why alcohol can be classified as a drug

Here is more on why alcohol can be classified as a drug.

Why Alcohol Can be Classified as a Drug

Alcohol is a drug that is classified as a Central Nervous System (CNS) depressant, meaning that consuming it slows down brain functionality, neurotic activity, and decreases the function of numerous vital processes in the body. This is caused by an increased production of gamma-aminobutyric acid, also known as GABA. When someone ingests large volumes of alcohol, especially more than the body can withstand, it results in depressive effects. Some of them include:

  • – Decreased inhibition
  • – Slurred speech
  • – Cognitive impairment
  • – Delayed reaction time
  • – Lack of motor skills
  • – Poor coordination 
  • – Distorted judgment and perception
  • – Sedation

Though alcohol is clinically labeled as a depressant, it has also been found to display stimulant effects, depending on the amount and speed in which it is consumed. In smaller quantities, alcohol is more likely to produce stimulatory effects; these are often the effects many people desire when drinking alcohol. Some of these effects include:

  • – Improved mood
  • – Talkativeness
  • – False sense of confidence
  • – Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • – Euphoria

Alcohol is psychologically and physically addictive. Physical addiction can occur because drinking alcohol activates the release of dopamine and endorphins, which both produce feelings of pleasure and euphoria. Conclusive studies by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism have found that genetic factors also play a part in the brain reactions of individuals when they consume alcohol. These studies suggest that some people’s brains release more euphoric chemicals than others in response to alcohol, therefore making them more susceptible to developing an alcohol addiction.

Typically, those who consume alcohol aren’t aware of the physical changes that it can cause in their brain’s function and chemistry; this plays a huge part in the development of alcohol dependence. The brain’s pleasure and reward centers are put into overdrive when someone ingests alcohol on a regular basis, which results in the desire to continue their drinking habits.

It is strongly advised not to attempt to quit “cold turkey”, due to the high level of health risks and discomfort. Medical assistance in an inpatient detox facility is always the best option, as there is always a wide range of support. 

At Asana Recovery, we understand how difficult recovering from these addictions through our daily work to help those struggling most from this disease. While some may believe they can make it alone, rehabilitation programs are essential in the fight to break dependency. The road ahead is not a smooth or easy one, but you can traverse it if done so with the support of the right team. Counseling and aftercare processes can assist you by addressing the psychological facets that led you to addition and help you build a structure from which to better cope with life without succumbing to addiction.

The supervised detoxification and residential treatment programs at Asana Recovery are offered in a supportive, relaxing, and inspiring environment. We’re deeply committed to ensuring your long-term recovery, and guiding you on your path to a healthier and happier future. There is no better time than now, and we’re always available to speak with you. Call us at (949) 438-4504 to learn more about our comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment program today.


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