[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”IS ALCOHOL A DRUG?” font_container=”tag:h1|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]Alcohol reduces a person’s ability to think rationally and make good judgements. It can also be used to numb emotional and physical pain. While alcohol is not commonly thought of as a drug, it is, in fact, the most widely used drug in the world.
WHAT IS A DRUG
Drugs can be defined as a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body. Ibuprofen, for example, is a drug that can reduce swelling and pain throughout the body. If it is abused, it can cause stomach bleeding. Not all drugs are created equal, and oftentimes it is the misuse or abuse of drugs that leads to problems.
WHAT IS ALCOHOL?
Alcohol in its most basic definition is an intoxicant. Even though it is not prescribed as medication, it is often used to treat symptoms. When a person is sore from a long day at work, drinking alcohol can numb their body. If they feel depressed, alcohol can temporarily lift their spirits. When somebody uses alcohol in this way, they are self-medicating. While it is not wrong to enjoy alcohol occasionally, abusing it can lead to problems.
EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL
The effects of alcohol on the brain are perhaps the most immediate result of alcohol consumption. When a person drinks alcohol, it interferes with the brain’s communication pathways. This can affect mood and behavior and make it more difficult to coordinate movement.
Just like drugs, abusing alcohol can lead to serious medical conditions. These can involve the heart, liver, and pancreas. It can also increase the risk of certain cancers and lower the immune system. Drinking heavily in one sitting can seriously decrease immune system functions, even up to 24 hours after being drunk.
Chronic drinkers are much more susceptible to illnesses like pneumonia and tuberculosis than those who do not drink.
Oftentimes we think of drug overdoses caused by the illegal use of certain drugs. But alcohol can rightly fit into that category. Drinking too much in a short period of time can lead to serious side effects that can affect breathing, heart rate, body temperature, and gag reflex. In some cases it can lead to coma and death. Each person is different, and the amount that can lead to overdose will be different as well.
There seems to be a stigma attached to the word ‘drug’ that alcohol wants to avoid. The effects and consequences of abusing alcohol, though, can be the same or worse as any other drug. Being aware that alcohol is a drug may help many avoid the consequences of abuse.