that it received in the past.
The way that the emotional or psychological addiction forms is a little bit different. Generally what happens is that people use alcohol as a coping mechanism, self-medication that allows them to push away their problems and think about other things. Unfortunately what happens is that these problems, the ones leading to the alcoholism in the first place, are never remedied. As a result, the person continues to drink and continues to drink without ever dealing with the underlying causes of what ails them. They become emotionally and psychologically dependent on the alcohol as a means of coping and they rely so heavily on it that they do not think they can get through the day without a drink.
Why Alcohol is Considered a Drug
For most intents and purposes, a drug is any substance that is capable of changing the physical and emotional state of the person who is using it. For this reason alone, you can consider alcohol to be a drug. Alcohol is a substance that is capable of hindering one’s mental abilities and altering one’s mental state, even when they only drink a little.
Different types of alcohol are capable of impacting the mind and the body in different ways, such as beer, wine and hard liquor. The reason for this is because different types of alcohol contain different “proofs” or alcohol by volume. Anyone who is abusing alcohol is considered to be an alcoholic or a substance abuser, regardless of what type of alcohol they are actually abusing.
Any non-nutritional chemical that is capable of altering the body functions in order to produce a physical change, a psychological change or a behavioral change is considered to be a drug. For this reason, alcohol fits this description and is capable of being called a drug. When you have a substance abuse problem involving alcohol, you may experience the following:
- You may have felt that you need to reduce your use of the substance.
- You may have felt annoyed at the fact that people are criticizing how you use the substance.
- You may have felt guilty about the fact that you are using the substance, or guilty at the amount of the substance that you are using.
- You may have felt like you relied upon the substance simply to start the day or to get through the day.
If any of these four things apply to you, then the odds are good that you are abusing the drug known as alcohol.