Is Alcohol a Drug?

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Learn The Answer To Is Alcohol A Drug

Alcohol is legal for consumption so long as you are of age, which may lead people to wonder is alcohol a drug.

While alcohol may not be an illegal or controlled substance like heroin or cocaine, it affects the brain and body just like any other drug.

In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse lists alcohol on its chart of commonly abused drugs.

There are several reasons that the answer to is alcohol a drug is affirmative.

The Answer To Is Alcohol A Drug Lies In The Effects Of Alcohol On The Brain

When answering is alcohol a drug, it is important to note that alcohol affects the brain and changes a person’s behavior, just as others drugs of abuse, like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine do. For example, as the National Institutes of Health explains, alcohol use leads to side effects like slurred speech, weakened memory, poor coordination, blurry vision, and delayed reaction times, all because of the way that alcohol affects the brain. Just as a person can become high on drugs and show side effects, alcohol use can lead to a state of being intoxicated.

Tolerance And Withdrawal: Keys To Understanding Is Alcohol A Drug

Other components that are helpful to know when evaluating is alcohol a drug are the concepts of tolerance and withdrawal. Per the National Institute on Drug Abuse, tolerance develops when a person needs larger and larger quantities of a substance to achieve the same effects. Tolerance can develop with alcohol, just as a person can become tolerant to drugs like heroin or cocaine. In addition, withdrawal occurs when a person becomes dependent upon a substance, meaning the body adapts to the substance and suffers unpleasant symptoms when a person stops using it. Alcohol leads to withdrawal symptoms after a person becomes dependent upon it, making it fit the definition of a drug.

Answering Is Alcohol A Drug: Considering The Risk Of Addiction

In addition to the fact that alcohol affects the brain and leads to tolerance and withdrawal just like other drugs do, it can lead to addiction. It is impossible to answer is alcohol a drug without addressing the fact that alcohol abuse can lead to addiction. According to the National Institutes of Health, the clinical term for an addiction is an alcohol use disorder, which is a brain disorder that leads to difficulty giving up alcohol, even when it causes negative consequences.

An alcohol use disorder is classified under the general category of a substance use disorder, which is the same way that professionals classify addictions to drugs like heroin or marijuana. It may be hard to believe that alcohol can lead to addiction, especially since it is a legal substance, but around 15 million Americans have an alcohol use disorder, according to experts.

Signs Of An Alcohol Use Disorder

Given the fact that alcohol abuse can lead to addiction, it is clear that the answer to is alcohol a drug is a resounding yes. It is also noteworthy that the general signs of an alcohol use disorder are the same as those for other drugs. For example, the criteria for a heroin use disorder includes cravings for heroin, whereas the criteria for an alcohol use disorder include alcohol cravings.

Other symptoms of an alcohol use disorder include inability to stop drinking, continuing to drink even when it places you in danger, and spending significant amounts of time drinking. Someone who has an alcohol use disorder may also drink larger quantities of alcohol than intended or give up other activities in favor of alcohol use. Finally, continuing to drink despite difficulty fulfilling duties at work or home or ongoing alcohol use, even when it causes health problems, are additional signs of an alcohol use disorder.

Getting Help For Alcohol Abuse

Now that you know that the answer to is alcohol a drug is yes, you may be wondering if it is time to get help for alcohol abuse. If you find that you are showing signs of an alcohol use disorder, it is probably time to seek professional help, as it can be difficult to give up alcohol on your own.

Since alcohol changes the brain just like any other drug, alcohol addiction is a legitimate medical condition that warrants treatment. Alcohol addiction can also lead to dependence, so you will experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking. In some cases, these withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous or even life threatening, so professional treatment is warranted. A detox program can keep you as safe and as comfortable as possible as your body goes through alcohol withdrawal.

After you complete detox, it is important that you participate in ongoing behavioral treatment, such as therapy, to help you address the underlying issues that led to alcohol abuse. Alcohol rehab may be either inpatient, meaning you live at a treatment center, or outpatient, meaning you attend treatment at a clinic but live at home. Regardless of the treatment setting, alcohol rehab typically involves individual and group counseling as well as support groups and alcohol education programs.

California Alcohol Rehab

The answer to is alcohol a drug is yes, especially since alcohol addiction requires treatment. If you are seeking California alcohol rehab, Resurgence is located in Orange County, and we offer alcohol detox as well as outpatient and inpatient alcohol treatment. If you choose us as your inpatient alcohol rehab provider, you will recover in a homelike setting, with close access to California amenities like beaches, piers, waterfalls, and outdoor shopping centers.

Resurgence is proud to offer evidence-based treatments, meaning you can be confident that our methods have been proven to be effective. We offer 12-step groups for alcohol addiction, and during your time with us, you will participate in behavioral therapy, group treatments, educational workshops, and relapse prevention programs.

We will provide you with a customized treatment plan that meets your individual needs and teaches you the tools to cope with triggers for alcohol use and overcome negative emotions. We are also a dual diagnosis treatment provider, meaning we are qualified to treat both alcohol addiction and mental health conditions.

Paying For California Alcohol Rehab

Once you determine that you are in need of alcohol rehab, you have to determine how you will pay for this service.

While you may be worried about covering the costs of treatment, Resurgence takes some of the stress out of the process by offering a free, confidential insurance verification program.

We are happy to accept most PPO insurance providers.

Simply fill out a brief form on our website or give us a call to provide us with your insurance information, and a member of our team will tell you what services your insurance plan covers and how much you can expect to pay out of pocket for treatment.

Once you begin your treatment, you will not have to worry about communicating with your insurance company, because we will take care of that for you.

We believe that everyone should have access to affordable, high quality treatment, so if you are without insurance, we will help you to create a payment plan.

Contact us today to begin your journey toward recovery and to learn the answers to questions like is alcohol a drug.



Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.