If you’ve ever wondered whether alcohol use disorder is prevalent in the United States, the answer is yes. Most Americans will drink alcohol at some point in their life, and many of them may begin to wonder, is alcohol a drug? When we think of how many people become addicted to opioids, it is common to wonder if alcohol is a drug too. The hold it has on people across the country is certainly similar to that of a drug, but is it really a drug?
For more information on this topic, and to discuss treatment options, contact our California treatment center today at [Direct].
Is Alcohol a Drug?
The short answer to this question is “yes.” The ingredients in alcohol classify it as a drug. The active ingredient in alcohol is a psychoactive drug called ethanol. This ingredient affects the brain in the following ways:
- There is a decrease in cognitive function
- Learning is inhibited
- It binds to the opioid receptors in the brain, giving the person a “high”
- The brain decreases over time as the person continues drinking
- The brain appears differently on an MRI when a person has been drinking for an extended period of time
As you can see, when trying to answer, is alcohol a drug, all you have to do is look at its effects to come to the conclusion that it is.
Developing Alcohol Use Disorder
Because alcohol is a drug, it eventually leads to a disorder, namely alcohol use disorder. When a person is drinking alcohol on a regular basis, they will soon develop alcohol use disorder, which means it will be difficult to stop drinking without consequences. Alcohol use disorder begins with the regular use of alcohol, usually three or four drinks a day, and ends with an uncontrollable urge to drink. When you try to quit drinking, there are withdrawal symptoms.
Aside from withdrawal symptoms, people experience other symptoms while drinking regularly. Some of these include blackouts, dizziness, cravings, anxiety, and stomach upset.
Withdrawal From Alcohol
Withdrawing from alcohol involves going through a process of eliminating the toxins from your body. Consequently, you’ll have some symptoms that usually follow a certain timeline:
- After 6 to12 hours, you may feel mild irritability, cravings, nervousness, and upset stomach.
- After 12 to 24 hours, you may have more intense symptoms, such as an irregular heartbeat, confusion, high blood pressure, and tremors.
- Between 48 and 72 hours, the worst of the symptoms will be upon you. Some people experience seizures and hallucinations.
Everyone experiences the symptoms differently. Some people have more intense withdrawal, while others go through it a little better. It depends on how long you have been drinking and how much you were drinking. Also, your physical health and size may be a factor, as well.
Help Is Waiting For You At Renaissance Recovery
At Renaissance Recovery, you can find be sure of finding the help and hope you seek for alcohol use disorder. Our compassionate therapist will ensure you get your life back on the right track as you strive for a brighter future. Take the first step by reaching out to one of our qualified intake specialists. You can have the future you want. Our treatment programs are here to assist you on your journey in the healing process. Some of these include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Individual therapy
- Women’s rehab treatment
- Men’s rehab treatment
- Dual diagnosis treatment
Don’t let alcohol issues steal your peace of mind. Now that you answer to — is alcohol a drug, get the help you need by contacting the Renaissance Recovery. Contact Renaissance Recovery at [Direct] today, and we’ll get you on the right pathway today!