According to the 2017 NSDUH study, more than 14.1 million Americans struggle with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). Understanding how alcohol is a drug, and the prevalence of alcohol abuse disorders and addiction in the US is crucial. This can help to ensure you do not succumb to a potentially life-threatening situation.
Is Alcohol a Drug?
Alcohol is legal for adults over the age of 21 in the United States. You may be wondering: is alcohol a drug? Alcohol is technically classified as a drug, regardless of its legal status. Alcohol has the power to lower inhibitions and skew the perception of reality while also interfering with emotions. Individuals frequently abusing alcohol will likely require more to feel the same euphoria they did in the past. This happens as they develop tolerance to alcohol. Although millions of people enjoy alcohol in social settings, it does have the potential to become a serious, life-threatening addiction. You can help tackle your alcohol addiction with some rehab program services that include:
- Dual Diagnosis – A dual diagnosis service is extremely important for anyone who is struggling with alcohol addiction in addition to mental illness. Even if no professional has previously diagnosed you with a mental illness, it is still advisable to choose a rehab program offering a dual diagnosis service. You can receive the best and most accurate individualized treatment plan in this way.
- Group Counseling – Group counseling sessions are extremely beneficial for individuals seeking moral, emotional, and mental support while working through their programs.
- Individual Counseling – Working with an experienced individual counselor can address and uncover past traumas and potential triggers that may have led to your alcohol addiction presently. This is an important treatment component.
Approximately 88,000 adults in the US die each year from alcohol-related issues. Alcoholism accounts for the third-leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States. Understanding just how much of a risk alcoholism and alcohol use can be is essential. This can help prevent overuse or the abuse of alcohol in any setting.
In 2010 alone, alcohol misuse and abuse accounted for nearly $250 billion in medical care, especially for individuals partaking in binge drinking.
Effects of Alcohol
The effects of alcohol may vary from one individual to another, but the signs of alcohol use often show themselves in similar ways. Some of the most common effects of alcohol on an individual include:
- Cognitive Impairment – Not uncommon with alcohol use and even in individuals who have not consumed a heavy amount of alcohol can feel the effects. Examples include slower thinking, response times, and a lowered ability to remain focused may occur.
- Lowered Inhibitions – This can lead individuals into risky and dangerous behavior. Lowered inhibitions put individuals at risk for driving while intoxicated, partaking in dangerous behavior, or promiscuous activities.
- Slurred Speech – When the body has consumed too much alcohol, this may be noticeable. An individual slurring their speech may not notice they are doing so. This is due to being too intoxicated from the alcohol itself.
- Memory Issues – Brain fog, memory issues, and memory impairment problems may occur from using alcohol heavily or for extended periods.
- Mood Swings – Increased anxiety, irritability, and mood swings are extremely common. If you have an addiction to alcohol, you may become irritable, irrational, and moody. This can occur when you do not have access to your drink of choice.
- GI Issues – Nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and cramping may all occur as your addiction to alcohol becomes more severe. GI issues may occur due to a poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption, and even a lack of eating.
Don’t let an addiction to alcohol rule your life. It is never too late to turn your life around. We can help. Call us at 855.833.9199 to discover which alcohol abuse treatment programs we have available that are right for you today.