Anti-Drug Awareness: Understanding Why Alcohol is a Drug

Anti-Drug Awareness: Understanding Why Alcohol is a Drug
June 6, 2024
|   Updated:
June 25, 2024

June 26th has represented International Day Against Drug Abuse since 1987. The goal of the dedicated day is to elevate awareness of substance abuse through community outreach in the hopes of lowering the rates of drug use throughout the world.

The campaign aims to aid in prevention, provide resources, and focus on eliminating the stigma associated with those who suffer from drug abuse. Through these methods of education, their goal is to completely eliminate drug abuse. 

Many assume this day of anti-drug awareness only refers to what are legally classified as drugs, including substances like cocaine, opioids, or marijuana. However, the drug that is harming people more consistently and dangerously throughout the globe is actually alcohol. While traditionally, it has remained in its own sector, the truth is that alcohol is a drug and has been proven to be worse for our bodies than “serious” drugs, like heroin. In 2023 alone, alcohol was responsible for 60,000 more deaths than opioids.

With alcohol-related death rates rising and affecting thousands of people around the world, including student-aged children, International Day Against Drug Abuse’s focus on drug awareness can hopefully lower the rates of all drug use, including alcohol.

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Alcoholism as a Chronic Disease- Understanding Why Alcohol is a Drug

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines alcoholism as a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences.

Alcohol, like other addictive drugs, causes the brain to release high levels of dopamine, chemicals that are associated with pleasure or reward. Over time, the continued release of these chemicals can cause changes in the brain’s reward, motivation, and memory systems, which may cause individuals to feel physically and psychologically dependent on the substance.

Additionally, alcohol is classified as a drug, specifically a Psychotropic Central Nervous System Depressant, and is more misused than any other drug globally. Students as young as 12 years old are continuously misusing alcohol, creating the largest substance dependency globally.

With alcohol being classified as a drug and the havoc it is causing to thousands of individuals each year, education and awareness of the severity of alcohol misuse is crucial during International Day Against Drug Abuse. It is through this knowledge of substance abuse that real change can begin happening.

The Importance of Early Prevention and Intervention

While substance abuse can be fatal, with early prevention and intervention, recovery and sobriety can become a possibility for those struggling with addiction management.

While finding resources to manage alcohol or drug abuse is beneficial throughout any point during an individual's addiction journey, research shows that early intervention has the highest effectiveness in helping manage substance abuse. With proper resources and life-long treatment, it is proven that managing addiction correctly can result in few to no relapses like other chronic illnesses, including diabetes or asthma.

The longer an individual struggles, the more difficult it becomes to manage addiction, and International Day Against Drug Abuse aims to spread knowledge on the effectiveness of early intervention and prevention. The organization understands the struggle that comes with managing a chronic medical issue, like substance abuse, and believes through their awareness and education on the importance of early intervention they can help people throughout the world who struggle with this disease.

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Finding Effective Resources

Though early prevention is beneficial to managing substance abuse, without the proper resources, an individual will find navigating the healing journey becomes much more difficult. Depending on the severity of an individual's disease, the following list of resources may be used individually, or in tandem to best support addiction management.

What is most crucial to managing addiction is finding the resources that work best for your individual case and that you can remain consistent with.

Treatment Centers

Depending on the severity of your addiction, you may find that an organized treatment center or program is the most effective first step to getting sober.

Treatment centers come in many different shapes and sizes as treatment resources are not one size fits all. There are programs that offer inpatient or outpatient treatment, 30- or 60-day lengths, and/or different methods or approaches.

During International Day Against Drug Abuse, many of these treatment centers will be more visible as they participate in education and awareness during this campaign. If you are looking for a first step towards sobriety that is a little more clinically focused, a treatment center may be for you.

Group Support

Managing your substance addiction is nearly impossible to do alone. It takes the support of your inner circle, including friends and family, but also others who are experiencing the same struggle with addiction management.

This is why groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have been successful in helping individuals manage their addictions. With meetings taking place daily across the globe, being free of cost, and requiring anonymity, those struggling with addiction can find the space and company to speak on their past and current struggles with substance abuse in these communities.

Finding support from others who understand you and do not pass judgment can make managing addiction an easier and less lonely experience.

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Soberlink: Proof of Sobriety at Your Fingertips

When indisputable proof of sobriety is needed during your recovery journey, there’s no better option than Soberlink. Known as an “alcohol monitoring system,” Soberlink’s technology provides accountability and rebuilds trust.

Benefits of the system include:

  • Prove Sobriety Anytime, Anywhere: Soberlink uses a discreet and portable, professional-grade breathalyzer designed for convenience and reliable results
  • Zero Wait-Time: BAC test results from Soberlink’s breathalyzer are sent immediately to whoever is chosen via text or email
  • Data at a Glance: Soberlink’s software uses AI to organize and display all the test results as either green (compliant), yellow (missed), or red (non-compliant) icons
  • Know the Right Person is Testing: With a built-in camera and advanced facial recognition, Soberlink automatically verifies the identity, so there’s no way someone else can test for them
  • No Room for Cheating: Equipped with sophisticated sensors, Soberlink can detect tampering attempts, including the use of air pumps

Over 90% of users in a most recent study claimed Soberlink has helped them remain accountable and feel secure in their recovery. With alcohol being the most fatal drug globally, Soberlink is helping its users enact positive changes in their lives while rebuilding trust with loved ones. The system is trusted by treatment professionals nationwide and can be a great tool for those still struggling to remain accountable and prove sobriety during the alcohol addiction recovery journey.

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Make a Positive Impact During Anti-Drug Awareness Week

Though International Day Against Drug Abuse is just one day on the calendar, the organization hopes that through their elevated education and awareness, they can make positive change across the globe in the days that follow.

Struggling with substance abuse is nothing to be ashamed of, and by ridding the stigma associated with addiction, people can stop being embarrassed to ask for help and instead can utilize available resources to make positive changes in their lives.

While we acknowledge fighting addiction is a difficult battle, we also have seen how finding the right treatment plan and resources that best fit your lifestyle, paired with hard work, dedication, and practicing accountability, finding the sober life you dream of can become a reality.

If you are looking for a place to begin, join the organization in educating and spreading knowledge about the realities of substance abuse on June 26th, the dedicated day for International Day Against Drug Abuse.

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