Is Alcohol Considered a Drug?

Legacy Healing Center Blog

Alcohol is classified as a depressant substance responsible for slowing the functions of the user’s central nervous system. This means that, yes, alcohol is considered a drug. While the dangers of excessive drinking are relatively well-known, alcohol’s classification often gets pushed aside as a result of its popularity and legal status. This sadly leads many people to disregard the risks associated with its abuse. Legacy Healing Center Cincinnati delves deeper into these risks and the official drug classification of alcohol.

Why Is Alcohol a Drug?

Alcohol is considered a drug because of its intoxicating effects on the user’s brain. It alters their physical and mental state and can get to a point where they lose control of bodily functions and their own safety. As a depressant, alcohol is responsible for increasing the production of gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA. This neurotransmitter slows down neurological activity, resulting in depressive effects for the user. 

Possible effects of alcohol include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Reduced inhibitions
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Tiredness and sedation
  • Lack of coordination
  • Feelings of confusion 
  • Irritability or aggression

Despite its depressant classification, alcohol is also known to produce stimulant-like effects, such as euphoria (extreme happiness), sped-up blood pressure, increased sociability, and excessive confidence. Aside from the more well-known effects of alcohol abuse, it can even lead to noticeable physical changes over time, like the infamous beer belly. All this being said, there is a more important question to be asked than if alcohol is considered a drug. The question is, why does so much alcohol abuse occur despite the obvious risks?

Why Is Alcohol So Normalized?

There are many answers to why alcohol is so normalized, but the most telling one is the presence of drinking culture in a variety of demographics. It is often rooted in the lives of parents, whose habits are consequently looked at through the eyes of impressionable youth. The media is also saturated with endless images of gorgeous party-goers dancing and drinking the night away. Even images of a person bending over a toilet are looked at through a humorous lens and often are given less consideration than a party foul.

This normalization has sadly led to countless deaths, whether from the physical consequences of the abuse itself or the dangerous behaviors that result from reduced inhibition. There is a reason that driving under the influence carries such a heavy weight in our judicial system. It is the easiest way to involve an innocent bystander in the dangerous antics of the intoxicated and has destroyed the lives of countless people around the world.

Ultimately, most people over the age of 21 are entitled to enjoy a drink, but a lack of consideration of the risks involved can spell serious trouble. It should also be noted that an inability to stop drinking could be a sign that dependency has formed, which can be especially dangerous considering the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol abuse. Luckily, Legacy has programs that can help you reclaim your life from the clutches of alcoholism.

Legacy’s Alcohol Rehab in Ohio Is Here to Help

We pride ourselves on providing effective addiction treatment for a variety of substances. As one of the top alcohol treatment centers in Ohio, Legacy’s team of clinical professionals is fully equipped to help you achieve and maintain sobriety. Each level of care is designed to give you a chance to comprehensively address your dependency and attain long-lasting recovery. 

Upon arrival, our alcohol detox program will ensure you are walked through the withdrawal process as safely as possible. Even after treatment is completed, aftercare support is provided to ensure you are able to stay strong in the lessons you have learned.

To learn more about treatment options at our Ohio alcohol rehab, call Legacy Cincinnati at 513-586-4971 and speak with an intake specialist today.

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