Alcohol is a drug no different than heroin or methamphetamine. The only thing differentiating alcohol from so-called “hard” drugs is that it is legal to drink if you are over 21 and socially acceptable.
But alcoholism is a drug addiction. The American Society of Addiction Medicine’s definition of addiction includes the following criteria:
- Inability to stop drinking or using drugs
- Inability to control impulsive, consequential behaviors (stealing to fund a drug addiction, for example)
- Inability to resist cravings for drugs due to suffering severe withdrawal symptoms
- Refusal to admit the addiction (denial)
Although both alcohol and nicotine are socially accepted drugs, they are addictive drugs nevertheless. While alcohol suppresses central nervous system activity, nicotine stimulates central nervous system activity. Any substance that interferes with normal brain activity and neurotransmitter levels is a drug.
5 Reasons Why Alcohol is a Dangerous Drug
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) will inevitably lead to alcoholism. The only difference between AUD and alcoholism is people with AUD have not been abusing alcohol as long as people with full-blown alcoholism. In most cases of AUD, the individual starts out “binging” on the weekends. Binging typically leads to drinking one or two nights a week in addition to binging. Ultimately, the craving for alcohol overwhelms them every day of the week. Trying to stop or cut down on drinking brings unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that only alcohol can stop.
Just like drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine or cocaine addiction destroys lives, alcohol also destroys lives by causing:
- Financial ruin (loss of employment, spending available cash on alcohol, paying others to obtain alcohol)
- Chronic diseases (liver cirrhosis, organic dementia, malnutrition disorders, cardiovascular disease)
- Premature death (strokes, alcohol poisoning, liver/kidney failure, heart attack)
- Poor decision making/impulsive behavior leading to incarceration (fatal drunk driving accidents, felonious criminal activity, homelessness)
- Addiction to other drugs
It is never too late to get treatment for alcohol use disorder or alcoholism. If you or someone you know is using alcohol as a drug, call Live Free Recovery Programs for immediate help.
Alcohol Treatment Programs in Keene, NH and Manchester, NH
We offer several, evidence-based programs to address a person’s unique physical and mental health needs while in recovery. Our partial hospitalization program (PHP) combines inpatient/outpatient treatment protocols involving more intensive counseling and therapy than outpatient programs. However, PHP clients get to live at home as long as they do not require round-the-clock medical support.
People with long-term alcoholism or those who have relapsed in the past would benefit more from inpatient treatment. Most patients in a Live Free Recovery residential program spend between 30 and 90 days as a member of an inpatient facility.
Outpatient treatment is highly recommended for individuals with alcohol use disorder who have yet to experience family, job or school problems due to their drinking.
What are Sober Living Homes in New Hampshire?
A sober living home is an option for individuals who are transitioning from an inpatient or PHP treatment program. While living in a sober living home, clients participate in a variety of activities that promote sober living and recovery, such as vocational training, family support meetings, individual counseling and using the 12 Steps principles in their daily lives.
Help for alcohol abuse is only a phone call away. Call Live Free Recovery now.