For The Drug Addict: Is Alcohol A Drug?
What Is A Drug?
A drug is any substance that has an effect on the brain which changes a person’s physical or mental state. It is an intoxicating “feel good” chemical that can have potentially dangerous and harmful effects, especially with long-term use, when abused or after dependency develops.
Is Alcohol A Drug?
Yes. Any doctor or scientist will tell you that alcohol is a drug. Alcohol falls under the same category of other drugs, such as cocaine, marijuana, LSD, and Vicodin as a mood and mind altering substance.
Alcohol, or “ethanol” is characterized as an intoxicating ingredient found in substances like beer, wine, and liquor that adversely affects the central nervous system and every organ in the body. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant causing nerve cells in the brain to slow down. This intoxication impairs brain functioning and motor skills like memory, decision-making, and coordination.
Because alcohol is legal and acceptable, it is harder for individuals to comprehend that alcohol is also an addictive drug no differently than heroin, PCP, cocaine, or ecstasy. However, according to the NCADD (National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency),
Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in Australia: 1.7 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence (alcoholism) along with several million more who engage in risky, binge drinking patterns that could lead to alcohol problems.
Common Arguments of Recovering Drug Addicts:
“Alcohol was not my drug of choice.”
“I never drank alcohol during my addiction. I only used drugs.”
“I am a drug addict… not an alcoholic.”
“Alcohol was never my problem, drugs were.”
A crack cocaine addict court ordered to an AA meeting may hesitate to raise his hand and say, “My name is — and I am an alcoholic.” A heroin addict exiting treatment may doubt that alcohol will need to be off-limits in recovery. Likewise, a pain-killer addict may believe the use of alcohol only needs to be prohibited for the man who claims himself as an alcoholic; that he can go on drinking if he chooses to. But is there any real difference between an alcoholic and an addict?
Can An Individual Recovering From Drug Addiction Safely Consume Alcohol?
No… The drug addict’s body will respond similarly to alcohol as it would to other drugs, and the cycle of addiction starts all over again.
What this looks like:
-Increasing frequency of use
-Increasing amounts consumed
-Loss of willpower to stop
-Dependency develops: tolerance and withdrawal
-Continued use despite consequences
When a person’s brain reacts in an addictive way to one substance (i.e. cocaine) it will undoubtedly react in the same way to another substance (i.e. alcohol). When a person’s primary addiction, or “drug of choice”, is eliminated, and that person still consumes alcohol, the alcohol will replace the primary substance and undeniably become a secondary addiction.
Thus, when a drug addict continues to drink alcohol, one drug addiction will be replaced with another. When alcohol forms as a secondary addiction, there is also a high potential for alcohol to, sooner or later, lead the individual back to their primary drug addiction.
Alcohol is a drug.
The NA (Narcotics Anonymous) program provides helpful insight into this topic. NA literature states: “The only way to keep from returning to active addiction is not to take that first drug. If you are like us, you know that one is too many and a thousand never enough. We put great emphasis on this, for we know that when we use drugs in any form, or substitute one for another, we release our addiction all over again.
Thinking of alcohol as different from other drugs has caused a great many addicts to relapse. Before we came to NA, many of us viewed alcohol separately, but we cannot afford to be confused about this. Alcohol is a drug. We are people with the disease of addiction who must abstain from all drugs in order to recover.”
When a drug addict enters treatment to get clean, but then chooses to continue drinking alcohol, it is doubtful that individual will ever feel true freedom from the harsh chains of addiction. The idea that the addict can safely use alcohol or drugs in any form at all, must be crushed.
A question for every drug addict to ask himself: Is it worth it?
If you or someone you love is in the grips of drug and alcohol addiction then call us TODAY for private and confidential tailored high quality recovery program. PH 0432 944 027