Alcoholism addiction is one of the biggest problems in the United States, and it’s been an issue for a while. Back in the early 20th century, prohibition was an effort to decrease issues with alcohol, but it didn’t succeed. Although there are many people who can drink alcohol without a problem, there are those who can’t. While you may think you or a loved one has a problem, you may ask yourself, “is alcohol a drug?”
Is Alcohol a Drug?
By definition, alcohol is absolutely a drug. It creates a psychological effect when a person introduces it. The reason why many people don’t realize this is because alcohol is completely legal and many consume it. Alcohol is present everywhere from bars, to restaurants, to grocery stores and gas stations. There are many different reasons that people drink, but the issue with alcohol is that it can become addictive.
How Does Alcoholism Develop?
The disease of addiction only affects roughly 10% of the world’s population, and many things have the potential to become addictive. The first concept to understand is that anything that releases dopamine in the brain can be addictive. We are reward-based learning creatures, and we can develop a terrible habit of repeating actions that have consequences. When it comes to alcohol, the problem can develop over time or quickly.
Some of the leading causes of developing alcohol dependence include:
- Mental illness
- Regularly using alcohol to deal with certain emotions or feelings
Mental illness is a major catalyst for alcohol dependence because many people never receive a proper diagnosis. One may feel symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD or ADHD and turn to alcohol as a solution. Due to reward-based learning, the brain feels pleasure and tells the person to repeat that action regularly. Eventually, the person develops a physical and mental craving to turn to alcohol to solve his or her problems.
One of the key signs of alcohol addiction comes in the form of withdrawal. The body is constantly trying to maintain balance. For those who have an alcohol dependence, it doesn’t know what to do when the alcohol is no longer present. In comparison, the symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol are much worse than other drugs like heroin and cocaine. Understanding this fact alone helps to answer the questions, “is alcohol a drug?”
There are many cases where a person tries to overcome the symptoms of withdrawal alone and has issues. Some of the consequences of self-detox can be fatal if they lead to seizures, hallucinations or cardiac arrest. This is why you should always go to a treatment center that can provide you with a proper medical detox. Once you complete detox, you can learn how to overcome your dependence to alcohol.
The Hills Treatment Center is here to serve anyone in the Greater Los Angeles area who struggles with alcohol dependence. Not only do we help you recover from your issues with alcohol, but we teach you a better way of living. Find out more about our incredible program by calling us today at 866-323-4665.