Written By:Amber Hollingsworth,LPC
If you have ever attended an NA meeting (Narcotics Anonymous), then you have probably heard this statement before.
Not only is ALCOHOL A DRUG, but it’s actually the most DANGEROUS DRUG, because it acts on 5 of possible 7 neurotransmitters involved in addiction.
I’m not sure exactly why people think alcohol isn’t a drug. Maybe it’s because it’s so common place in our culture? Maybe because it comes in a liquid form? Or, maybe it’s because people who drink alcohol don’t like to think of themselves a “people who use drugs.”
Let’s face it: It’s a chemical that alters you state of mind, your mood, and your perception. Just because it is a liquid, doesn’t mean it is any less of a drug.
In fact, it’s more physically dangerous to come off of alcohol than to come off of heroin. If a person wants to stop using heroin (cold turkey), they won’t die. They’ll probably wish they would die, but they won’t.
On the other hand, if a person stops drinking (cold turkey), they are at risk for seizure and death.
For all my “old school alcoholics” out there, it’s time to open our hearts and minds to people who are trying to stop using drugs. Many drug addicts try to go to AA to find help and support, and many of them end up feeling rejected from the program. They often get told that AA only deals with alcohol or that drug use is an “outside issue” etc…
This closed mindedness comes from a lack of knowledge which then leads to a fear. Alcoholics should consider themselves drug addicts, and drug addicts should consider themselves alcoholics. There is no difference.
If alcoholics and drug addicts can’t accept and support each other then who the heck can?
IT’S NOT NECESSARY TO UNDERSTAND THE PARTICULAR AFFECTS OF SPECIFIC DRUGS! The reality of addiction is pretty much the same.