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Is Alcohol A Drug?

By on Dec 2, 2016 in Alcoholism, Blog

is alcohol a drug - man drinking alcohol - victory addiction recovery centerBefore we tackle the question, “ Is alcohol a drug? ”, let’s first define the word ‘drug.’

Many drugs are medications used to treat, prevent, or cure disease or illness in humans and nonhuman animals. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a drug is a substance other than food intended to affect the structure or function of the body. For our purposes, we are looking to the popular definition of a drug, which refers to chemical or plant-derived substances that affect different functions and often lead to varying degrees of dependence or addiction.

So, is alcohol a drug? If we consider Merriam-Webster’s definition of a drug, alcohol certainly fits the bill. For ages, alcohol has been used as a social lubricant, a celebratory beverage, an aphrodisiac, a compliment to culinary dishes, and a typical household beverage. In an excerpt from the chapter The Doctor’s Opinion, out of the book Alcoholics Anonymous, the doctor explains, “Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol.” In short, while some people do enjoy the taste of alcoholic beverages, it is nevertheless a substance used to affect the functions of the human body.

Likewise, If we look at the popular definition of a drug, it does affect a person’s functions – psychological, behavioral, and physical.

Furthermore, alcohol use also leads to varying degrees of physical dependence and addiction, also known as alcoholism. Alcoholism, also called Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) affects untold numbers worldwide, and has for centuries. According to the National Institute on Alcohol use and Alcoholism, in the United States alone, in 2014, 16.3 million adults (ages 18 and up) had AUD. This number is staggering and, unfortunately, will most likely remain high.

The question, “ Is alcohol a drug? ” can be answered with a resounding yes. When we think of drugs, we usually think of marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, meth, etc. All of these substances are in fact drugs, but so is the most highly used substance, alcohol. If you or someone you love are struggling with alcohol abuse or addiction or any substance abuse issue, please reach out and speak with someone. Recovery is possible.

If you or someone you love needs help overcoming addiction, please contact us anytime at (337) 456.9111.

References:
Alcohol Facts and Statistics | National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). (2016, June). Retrieved September, 2016.

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