What is a drug? What is the accepted definition? According to the Oxford dictionary, a drug is anything that is “a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.” So is alcohol a drug? ‘Yes, it is. Alcohol depresses the Central Nervous System (CNS). This means that ingesting alcohol will respond with a slowing of the brain’s ability to function in addition to the slowing down or capability of many systems in the body. When the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is in excess it inhibits the body’s ability to function properly. 

After consuming alcohol, the body can produce symptoms including:

  • Slowed reaction
  • Mental fuzziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Imbalance in walking and standing
  • Poor motor skills
  • Reduced inhibitions
  • Bad judgment
  • Poor perceptions
  • Lethargy and marked tiredness

Clinically, alcohol is considered a depressant but depending on how much alcohol one consumes and how it is broken down in the body it can be considered a stimulant. The difference between potential depressant and stimulant responses is how much is consumed. More will lead to depressant capabilities while less will be more stimulating.  When one is hyped up on alcohol they can show the following characteristics:

  • Chattiness
  • Extrovertedness
  • More confidence
  • Faster heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Happier mood
  • A state of euphoria

A study was done by Behavioral Neurobiology of Alcohol Addiction, and it showed that those who tend to exhibit more stimulative effects from alcohol are at the highest risk for alcohol use disorder. Comparatively, those who have a more sedative effect will be at much less risk. Even though the study found a correlation between an individual’s response to alcohol consumption, there are still many other factors that play a role in addiction. Genetics, environmental conditions, and familial influences can also be a part of the equation to understand why someone has an alcohol use disorder or not.

Why Do People Become Dependant On Alcohol?

Addiction is a disease. Out of all the substances that can be abused to a negative impact on an individual, alcohol is the number one substance which tends to be the most addictive. In the United States, certainly, the statistics show that alcohol is the most used addictive substance with about 17.6  million people suffering from alcohol dependence.

Alcohol attacks a person both physically and psychologically. As such, a person who is predisposed to being an addict can be at high risk of alcohol gaining control over their lives in every way. Because alcohol use can produce euphoric effects, there are some people who are biologically prone to drink alcohol and experience more euphoria than others.

Aftercare Options

What Is a Drug and Can Alcohol Be A DrugSometimes we can’t help but find ourselves in a situation that we didn’t intend to be in and seems almost impossible to get out of. Substance abuse, being a disease, is one of those situations that no one intentionally puts themselves into. Luckily, the Tennessee-based addiction alternative treatment center at Discovery Place has in-patient programs, long-term programs, family treatment, and after-care that are all designed to help anyone struggling with addiction.  Discovery Place’s Tennessee medical detox alternative center is located on a seventeen-acre retreat just outside Nashville. Our center is small, intimate, and peaceful allowing you to embrace your sobriety calmly and soothingly.

Discovery Place’s Tennessee 12-step addiction alternative center’s team is here to talk with you about your needs, call us today to get started on your road to recovery at 1-800-725-0922.



  • Discovery Place was the answer for my son. He did the 90 day and then the step down program and sober living. We give this organization 10 stars. They met my son where he was …emotionally, mentally, physically. They helped him put his life back on track. Discovery Place employees care about their guests. If your son, brother, nephew, grandson or husband needs excellent supportive care THIS is indeed the facility.

    Kim Morton
    Alumni Parent
  • I have remained sober and it is because of DP. DP is the best place there is, hands down. I keep everyone there in my prayers, and I encourage everyone there to take what they are practicing and do it in their lives, after.

    Roy Mantelli
  • Over the past year, I’ve been putting into actin what Discovery Place taught me, and I have experienced a complete perspective change of the world, and the people in it. I get to be a man of service and love today, and for that I am grateful to Discovery Place.

    Matt Kassay
  • Discovery Place means the world to me. They showed me the tools that I’ve tried to use everyday in my life to think less often of myself, and more frequently of others. I am learning to lend a hand when I am able and to have a honest and humble relationship with God and the people around me. Not only am I clean and sober, but also I am happy and fulfilled.

    Tommy Parker
  • Discovery Place and the men who work there made recovery attractive, and more importantly, fun. There is strength in the struggle. I am forever grateful for my time at Discovery Place.

    Creed McClellan
  • When I got to Discovery Place my whole life was in shambles, but I didn’t know it. I spent 6 months in their programs, participating in all three phases, and was met with kindness and love all along the way. It is unbelievable to me, where I am now relative to where I was when I arrived at DP.

    Lance Duke
  • I can never say enough good things about Discovery Place and the people who work there. Before checking in to DP, I was out of options and out of answers. Fortunately, Discovery Place has a solution. Taking suggestions from the staff at DP saved my life, and as a result, I’m now more content and hopeful about life. I’m grateful for Discovery Place showing me how to live a healthy life so that I can become a better man and help the next guy.”

    Tyler Buckingham

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