Health and Behavioral Risks of Alcohol and Drug Use : Washington and Lee University

We’re here 24/7 to help guide you or your loved on through rehab and recovery. Submit your number to receive a call today from a treatment provider. There are many treatment options available, including inpatient rehab, government facilities, counseling and support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and AI-Anon. If you answered “yes” to one or several of these questions, you should seek help from a medical professional. These answers should not be considered an official diagnosis; however, they can warn you of potential substance abuse factors and motivate you to get help.

They are included here to provide you with the facts about what these drugs are and what they do. Treatment providers are available 24/7 to answer your questions about rehab, whether it’s for you or a loved one. Submit your number and receive a free call today from a treatment provider. If you or a loved one is ready to overcome an alcohol addiction, reach out today. Treatment providers can connect you with programs that provide the tools to help you get and stay sober. Combining alcohol with other substances can be extremely dangerous and even fatal.

Breaking the Cycle: Unraveling the Complex Connection Between Addiction and Substance-Induced Mood Disorders

Polysubstance use involving alcohol includes drinking and using other substances such as marijuana, opioids, heroin or other illicit drugs, or medications not as prescribed. Whether intentional or not, using alcohol and other substances is unsafe because the effects may be stronger and more unpredictable than one drug alone, and even deadly. Addictive
disorders represent a major health issue both in the United States and worldwide. Because alcohol and drug dependence are likely to co-occur, exploring how alcohol
addiction may relate to and interact with other addictions is important. Current
research is exploring the underlying causes of addiction, and why alcohol and
other drug use disorders co-occur so frequently, as well as how behavioral and
drug therapies can best treat these disorders.

  • “Fear-based programs that try to scare people away from drinking aren’t effective.
  • If a substance scores 100 it is considered extremely dangerous, while lower-scoring substances are considered less harmful.
  • Prescription stimulant drugs, dubbed “academic steroids,” are used by some college students in an attempt to enhance their academic performance.

As a result, it is difficult to detect how one will react after using. When a person smokes marijuana, THC quickly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream. The blood carries the chemical to the brain and other organs throughout the body. The body absorbs THC more slowly when the person eats or drinks it. In that case, they generally feel the effects after 30 minutes to one hour.

Alcohol and Drug Use

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, rates of excessive alcohol use were high and getting higher. The stress and isolation of the pandemic appear to have worsened harmful drinking, at least for some groups. Alcohol-related deaths increased more than 25% from 2019 to 2020. Among adults under 65, more people died from alcohol-related causes in 2020 than from Covid-19 (White, A. M., et al., JAMA, Vol. 327, No. 17, 2022).

  • Even though it is the deadliest drug, alcohol is legal in the US and Britain, as well as many other countries around the world.
  • Choosing to stop using drugs or alcohol is not easy, but it can be done.

Are there differences between being addicted to alcohol and being addicted to a drug of another kind? Sure – though, at the end of the long day, all addictions have more in common than what distinguishes them from each other. Despite the extreme dangers of alcohol addiction, recovery is possible through treatment in a rehab facility. Even the most serious alcoholics can get sober with the right support.

How Does the Physical Addiction Differ Between Drugs and Alcohol

Unfortunately, alcohol is just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than other substances. In fact, experts and their studies have proven that alcohol is extremely dangerous to those who become addicted or physically dependent. Drinking alcohol with medications can also cause health problems or death.1  Always check with your healthcare provider before drinking while taking prescription medicine.

alcohol vs drugs

The question of what type of substance use can be considered normal or acceptable remains controversial. Substance use disorder is caused by multiple factors, including genetic vulnerability, environmental stressors, social pressures, individual personality characteristics, and psychiatric problems. But which of these factors has the biggest influence in any one person cannot be determined in all cases. Along with the temporary side effects of alcohol and drug abuse, there are complications that can be long-lasting. Some of these conditions can put you at a greater risk of developing additional health issues later on in life. ALCOHOL – Alcohol abuse is a progressive disorder in which physical dependency can develop.

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