Is Alcohol a Drug?

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Drinking plays a predominant role in American culture.  At least 70% of Americans said that they had a drink in the past 12 months.  The distinction between cultural acceptance and abuse is a slippery slope.  In 2013, 24.6 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month.  Public health concerns regarding the effects of alcohol abuse is nothing new.  Alcohol misuse costs the Untied States an average of $223.5 billion a year.  Drunk driving costs each adult in the United States almost $800 per year and in 2013, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 10,076 deaths (30.8 percent of overall driving fatalities).

Signs of alcohol abuse are most obvious when a person is consuming heavy amounts of alcohol.

Binge drinking, is often defined as at least 8-10 standard drinks (12 oz of regular beer) on a single occasion. Binge drinking poses the most health risks when it comes to alcohol consumption because it increases the blood alcohol content level in a short period of time—BAC levels above .300 can cause serious physical harm and, possibly, death.

 

Many people engage in heavy drinking, where they drink less than the 8-10 standard drinks on a single occasion but drink solely to become intoxicated.  Heavy drinking, like binge drinking, has a corrosive effect on the liver and and lead to long-term cognitive debilitation. Tolerance also gradually increases the amount of alcohol that an individual tends to consume and heavy drinking can quickly devolve into binge drinking.

They key to alcohol addiction is an individual’s loss of control.  Social drinking is always conducted as a deliberate choice—not inevitably ending in intoxication.  With alcohol addiction alcohol is solely used as a coping mechanism to deal with negative mental and emotional states. Repeated usage of alcohol to cope with stress effects an individual’s limbic system (the brain’s reward system) and makes the habit hard to break.

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The key to recovery from alcohol addiction is early intervention.  Alcoholism is a progressive disease and the habit becomes harder to quit over time.  Certified intervention professionals can quickly meet with individual’s engaged in alcohol abuse and addiction.  It is important that the negative consequences of their behavior be brought to their attention.  The individual must know that drinking can cost them their very lives. Treatment is then discussed and our certified interventionists would match those suffering from alcohol addiction to the treatment center that is best for them.

 

Universal Crisis Intervention has been conducting successful drug interventions for the past 20 years. To learn more about intervention and treatment for alcohol addiction, visit www.extremeintervention.com

 

Summary
Is Alcohol a Drug?
Article Name
Is Alcohol a Drug?
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At least 70% of Americans said that they had a drink in the past 12 months. The distinction between cultural acceptance and abuse is a slippery slope.
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