Is Alcohol A Drug?

Alcohol is one of the most consumed drink that leads people to addiction. So, is it a drug? Medically, a drug is any compound that has the ability to alter your brain and sensory activities. Similar is the case with alcohol. Hence, most of medical field professionals  and experts at the drug testing services in Port of Corpus Christi consider it as the most addictive drug.

Read this article further to know if alcohol is actually a drug:

When can you call a substance drug?

Anything that can alter the psychology or physiology of your brain can be classified as a drug. They can be consumed by people for either medical or recreational purposes. Medicines can help them improve their physical and mental health issues.

The drugs consumed for recreation are the ones that alter the brain’s psychology or physiology. They can range from depressants, stimulants, and psychotics to the drugs that induce hallucinations. All-in-all they make you feel good by altering your brain chemistry making your feel lighter.

Can we categorize alcohol as drugs?

If you closely observe the definition of a drug, you might notice that alcohol can be defined as a drug. Hence, drug testing services include alcohol testing along with other drugs in a drug testing program. Alcohol consumption generally make you feel happier and lighter by stimulating your happy hormones. At the same time, when consumed on a regular basis or more in quantity alcohol can depress your brain as well as body. 

Here is what you feel when you consume alcohol due to the secretion of neurotransmitters like serotonin:

  • Enhanced mood
  • Hyperactivity
  • Overconfidence
  • Strong urge to speak

These feelings indicate the first stage of alcohol consumption. Here your system has a moderate influx of alcohol. It is known as euphoria.

Post-euphoria, when you drink more alcohol and the blood alcohol levels reach 0.05% or more, you may feel depressed due to suppressed activity of neurotransmission. When you consume an access amount of alcohol, there is an accumulation of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in your system. This suppresses the neurotransmission and leads to the following symptoms:

  • Feeling sleepy
  • Slurred speech
  • Lowered inhibition
  • Impaired body balance

Again, if you keep on consuming alcohol, your blood alcohol levels might go up to 0.09 to 0.25%. This results in confusion of sudden brain fog. Here, the alcohol disorients the physiology of your brain invading almost all the parts and neurotransmission. This might impair your motor as well as sensory skills to some extent and lead you to severe damage.

Your body faces maximum damage when your blood alcohol levels cross 0.25%. It can affect your brain health impairing your motor, sensory, as well as memory skills. This might also lead you to situations like coma or even death. 

Thus, technically it can be categorized as drugs due to the alterations that it brings in to the brain’s activity.

Alcohol is addictive as drugs

Alcohol induces the release of happy hormones like serotonin that gives you a sensation of pleasure. Initially, this pleasure drives you into consuming more alcohol. But every time you drink alcohol it makes some or the other changes in your brain physique and chemistry. It might block some important receptors like GABA that in turn drags you into depression and anxiety.

Consuming alcohol for the long term can make you severely addicted to it. This is because your body is adapted to the specific blood alcohol levels. Thus, even if you try to quit it, the severe withdrawal symptoms will force you to relapse into the alcohol intake.

Further, this cycle continues and it becomes difficult to let go of alcohol consumption. Similar is the case with drugs like cocaine, marijuana, etc. Hence, alcohol can also be categorized as drugs when you consider the addiction point of view.

Alcohol withdrawal is real (same as drugs)!

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are similar or even tougher than drug withdrawal. These symptoms might include:

  • Anxiety
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Perspiration
  • Body trembling

The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and their intensity may vary depending on age, gender, lifestyle, and genetics, but one thing is sure regardless of all the above factors who ever consume alcohol will be affected. 

People at time also experience some severe symptoms like hallucinations and seizures. They develop cravings for alcohol. Every time you quit and relapse with alcohol, the intensity of your withdrawal symptoms increases.Hence, alcohol withdrawal is as intensive as that of any drug that people consume for recreational purposes. And this is the reason why drug and alcohol testing is mandated by the companies post alcohol rehabilitation therapy of the employees.


Drug or not, alcohol is extremely injurious to your health in multiple ways if taken in excess. While enjoyment and pleasure are a priority to many, you don’t need to draw them from addiction. Alcohol poisoning and alcohol addiction kill people and ruins families. And since it is a very common addiction, it is not given a lot of thought by people. 

But the truth is that, you don’t need to be a drug addict to encounter the effects of addiction and withdrawal. Alcohol could do the same to you even in worse ways and that is why it’s better to refrain oneself from drinking rather than compromising with ones health and life. For more information regarding alcohol test, reach out to 24/7 Onsite Drug testing center in Port of Corpus Christi.