Alcohol is a drug and is classified as a depressant. As such, it slows down functions in the central nervous system (CNS) and other organs in the body. As a result, a person’s motor skills or cognitive function may be impaired. For this reason, alcohol is often discussed in the same manner as illicit drugs or prescription medication.
Alcohol is the substance in the drink that is responsible for altered brain function, bodily function, or toxicity. It is also the substance largely responsible for alcoholism or addiction. The alcohol content in drinks like beer or wine is typically less than 10 percent. In liquor such as whiskey, vodka, or tequila, the alcohol content is as high as 40 percent. Because alcohol is a drug, its abuse can lead to negative side effects and medical issues. Thus, it’s vital to understand how alcohol abuse can affect the body. Landmark Recovery can help individuals understand the scope of alcohol abuse and get the addiction therapy necessary.
Alcohol is a Drug
Alcohol is similar to other drugs in that it alters brain function. More specifically, it slows the brain down. The brain triggers the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor, which binds to the brain’s surface receptors. In doing so, it becomes an inhibitory neurotransmitter.
Alcohol mimics GABA’s effect on the brain, binding to the GABA receptors and impairing the signaling of the neurons. When this occurs, the user experiences an overall feeling of relaxation or sedation. At moderate or small levels, drinking alcohol simply relaxes a person. At significant levels, a drinker becomes intoxicated and is at high risk of suffering from an overdose.
Also, a person who abuses alcohol is in danger of having an addiction or dependency on the substance. As such, they may need to visit an alcohol treatment center in Oklahoma.
Side Effects of Drinking Alcohol
Like other drugs, alcohol produces numerous short and long-term side effects such as:
- Behavioral changes
- Heart, liver, and lung damages
- Poor coordination or motor skills
- Diabetes or cancer
- Anxiety or depression
One of the most immediate side effects of consuming too much alcohol is known as alcohol poisoning or alcohol intoxication. Drinking too much alcohol too fast can affect your breathing, gag reflex, body, temperature, or heart rate. This can all lead to a coma or a fatality. The most severe cases of alcohol poisoning require immediate medical attention.
Alcohol is a Drug that’s Addictive
Due to the effect that alcohol has on the brain, alcohol is among the most addictive drugs in the world. A person who first consumes alcohol may get drunk quickly. If they continue drinking alcohol, they may notice that it takes more alcohol to get drunk. This increase in consumption can eventually lead to addiction or dependency.
An addiction forms when a person starts to drink to the point where they are not willing to quit regardless of the consequences. Dependency forms when the drinker can’t see themselves living without alcohol. Both addiction and dependency occur as a result of the brain’s response to ongoing alcohol consumption.
Any therapist at an alcohol rehab center in Oklahoma will work with individuals struggling with alcohol abuse to get to see how alcohol is a drug. The treatment for alcohol is similar to treatment for almost any other type of drug or substance. A person completing an alcohol treatment program must go through detox, rehab, and, possibly, aftercare to avoid a relapse.
Treatment may include both evidence-based and holistic therapy in individual and group settings. A client may choose between residential treatment, partial hospitalization programs, or intensive outpatient treatment for 30, 60, or 90 days.
Get Help for Alcoholism Today
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse, understanding alcohol is a drug can make finding help clearer. Learn more at Landmark Recovery. We provide comprehensive care for alcoholism at our alcohol addiction treatment center in Oklahoma. Call 405.494.4239 to find out more about your treatment options.