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Many people wonder whether alcohol should technically be considered a drug. The typical perception that most people have when it comes to addiction is that only illicit substances like heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine qualify to be classified as drugs. However, not illicit substances only qualify to fit in this category. Cough syrup, prescription drugs, and nicotine are legal substances that can easily be acquired by adults.
Having said this, it’s out of the question to categorize alcohol as a drug for some people. To them, alcohol is not a drug. This article will delve deeper into the topic of alcohol as a drug and its addictive nature, as well as, why it may be classified as a drug.
By the time many people call addiction hotline Vermont, they are already suffering the effects of alcoholism. However, they do not know the science behind alcohol. A drug hotline is a phone number that people call to seek help with addiction. A person or their loved one can call this number seeking help with addiction to any drug or alcoholism. The number is manned by professionals that provide information and guidelines to people that want to overcome addiction. If you or a loved one is battling alcohol addiction, calling this number can mark the beginning of a recovery process. But, what is alcohol, and what are its side effects?
Well, alcohol can be defined as a depressant that affects the central nervous system. As such, drinking alcohol slows down a person’s central nervous system. The central nervous system controls many functions of the mind and body. For instance, the major brain part of the central nervous system controls thoughts, how a person interprets things around them, and different movements of the body.
Research has shown that alcohol impairs the ability of a person to perform many actions in a suitable or normal manner by slowing down the central nervous system. Some of the areas that alcohol consumption affects include brain function and neural activity, as well as, the functions of vital organs.
Side Effects of Alcohol Consumption
Most people call an addiction helpline in Vermont after experiencing some of the negative effects of alcohol consumption. Occasional drinking during dinner may not cause some of these side effects. However, the cumulative negative effects of drinking alcohol should be a cause for concern.
When a person drinks alcohol, the effects can be immediate. Here are some of the most common immediate effects of alcohol:
- Overly confident
- Overly talkative
- Rapid heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Cognitive impairment
- Delayed or slowed down reaction time
- Slurred speech
- Impaired motor skills
- Poor judgment
- Distorted perceptions
- Lessened inhibitions
Alcohol dependence or addiction is a major effect of long-term drinking. If a person drinks more alcohol, it can lead to serious addiction. Alcohol has stimulant effects that can entangle a person on an addiction web. However, several factors play a role in the development of alcoholism.
But, what makes alcohol qualify to be a drug is the fact that it has some physiological effect just like other addictive substances. Essentially, alcohol can be psychologically and physically addictive when ingested in large amounts and for some time. And to overcome this dependence, a person may have to call an addiction hotline number in Vermont.
Alcohol Abuse Facts
To understand the addictive nature of a drug, it’s important to consider hard, cold facts about it. Here are several alcohol abuse facts to consider:
- More than 17.6 million people in the use are actively struggling with or have suffered from a chronic alcohol use disorder.
- A 2018 national survey revealed that 86% of individuals aged 18 and above years have drunk alcohol at some point in life. 70% had consumed alcohol in the previous year, 55% had consumed alcohol in the previous month, while 26% had gone binge drinking in the previous month.
- When abused frequently, alcohol can cause psychological and physical dependence. The release of dopamine and endorphins when drinking alcohol is the cause of physical dependence. These hormones are closely related to pleasurable feelings. And, the more they are released the more a person is likely to develop physical dependence.
- Alcohol affects the reward system of the brain directly. The brain feels rewarded when a person consumes alcohol. This is what causes the psychological dependence that is associated with alcohol abuse.
- Some people abuse alcohol trying to deal with a mental health problem like depression, stress, or anxiety. Heavy reliance on alcohol to deal with such discomforting feelings can lead to psychological dependency thinking that the substance makes them feel better. Unfortunately, this drives them deeper into addiction and they may have to call a drug help hotline in Vermont to overcome this dependence later in life.
- Frequent drinking can cause dependence that has withdrawal when a person tries to avoid alcohol consumption. Withdrawal symptoms may include nausea, tremors, anxiety, vomiting, insomnia, delirium, seizures, and depression. They are the reason why some people can’t quit drinking even when suffering the side effects of the habit.
- Short-term effects of abusing alcohol can have serious effects like being unconscious, unable to feel pain, vomiting, irregular breathing, clammy or cold skin, and death.
- Continued alcohol abuse can cause long-term effects on health. These may include learning problems, memory loss, liver disease, hepatitis, high blood pressure, fatty liver, stroke, vitamin B deficiency, and cancer.
The Bottom Line
The fact that alcohol consumption is legal makes some people think it is not a drug. However, alcohol is a drug that can lead to addiction and other negative effects on the health and life of a person. It’s addictive nature and withdrawal symptoms are the reasons why many people have difficulties giving up alcohol even when suffering the negative effects of its use. Nevertheless, a person can overcome alcoholism by calling an addiction hotline free in Vermont. This single step can mark the beginning of the recovery journey of a person that is battling alcoholism.