When a normie is talking with someone that’s in recovery, it’s easy to think that alcoholics and drug addictions go through the same thing. They have the same past, go through similar detox situations and live similarly in recovery. But that’s not necessarily the truth. Alcoholism and drug addiction have their differences.
All addicts essentially start with an amazing drug or drink that gives them an amazing high. The high could be to stay focused, be energized, relax, or to put a mask on that overlooks their stress. People do it to experiment, let loose and run away from their problems. But when one hit or drink becomes 20, it’s hard to jump back to the beginning. Addiction gets the worst of them, and all they can think about is the next time they can ride the clouds again or get so wasted they pass out.
Alcoholism vs. Drug Addiction
Alcoholism and drug addiction are more similar than different. The high that addicts get are the same, even though some are depressants, some cause energy, etc. The high is the same whereas their side effects are different because of how the brain reacts to drugs and alcohol.
“Addictive drugs share what scientists call a “common neural currency,” the neurotransmitter dopamine. Drugs like alcohol, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine all create a high by overstimulating dopamine in the brain’s Reward System, the network responsible for pleasure, learning from it and the motivation to repeat the experience.” (addictsscience.com)
-DTs (delirium tremens) which is a dangerous side effect of alcohol withdrawal.
-Alcohol detox medications won’t work the same way as detoxing from drugs.
-AA meetings are designed for those recovering from alcohol. It’s the biggest community for people in recovery, and while there are some recovering from drugs, the majority of the community is in recovery from alcohol.
-Alcohol is legal to buy in any quantity.
-Those in recovery for drugs have a harder time to find a community for support. There are groups such as NA (narcotics anonymous), but it isn’t as big as AA is.
-Drug detox uses different medication compared to alcohol detox to wind addicts off
-Most drugs are illegal.
What’s More Dangerous?
Alcohol is the most harmful and dangerous “drug” in the world today.
Alcoholism causes 88,000 deaths per year. On average, from the 88,000 people, alcoholism decreased 30 years of those who died. It’s the 3rd leading preventable cause of death in the U.S.
Many parties offer more alcohol than they do drugs. This is because it’s very easy to access alcohol, whereas drugs are a little bit harder to get. What people don’t realize is that during parties, they are offering the “drug” that kills the vast majority of addicts. We don’t think of alcohol as dangerous because so many people use it daily. But it’s actually the substance that kills the most.
Long Term Damage of Untreated Alcoholism
Cirrhosis of the Liver
Congestive heart failure
High blood pressure
Cirrhosis of the Liver
Although alcoholism is more dangerous, drugs are very dangerous as well. Alcohol and drugs are very addictive and cause dependency. It’s important to see the signs of addiction and seek treatment.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, New Start can help. Please call us at 855-737-7363 for more information about our programs. We accept most insurances and would love to help you on the road to recovery. We are here for you.