Is Alcohol a Drug?

Many people wonder, “Is alcohol a drug?” Well, the simple answer is yes. It is a substance with a profound effect on bodily functions. Classified as a depressant, it has both short-term and long-term adverse effects on your overall health. It is important to understand how alcohol works in your body so you can get the right alcohol addiction treatment programs for yourself of a loved one.

Why Is Alcohol a Drug?

As you know now, alcohol is a drug classified as a depressant. Its primary effects are to slow down your body’s vital functions. This characteristic is what causes the symptoms that are experienced by people who abuse alcohol. This substance deeply affects the mind, reducing one’s ability to think rationally. Often, an intoxicated person has distorted judgment and decreased inhibitions. It is why drunks are known to do things they regret later. Some of the side effects of alcohol include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Delayed reaction time
  • Distorted perception
  • Poor coordination/lack of motor skills
  • Unsteady gait

While technically a depressant, alcohol also provides effects that resemble the use of a stimulant. It all depends on the amount you consumed and your body’s tolerance. Most of the time, a person who drinks moderately “loosens up,” which is the so-called lessened inhibition effect. This and other social effects of alcohol are commonly viewed as not quite a problem. On the other hand, those who drink more than their body can handle experiences the depressant effects. This is when they lack rational thinking, lose control and coordination, and do questionable things. Do you know what’s worse and definitely answers the question, “Is alcohol a drug?” Alcohol abuse leads to more severe depressant effects, such as:

  • Inability to pain
  • Unconsciousness
  • Slow/irregular breathing
  • Clammy skin
  • Respiratory depression
  • Coma
  • Death

A person experiences these symptoms depending on the amount of alcohol consumed and how quickly. Besides knowing the signs of alcohol abuse, it will help you to know the alcohol content of the liquors you drink and what can be considered a standard drink.

Alcohol Content of Common Liquors

The only drinkable alcohol is ethanol, which can be fermented or distilled. Fermented drinks like wine and beer contain between 2 and 20% alcohol. Distilled beverages, on the other hand, contain about 40-50% alcohol or sometimes even more. The standard alcohol content of some typical alcoholic drinks include:

  • Beer – 2% to 6%
  • Cider – 4% to 8%
  • Wine – 8% to 20%
  • Rum, Tequila, and Brandy – 40% or more
  • Gin – 40% to 47%
  • Whiskey and Vodka – 40% to 50%
  • Liqueurs – 15% to 60%

It is also vital to know what a standard drink is to have an idea if you are drinking heavily or not. In the U.S., a standard drink is 14 grams of pure alcohol. But as you know, the amount of alcohol in a drink differs depending on the type of alcohol.

Alcohol Abuse and the Risks Associated with It

The use of alcohol involves many health risks. Tens of thousands of people die from alcohol-related causes in America every year and is one of the leading preventable causes of death. Alcohol abuse is linked to at least seven types of cancer, such as liver, colon, larynx, oropharynx, esophagus, rectum, and breast. It is also a primary factor associated with numerous illnesses and injuries. Is alcohol a drug? Yes, and it is dangerous. But it is legal because its regulation falls under state authority. As such, you must examine your alcohol use habits. Otherwise, you will have to deal with its negative life consequences.

Ask for Help from a Reliable Rehab Center 

Does someone you know struggle with alcohol use? Is that why you are asking, “Is alcohol a drug?” Someone with an alcohol abuse disorder has many challenges to face. If you think your loved one may be dealing with this, reach out to a rehab center for advice. We offer a number of addiction treatment programs like:

Call the expert team at Promises at 844.875.5609 to schedule an appointment today.  

Scroll to Top