Is Alcohol a Drug? Here’s What You Need to Know
Alcohol is everywhere; more than 85 percent of people drink it during parties or regularly throughout their day. It can affect a person’s decision-making capabilities and leaves them in a drunken stupor. Yet, people still wonder, “is alcohol a drug?”
The answer is simple: alcohol is a drug. It affects a person’s mind and alters their thinking; not many people drink it for the flavor. Instead, they enjoy the feeling it leaves afterward and helps enable deeper connections with other people at parties and other situations.
Alcohol is a drug that acts as a social lubricant, letting people share parts of themselves that would otherwise be locked off. It’s fun, but it’s also dangerous. There’s a reason regret is such a fundamental part of any hangover.
Keep reading below to learn what alcohol does to you while drunk, and why it should be thought of in the same way as any other drug.
Is Alcohol A Drug? Yes, It’s A Depressant
Alcohol is undoubtedly a drug – it affects people’s bodies an enables them to behave atypically. People drink it to relax or to drown away painful thoughts. It numbs the body and the mind, giving people an opportunity to relax that they may not usually get.
Technically, alcohol is a depressant since it reduces cognitive function. Fewer neurons fire while drunk compared to when someone is sober. And since a person’s mind is less active while under the influence, the effects of all forms of stimulation are depressed.
People literally do not feel as much while they’re drunk as they do when they’re sober. They become number mentally and physically, and as a result, behave more erratically.
Every Drug Affects People Differently
There are some people that alcohol has a different effect on. Nobody experiences drugs in the same way, and although the effects of alcohol are well-documented, they can vary between people. For some, drinking too much leaves them dancing on tables in a sweaty, wild burst of excitement. Others may become melancholy after drinking and become more talkative than usual.
The best way to tell if someone is under the influence is to compare their behavior with their personalities. If you know someone is struggling with alcohol addiction and is acting out of character any particular day, they may be under the influence. You need to know a person before you can help them, and to start helping them, their problem needs to be addressed.
Different Drinks Have Different Alcohol Levels
It’s important to remember that alcohol is more akin to an ingredient in alcoholic drinks. Different drinks have different levels of alcohol in them, depending on the type of drink. For example, beer has notoriously less alcohol in it than liquors, while Everclear contains far more alcohol than an average whiskey.
The intensity of alcohol’s effects is dependent on how much alcohol a person consumes. It isn’t just dependent on how many drinks a person has. Three shots of Everclear is far different than three shots of Jack Daniel’s. The prior risks alcohol poisoning while the latter may just be the start of a good night.
The way a person drinks alcohol also affects the effects’ intensity. If someone chugs an entire bottle of Vodka in the span of ten minutes, they will feel more drunk, quicker. Meanwhile, a person who enjoys a few beers over a couple of hours at a party may be sober enough to drive home by the end of it.
Alcohol Is Also A Poison
It’s important to remember that, although drinking alcohol may be fun, it’s also a poison. It affects the body in the same way any other poison would: by flooding vital systems with toxins and harmful substances. The only difference is that most people don’t drink enough to cause serious damage.
At least, not immediately.
Over time, alcohol will wear away at a person’s body. Excessive drinking takes its toll through heart attacks, strokes, or even cancer. Most people think they’ve recovered from a night spent in a drunken stupor after pushing through a hangover. In reality, they may be developing serious health issues that can cost them their lives.
Other Drugs Interact With Alcohol Differently
Since alcohol is such a popular thing to drink at parties, it’s often accompanied by other substances. Party-goers may enjoy smoking a bit of weed while already under the influence. They may also mix alcohol with prescribed medication, or even harder drugs.
Alcohol mixes with all of that to produce serious and unexpected effects. And the feeling may not be like either substance on its own. That unexpected experience can leave people feeling nervous, or downright terrified.
That’s which it’s important to remember to drink in moderation. It’s also vital to respect the effects drugs can have, and if you’re going to use them, to never go beyond your limits. Always drink in a safe environment, and try to avoid mixing alcohol and other substances.
Alcohol Is Everywhere
Unlike most drugs, alcohol can be picked up at almost any retail store. It’s a fundamental part of any culture, and when used in a healthy way, can be a part of a fun experience. Yet, it’s also easy to start abusing it.
Since alcohol is everywhere, potential addicts must resist the urge to drink almost anywhere they go. It takes a lot of strength and willpower to maintain your own sobriety. It can also take social ridicule since alcohol is embedded in our social fabric.
Yet, it’s always worth it to stay sober if you need to. There is no obligation to drink, no matter what all the advertisements or storefronts imply.
You Always Have The Choice Not To Drink
Sobriety isn’t as fun as downing a few drinks and stumbling back home, drunk. It’s true. But, sobriety is still worth it.
That’s because there is a simple answer to the question, “Is alcohol a drug?” Alcohol is a drug, plain and simple. It can be abused like one, and it can take massive tolls on people who start to depend on it.
While drunk, you’re not you. And all anyone wants is for you to be comfortable in your own skin; to be okay with yourself. Doing that can take work and effort though, and it’s easier to just drink away the pain. Yet, you shouldn’t.
Instead, you should just contact us here. Not everyone has the time or money to commit to a treatment program, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get better. We will work with you to get you on the path of recovery so you can live a fuller, sober life.