Alcoholics Anonymous: The Big Book - North Jersey Recovery Center - A bottle lays on its side next to a glass of alcohol. Alcoholics Anonymous: The Big Book has helped many people but is much more effective when combined with treatment at an alcohol rehab center.

Alcoholics Anonymous: The Big Book

What is the 12-Step Program Book?

The 12-step program book has been made famous by every movie and TV show depicting Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

The Big Book is the foundation of 12-step program meetings.

And Alcoholics Anonymous has become the largest alcoholism support group in the world.

The Big Book contains the steps and traditions created by the brilliant minds behind Alcoholics Anonymous.

It also contains stories about former and current addicts that have gone through this process already.

The 12-step program book guided millions of individuals into a life of sobriety.

This book is one of the many incredibly useful resources we utilize in our addiction treatment programs.

Following the 12-Step Program Book

Since its publication in 1939 by a co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12-step program book has become an all-time bestseller.

More than 30 million copies of The Big Book have been printed.

In addition to steps, traditions, and addicts’ stories, it contains the fascinating history of Alcoholics Anonymous and details regarding support methods.

But this is not what The Big Book is known for.

Most people know the 12-step program book for the 12 steps and traditions it contains, as the name suggests.

Millions of recovering alcoholics have followed these steps.

The Big Book has proven so successful that hundreds of other support groups have adapted the steps for their use.

Narcotics Anonymous is a good example of this.

They also follow a 12-step guide to achieve and maintain sobriety.  

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What are the Steps in the 12-Step Program Book?

The steps in The Big Book help recovering alcoholics achieve and maintain their new-found sobriety. The 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous are as follows:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs

You do not have to follow any particular religion to use or benefit from the 12 steps in this program. The 12-step program book is a powerful recovery resource. It contains a greater breakdown of each of the 12 steps.

How the 12-Step Program Book can Help

Self-help groups like Alcoholics Anonymous are proven treatment methods that complement and extend the effects of other professional treatments.

They can be incredibly helpful during recovery, as they provide community-based social support. This support helps many people achieve and maintain their abstinence, as well as develop other healthy behaviors.

The stories in this book and the meetings themselves tell other alcoholics, “you are not alone.” Depending on where you are in your recovery journey, these stories can act as guides and keep you focused on sobriety.

The author’s journey is in the first chapter. One of the most powerful sections of the 12-step program book is Part One. In this section, the author shares ten different stories.

These stories are ones of hope. They are about some of the earliest members of Alcoholics Anonymous.

When the book was published, these ten individuals had maintained their sobriety for the remainder of their lives. Reading these stories is a powerful motivator.

Alcoholism in America

There is a good reason that the 12-step program book is considered one of the most important and influential books in American history.

Alcoholism rates in the United States are high, and for some demographics, they continue to rise. In 2018, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed important insight on alcohol consumption in America:

  • 139.8 million Americans were alcohol users within the month of the survey
  • 67.1 million Americans identified as binge drinkers
  • 16.6 million Americans identified as heavy drinkers

If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12-step program book can help you regain control of your life.

Alcohol Rehab Treatment Methods

The 12-step program book, combined with the insight, care, and fellowship you experience in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, can help change your life.

These meetings are one of the most important and effective treatment methods. And research in this area has told us that we need these services now more than ever before.

Alcoholics Anonymous meetings now take place in-person or online. Alcoholics who have tested both methods have noticed that the two are very similar. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings over platforms like Zoom or Google Hangouts are inclusive, convenient, and essential.

AA meetings provide a unique and important level of support. This particular care method integrates with other alcohol rehab treatment options.

Outpatient care programs work well alongside AA meetings for patients with milder addictions, strong support systems at home, or schedule limitations. However, we also offer more intensive programs, like inpatient treatments and intensive outpatient treatments.

We will work with you to choose the programs that best fit your unique addiction and needs. You do not have to figure it out for yourself.

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Alcohol Rehab

Alcohol Rehab is a vital addiction treatment method. Thankfully, most major health insurance providers offer coverage for a wide range of addiction treatments.

If you have health insurance, but you are not sure what will be covered, please call our admissions department. There is someone available around the clock to review and verify your insurance coverage for you.

They know the best and quickest ways to get through to insurance companies. They will make this process easier for you with this fast and free service.

North Jersey Recover Center Alcoholism Treatments

At North Jersey Recovery Center, 12-step meetings are part of a bigger picture.

We offer various treatment programs, options, and services to meet all of your recovery needs.

We will work with you to build a plan that will help you achieve and maintain sobriety.

And it all starts with the first phone call.

Call our office today for more information or your complimentary insurance verification.

We will walk you through each of the next steps from there.

How Long Alcohol is in Your System North Jersey Recovery Center - A man sits at a bar drinking a beer, which leads to alcohol in your system and can cause harmful effects and even lead to addiction if not monitored carefully.

How Long Alcohol is in Your System

How Long are Five Standard Drinks Are Metabolized in?

People often wonder how long it takes to metabolize a standard drink and how fast you detoxify alcohol per hour.

The short answer is that it depends, but there is more to it than that.

What is BAC?

When asking how long alcohol is in your system or how long it takes to metabolize a standard drink, the term BAC is important.

BAC is blood alcohol content. This is the percentage of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream.

If you have a BAC of .10%, your blood contains one part of alcohol for every 1000 parts of blood.

In most states, you are considered legally intoxicated with a BAC of .08% or higher.

Individual factors that can affect BAC include:

  • The number of standard drinks you have
  • The amount of time you consume the drinks within
  • Enzyme levels and production
  • Gender
  • Bodyweight
  • Medications
  • Whether or not you’ve eaten before drinking

How Much is a Standard Drink?

Most of us do not have an accurate idea of how much is in a standard drink.

The following are examples of a standard drink:

  • One 12 oz. beer
  • One 7 oz. malt liquor
  • A 5 oz. glass of wine
  • 1.5 oz shot of hard liquor

For example, if you were to have a 12-ounce margarita, that would not be a standard drink. That would equal anywhere from two to four standard drinks.

Effects of Alcohol at Different BAC Levels

While every person is different, the following are some of the effects that might occur at different BAC levels:

  • At a BAC of .01-.03, your mood could be mildly elevated. There may not be many outward effects.
  • With a BAC of .04-.06, effects can include feelings of warmth and relaxation. Declines in memory and reasoning may occur.
  • From BAC levels of .07-.09, there may be a slight impairment. It is legal in most places to drive at this level.
  • By the time someone’s BAC reaches .10 to .12, there is likely a significant loss of judgment and impairment. Slurred speech may be noticeable.
  • From .13 to .15, there may be major impairment, including blurry vision and problems with motor control.
  • Levels of .16 to .20 may include nausea and a sloppy outward appearance.
  • Levels of .25 to .30 would mean someone is severely intoxicated.

If someone’s BAC were higher than .30, that could mean they would suffer from alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol poisoning is a medical emergency.

When you drink too much too quickly, you can’t break down the alcohol fast enough.

Binge drinking is the most common reason for alcohol poisoning.

Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include vomiting, reduced body temperature, and passing out.

Alcohol poisoning can lead to brain damage or asphyxiation, and it can be deadly.

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How Does Your Body Metabolize Alcohol?

When you drink alcohol, it enters the digestive system.

Alcohol is digested differently than food or other drinks, though.

Around 20% of alcohol from one drink will go straight to the body’s blood vessels. Then, it goes to the brain.

The rest (80%) goes to your small intestine and then to your bloodstream.

Finally, your liver removes the alcohol.

How Long are Five Standard Drinks Metabolized in?

Back to the original question: How long are five standard drinks metabolized in?

Again, it depends.

In general, most people break down half a standard drink every hour.

If you were initially at a BAC of .08, and you did not drink anything else, your BAC would lower at a rate of around 0.015 an hour.

If you took just one small shot of liquor, it would take your body about an hour to metabolize it.

If you had one pint of beer, it would take two hours.

A large glass of wine would take three hours.

For five standard drinks, it would take at least several hours to metabolize.

Urine and Breath Tests

If you wonder how long is alcohol in your system, you may also wonder about detection tests, such as urine and breath tests.

A urine test can typically detect alcohol in your system between 12 and 48 hours after you drink.

Detection on breath tests is a shorter window of time.

A breath test can detect alcohol for around 24 hours.

A breathalyzer can measure your BAC.

If your BAC is above 0.02, it is considered unsafe to drive.

Factors that Affect How Long it Takes to Metabolize a Standard Drink

As we touched on above, there are individual factors that affect the rate your body processes alcohol.

Some of these factors include:

  • Age: The older you are, the longer alcohol remains in your liver before moving to your bloodstream or before it is metabolized. The older you are, the longer you are likely to be intoxicated if you drink.
  • Sex: Men and women metabolize alcohol differently. Alcohol typically stays in a woman’s system longer. This is likely because women have a lower percentage of water in their bodies than men. Women also have a higher body fat percentage. Hormones also impact how your body processes alcohol.
  • Food: If you eat before drinking, it can help dilute alcohol. Having a full stomach can also slow your stomach’s emptying to the small intestine. If you have an empty stomach, your BAC can be as much as three times higher than someone who ate before drinking.
  • Body size: The higher your body fat percentage, the higher your BAC usually is.
  • Medications: Different medications impact how long it takes your body to process alcohol. Some medicines slow down metabolism, which can play a role. Some medicines also slow down the emptying of the stomach to the small intestine and liver. That means alcohol is rapidly absorbed, leading to higher BAC levels.

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Final Thoughts on Alcohol in Your System

In conclusion, it is very much dependent on the individual concerning how long alcohol is in your system.

For most people, it would take a minimum of several hours, but it could be more.

Individual factors play a big role in how your body can detoxify alcohol per hour.

If you are struggling with alcohol use, binge drinking, or feel that you could have a problem, consider an alcohol treatment program.

At North Jersey Recovery Center, we offer various types of programs. No matter what program you take part in, it is always customized to your specific needs.

Our staff is caring and compassionate but also skilled in helping people work toward their recovery goals.

We encourage you to contact us to learn more about our program offerings.

Our team can also verify your insurance and determine your coverage.

Alcohol abuse can lead to financial and legal problems and mental and physical health problems.

Take steps to help yourself today.

North Jersey Recovery Center is ready to help today.

The 7 Types of Alcoholics North Jersey Recovery Center - A depressed young male sits on a couch staring at a beer bottle and a glass filled with beer as he contemplates his alcohol use and if he fits into the different types of alcoholics or not.

The 7 Types of Alcoholics

Are There Different Types of Alcoholics?

What are the different types of alcoholics? Are there seven types of alcoholics?

This is a common question, but it’s one that gets misconstrued.

While research has depicted seven types of alcoholics, we will discuss five types of alcoholics based on what we know about addiction at this time.

Understanding the types of alcoholics first relies on having an understanding of alcohol use disorder (AUD).

What is an Alcoholic?

An alcoholic is someone who meets the criteria for alcohol use disorder.

Alcohol use disorder or alcoholism is a pattern of ongoing alcohol abuse.

Characteristics of alcohol use disorder include:

  • Problems controlling your drinking
  • Drinking even when it causes problems
  • Being preoccupied or obsessed with drinking

You can have unhealthy drinking patterns without being an alcoholic.

For example, binge drinking is considered unhealthy drinking, which is especially common among young people.

However, not everyone who binge drinks meets the criteria for alcohol use disorder.

If your drinking causes distress or problems in your daily life, you likely would be diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder.

As with other addictions, alcohol use disorder can range from mild to severe.

What are the Symptoms of Being an Alcoholic?

An alcoholic is diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder based on a specific set of criteria.

This criterion typically includes:

  • Being unable to limit how much you drink
  • Trying and being unsuccessful at cutting down how much you drink
  • Spending much of your time getting alcohol, drinking, or recovering from the effects of alcohol
  • Not meeting obligations because of alcohol
  • Continuing to drink despite problems in relationships, at work, or school
  • Developing a tolerance requiring you to drink more to get the same effects
  • Being dependent on alcohol and having withdrawal symptoms if you don’t drink

Types of Alcoholics

As was mentioned above, some people believe there are seven types of alcoholics.

In reality, there are likely closer to five types.

These are also called subtypes of alcoholics.

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Young Adult Subtype

Among the types of alcoholics, the young adult subtype is the most common.

This type of alcoholic refers to people between the ages of 18 and 25.

Within this group, the average age at which someone develops an alcohol addiction is 20 years old.

Someone in a young adult subtype might drink less than other types of alcoholics.

However, they will often binge drink when they do.

Someone who is a young adult subtype alcoholic might have an average of 14 drinks a day when they drink.

This group, among other types of alcoholics, is the least likely to get help.

The reduced number of people seeking treatment in this group is because it is usually seen as normal.

When you’re a young adult, partying and drinking may seem like something everyone is doing at that age.

Young Antisocial Subtype

Another type of alcoholic is known as the young antisocial subtype.

These are people who are young adults and may have antisocial personality disorders.

There may be other mental health issues that occur along with a personality disorder.

People who fall into the young antisocial subtype group tend to behave recklessly, increasing the likelihood of developing an alcohol use disorder.

Functional Subtype

Functional alcoholics is another subtype of alcoholics that many people have heard of or are familiar with.

Functional alcoholics don’t always appear to have an alcohol use disorder.

This type of alcoholism generally appears during middle age.

Someone who is a functional alcoholic will often live a completely normal life and can even be very successful.

However, they might drink excessively in the evenings — often as a way to relax.

Some of the issues of functional alcoholism include that it can cause physical health problems.

Problematic patterns of drinking can also be troublesome in terms of relationships.

It is challenging for functional alcoholics to realize there is a problem.

This makes them less likely to seek treatment.

Intermediate Familial Subtype

Someone with a family history of alcoholism may have an intermediate family subtype.

This can stem from different scenarios depending on the specific circumstances.

If someone is raised in an environment of heavy drinking, they may begin to replicate the same patterns.

There may also be a genetic component.

We know that one of the underlying risk factors for alcoholism is genetics.

People in the intermediate familial subtype often have co-occurring mental health problems, such as clinical depression or bipolar disorder.

These mental health conditions have a genetic component as well.

Chronic Severe Subtype

In most cases, chronic severe subtype is the most damaging subtype compared to the different types of alcoholics.

Someone who is in the chronic severe subtype will often drink excessively daily.

Someone who falls under this type of alcoholic is likely to have many physical and lifestyle factors destroyed as a result. Unfortunately, they continue to drink.

Physical dependence is prominent in the severe chronic subtype.

This means that if someone tries to change their drinking patterns, they will likely experience intense withdrawal symptoms.

Around 80% of people in the severe chronic subtype have a familial and genetic alcoholism link.

Someone in this category is also more likely to abuse other drugs too.

If you are concerned about your drinking patterns or someone else’s drinking habits, the below questions are ones you may want to ask yourself or your loved one to determine if there is a problem or not.

  • Do you have a problem stopping drinking once you start?
  • Do you lose control when you start drinking?
  • Do you want to stop drinking but find that you aren’t able to?
  • Do you have cravings for alcohol?
  • Do you keep using alcohol even though it’s causing problems in relationships?
  • Do you ever give up activities to drink instead?
  • Do you drink when it’s risky to do so?
  • Do you need alcohol to feel “normal?”

Help for Different Types of Alcoholics?

If you recognize the signs or symptoms of alcoholism either in yourself or someone you care about, treatment options are available.

The type of treatment you may benefit most from can depend on the category you fall into.

For example, if you’re a functional alcoholic, outpatient treatment may work well for you. This would allow you to continue living and working as normal but receive treatment at the same time.

For someone who is a chronic severe alcoholic, treatment would likely need to be much more intensive.

Treatment might include a supervised medical detox to deal with dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

Then, someone who is a chronic severe alcoholic might start an inpatient program.

Following inpatient treatment, they could live in a sober living house and begin their relapse prevention plan.

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Paying for Treatment

If someone is an alcoholic, they should seek treatment sooner rather than later.

Alcoholism of any kind is a progressing, chronic illness.

This means the longer it goes untreated, the worse the symptoms and outcomes will likely be.

If you are looking for treatment programs, contact North Jersey Recovery Center.

Our program options range from intensive residential treatment to outpatient care.

Our team can verify your insurance coverage to help determine the costs of addiction treatment.

Final Takeaways

There are five different types of alcoholics.

Understanding what these are can help you better identify a problem, whether in yourself or in someone you love.

When you know what type of alcoholic you are, you can also identify what treatment programs could be best.

Is Alcohol a Depressant? North Jersey Recovery Center - A group of individuals attending an inpatient alcohol rehab for alcoholism is engaging in a group therapy session and discussing topics, such as: "Is alcohol a depressant?" as well as other helpful tools and resources to support each other as they continue on their journeys to recovery.

Is Alcohol a Depressant?

Is Alcohol a Stimulant or Depressant?

A pressing question for those trying to understand their alcohol addiction may be: “Is alcohol a depressant?” The answer is yes.

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, and it often accomplishes the opposite of what it is meant to. While many people drink to improve their mood, alcohol can worsen it.

Alcohol harms your mental and physical health. It can alter moods, behaviors, and overall functioning.

At the moment, it may help you relax.

However, its side effects and the inevitable hangover increase your anxieties later.

If you are battling alcoholism, our comprehensive addiction programs will help break the cycle.

Why is Alcohol a Depressant?

Alcohol can be hard to categorize because it mimics the effects of both stimulant and depressant drugs.

This tends to lead to some confusion. Alcohol is a tricky substance.

To a certain extent, it may boost your energy levels or moods. On these occasions, it feels as if alcohol is a stimulant.

However, clarity comes with the crash. At this point, it becomes clear why alcohol is a depressant; it slows down your brain’s ability to function and its neurological activities. This occurs because it enhances the effect of a particular neurotransmitter in your brain.

Alcohol also alters your reactions to certain events. When you are under the influence, you may feel slow to respond.

Side effects, like slurring your speech, experiencing unsteadiness in your movements, anger, confusion, and slowed reaction times, are all common.

Alcohol impairs your mental health, too. Alcohol distorts your judgment and makes it challenging to think rationally. Its diminishment of your judgment and ability to think clearly make it easier to make poor choices. These poor choices often lead to accidents, bouts of violence, driving under the influence, and criminal activities.

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Alcoholism in America

Another common question for those battling alcohol addictions is whether or not they are alone. If you are wondering the same thing, the answer is no; you are not alone. Alcohol use disorders are some of the most common substance abuse disorders we see today.

Nearly 18 million American adults have a reported alcohol use disorder. But even still, this may not reflect the full picture.

Many alcohol addictions go untreated, undiagnosed, or unacknowledged. Alcohol use disorders affect a multitude of individuals, families, and communities.

The normalization and ease of access to alcohol are two factors that make it easy to abuse and easy to hide.

What is the Best Way to Address Alcoholism?

Whether as a celebration or a way to ease stress, most American adults drink alcohol. But pretending the problem does not exist will not make the problem better or disappear on its own. Pretending you are fine because you know others who drink as much as you do will not make your addiction easier to overcome.

The best way to understand, address, and overcome your addiction is to accept the help offered and available to you.

Our dedicated professionals will provide care, support, and guidance at each stage of your journey. It is time to change your life for the better.

Where Did My Alcohol Use Disorder Come From?

Addiction is a chronic disease.

It alters your brain’s chemistry and changes our thoughts and behaviors. The idea that addiction equates to a lack of willpower is a false and damaging one.

Many people have a genetic predisposition to becoming an alcoholic, as alcoholism tends to run in families. It has impacted the lives of millions of families over the years. Growing up in a household that normalizes alcohol abuse makes it even harder to avoid.

Other common contributors to alcoholism rates in America include social and environmental challenges. Stressful careers or relationships, underlying mental health disorders, and trauma are also often linked to alcoholism.

Whether alcoholism runs in your family or other factors have contributed to your addiction, we can help.

A big piece of addiction treatment is understanding why your addiction occurred in the first place. By identifying your concerns, triggers, and temptations, you can effectively address them.

You can choose healthy habits, social networks, and coping mechanisms instead.

Alcoholism and Mental Health

After genetics, mental health disorders are some of the most common causes of alcohol use disorders.

What makes this even more tricky is that alcoholism does not always come first. You may begin drinking to cope with symptoms of a diagnosed or undiagnosed mental health disorder, or your drinking may lead to a mental health disorder.

In either order, this combination can lead to short-term and long-term mental and physical health impairments.

The combination of a mental health disorder and substance abuse disorder is called a dual diagnosis. We offer a specialized program to address this type of disorder.

Some of the most common dual diagnosis combinations include substance abuse and:

  • Generalized anxiety disorders
  • Panic disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorders
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders
  • Psychotic illnesses
  • Borderline personality disorders
  • Antisocial personality disorders
  • Schizophrenia

There are many different possible dual diagnosis combinations.

Whether your mental illness is diagnosed or unconfirmed, we can help. We will see you through from our first phone call to our addiction aftercare services.

Alcohol Addiction Treatments

Many alcohol addiction programs begin with a medically assisted detox. This type of detox will ease your withdrawal symptoms and cravings to make the process easier. Free from temptations and distractions, you will have a safe place to focus on building a happy, healthy, and sober life. This detox will restore your strength and confidence, setting you up for success.

From there, we offer various proven treatment programs and methods. We customize each program based on your needs rather than offering cookie-cutter or unspecific pre-written programs.

We evaluate your addiction with you to ensure we choose the right care settings and methods.

Whether you choose the 24-hour inpatient setting, the flexible outpatient care, or a supplemental program, you will have access to the resources, tools, care, and support you need.

We also help with multiple or polysubstance addictions, underlying mental health disorders, and other complications.

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Paying for Alcohol Rehab

In recent years, it has become easier to find affordable and flexible addiction treatments. Part of this is due to changes in health insurance coverage laws.

Most major health insurance providers now offer coverage for addiction treatments.

You may have partial or full coverage for your alcohol rehab program.

If you are unsure of what your coverage entails, please call our admissions department.

They will review and verify your insurance for you. They will also outline alternative payment options if you do not have insurance.

North Jersey Recovery Center

Your alcoholism can only define you if you allow it to.

If you are ready to take back the reins and regain control of your life, we are ready to help you get there.

We will walk the path to recovery with you.

We will be there every step of the way.

Through proven care methods, individualized treatment programs, and various continued care options, we help you identify and achieve your goals.

Call us today for more information.

Controlled Substances Act and Drug Scheduling North Jersey Recovery - Image of handcuffs, a spoon with white powder in it and a heroin needle.

Controlled Substances Act and Drug Scheduling

What to Know About Controlled Substances

Is alcohol a controlled substance? Is it covered in the Controlled Substances Act?

How are controlled substances classified, and what does the term mean?

These are all common questions people have.

In simplest terms, controlled substances refer to the addictive potential a substance has.

Not all addictive substances are controlled, however.

An Overview of Controlled Substances

Controlled substances are considered illicit drugs that can negatively affect someone’s health and well-being and are covered under the Controlled Substances Act.

If you have a controlled substance and you’re caught by law enforcement, you may face legal penalties, including fines or prison time.

The federal government classifies substances as controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.

There are five categories in the Controlled Substance Act, which are often related to the potential for substance abuse to occur.

These categories of controlled substance class are:

  • Schedule I: These substances are considered to have no acceptable medical use in the U.S. and high abuse potential. Examples of Schedule I controlled substances are ecstasy, marijuana, heroin, and LSD.
  • Schedule II: This controlled substance class includes stimulants and narcotics considered to have high abuse potential, but they have medical uses in the U.S. too. Schedule II substances include opioids like methadone, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and stimulants like amphetamine.
  • Schedule III: These substances have less of an abuse potential than substances classified as Schedule I or II, but there is still a risk of psychological and physical dependence. Schedule IV substances include ketamine, anabolic steroids, and medicines with low doses of codeine.
  • Schedule IV: A Schedule IV controlled substance is one with a lower abuse potential than I-III substances. Schedule IV substances include benzodiazepines like Xanax and many prescription sleep aids.
  • Schedule V: A Schedule V drug has a low potential for abuse. Most Schedule V drugs contain a small amount of narcotics, such as cough syrup with codeine.

It is technically illegal to possess any controlled substance, but if you have a prescription and lawfully purchased one, you are exempt from this law.

The government regulates controlled substances because of their addictive and harmful potential effects in manufacturing, distribution, possession, and use.

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Is Alcohol a Controlled Substance?

The brief answer is no; alcohol is not a controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act. With that being said, alcohol still has a high potential for abuse and addiction. Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances around the world.

While alcohol isn’t a controlled substance, it is a regulated one. There are laws regarding the use of alcohol. For example, the legal age to drink alcohol is 21, and you cannot legally drink and drive.

Abuse of Controlled Substances

Since controlled substances are considered to be inherently addictive, they are frequently abused. Opioids are one example of a highly abused controlled substance.

There are both Schedule I and II opioids that are drugs of abuse. Schedule I opioids include heroin, which is entirely illegal. Schedule II opioids include prescription pain relievers. Often, since something is prescribed, there is a misconception that it is somehow safe or not harmful.

Prescription opioids prove otherwise. In addition to being highly addictive, prescription opioids can also lead to fatal overdoses. Some people who abuse prescription opioids they eventually move to other more dangerous types of opioids like heroin or fentanyl.

What starts as legitimate use can spiral into problematic opioid use very quickly.

Mental Illness and Controlled Substances

There are links between mental illnesses and the use of controlled substances. For some people, the use of controlled substances may stem from an attempt to self-medicate and deal with symptoms of anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions. Controlled substances can also contribute to mental illness.

The links between controlled substances and mental illness are a big reason why addiction treatment relies on therapy. Therapy can be in both a group and individual setting, and it’s a key part of relapse prevention.

Treatment for Abuse of Controlled Substances

If someone is struggling with controlled substance abuse, treatment is available. Treatment can happen in different settings and formats. What is most important is that rehab is personalized to the individual.

The following are some of the types of programs that can treat an addiction to controlled substances.

Medical Detox

When someone regularly uses controlled substances such as opioids, they can become dependent on them. If you’re dependent on a substance and stop using it suddenly, it can cause withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on how long you used the substance, how heavily, and your overall health. Medical detox provides a clinical environment as you go through withdrawal. This can keep you safe and support you.

If necessary, you may receive medications to lessen the symptoms of withdrawal you experience.

Inpatient Rehab

There are varying intensities of inpatient rehab. These programs can last for 28 days, up to several months or more. The commonality between inpatient rehab programs is that you live onsite during your treatment. This helps you leave behind your environment of substance abuse and be in a supportive environment.

You can focus entirely on your recovery in inpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment can also include different types of complementary treatments that help you holistically.

Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient treatment may be a step down from inpatient care, or if you have a mild or short-term addiction to a controlled substance or alcohol, you could do the outpatient treatment.

Outpatient treatment allows you to work on your sobriety and recovery but continue living at home and keeping up with daily responsibilities. Some outpatient treatment programs require a significant time commitment, while others are fairly limited and informal.

Outpatient rehab can also be something you participate in for an extended time as you re-enter your daily life.

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Can You Use Insurance for Rehab?

If you’re considering rehab for a controlled substance, alcohol, or perhaps both, there are payment options available. At North Jersey Recovery Center, we can likely work with your insurance company.

We can verify your coverage for free, which will help you financially plan for your treatment.

Our admissions team can also help you explore other payment options if needed. Above all else, getting the help you need and deserve should be a priority.

Is Alcohol a Controlled Substance? Final Thoughts

The answer to “is alcohol a controlled substance” is no, but that does not make alcohol any less dangerous or addictive.

Controlled substances include prescription and illicit drugs. Alcohol is a regulated but not controlled substance in the U.S.

Controlled substances addiction and alcohol addiction can occur separately from one another or together.

If you would like to learn more about addiction treatment, reach out to North Jersey Recovery Center.

We offer tailored, effective treatment programs in a serene, private setting.

Is Alcohol a Drug North Jersey Recovery Center - A woman is struggling with her dependence on alcohol because is alcohol a drug? She is debating seeking treatment for her alcohol addiction

Is Alcohol a Drug?

Understanding Alcoholism and Where to Turn for Help

 
Many of us look forward to a few beers after work or a glass of wine while cooking dinner.

If we were to log how much alcohol we consume every week, we might notice a pattern that repeats itself.

Is it possible we are addicted to alcohol?

Is alcohol a drug?

It turns out that alcohol is a drug because it falls within the class of depressants.

You CAN become addicted to alcohol, which is referred to as “alcoholism.”


What is Alcohol?

 
Alcohol is a drink that is produced through fermentation.

The ingredients often include grains, fruits, sugar, yeast, and water.

We commonly know alcohol as beer, wine, and liquor, but is alcohol a drug?

Origins of Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages go thousands of years back.

A sense of pleasure and relaxation became the basis for drinking alcohol.

  • Evidence of alcohol appeared from the discovery of beer jugs dating back to around 10,000 B.C.
  • Egyptian hieroglyphics from around 4,000 B.C. indicate drinking wine is mentioned throughout the Bible as well.

As the 19th century rolled in, limitations on drinking alcohol were enforced, especially through prohibition.

Since then, alcohol has been regulated by laws restricting certain age groups from buying and drinking.

However, these laws often fail to curb the use of alcohol.

Young people still find ways to drink, and alcohol has become common in most social gatherings and events.

Ingredients in Alcohol

The combination of sugars and yeast, and other ingredients, causes a chemical process that produces ethanol.

It is this ethanol that, when consumed, changes the way our brain and body function.

Different types of alcoholic beverages contain varying amounts of ethanol.

Certain drinks will cause more intense symptoms than others.

The higher the alcohol content, the stronger the symptoms.

Addiction is not affected by the content of alcohol.

It can happen whether you consume beer or the hard stuff.

The main question is: Is alcohol a drug?

Alcohol Content in Different Types of Drinks

High Content:

  • Moonshine 100%
  • Liqueurs up to 60%
  • Vodka up to 50%
  • Whiskey up to 50%
  • Tequila up to 40%
  • Rum up to 40%


Low Content:

  • Wine and Wine Coolers up to 20%
  • Ciders and Ales up to 8%
  • Beer up to 6%

Alcohol is a Drug

Is alcohol a drug? If so, what kind of drug is alcohol?

Alcohol is a type of depressant, similar to many prescription drugs.

Alcohol may not be “prescribed,” but it affects the brain in many of the same ways that other drugs do.

Prescription Depressants:

  • Tranquilizers
  • Antipsychotics
  • Sedatives
  • Sleeping pills

 
Is alcohol a drug that is considered as bad as prescription depressants?

Yes, alcohol is just as addictive as Xanax, Lunesta, Klonopin, or any other depressant.

Effects of Alcohol

The side effects of alcohol are what drives us to seek it out and drink it.

How many of us go to a social gathering and enjoy a beer or glass of wine?

Do those drinks help you to relax and be more sociable?

The marriage of food and alcohol is often enjoyed, especially with BBQs, dinner parties, and cocktail hours.

Why? Because the “side effects” of alcohol can loosen us up to have more fun.

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Short-term Side Effects of Alcohol

The most immediate side effect of alcohol is that it makes us feel drunk.

These are some of the symptoms of drunkenness:
 

  • Sense of calm, relaxation
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Lack of coordination
  • Impaired thinking
  • Dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Feeling tired
  • Lower heartbeat, blood pressure, breathing
  • Overall feeling of sadness
  • Urination difficulty
  • Blackouts

Long-term Side Effects of Alcohol

Is alcohol a drug that can cause serious and lasting side effects?

Yes, alcohol is the root of alcoholism, which is an addiction. 

Long term use of alcohol changes our brains and bodies in ways we may not be aware of.

Mental and Physical Side Effects

  • Addiction (alcoholism)
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Liver damage/disease
  • Malnutrition
  • Blackouts
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Ulcers
  • Gastritis
  • Cancer
  • Permanent nerve damage
  • Worsening of mental disorders
  • Suicidal thoughts/tendencies
  • Suicide
  • Death
  • Moodiness
  • Abusive behavior
  • Fetal deformities
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Stillbirth
  • Miscarriage
  • Development of Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome
    • An alarming 80% of alcoholics are deficient in thiamine. This deficiency can lead to Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, which is a brain disorder causing encephalopathy or psychosis.

Social Side Effects

  • Divorce
  • Relationship strain
  • Self-isolation
  • Indirect harm through accidents
  • Loss of job
  • Loss of friends
  • Loss of home
  • Financial strain
  • Drunk driving that can lead to arrest or imprisonment
  • Loss of driving privileges
  • Arrest and imprisonment
  • Requiring a lifetime of someone caring for you

Mental Illness and Alcoholism

 
Is alcohol a drug that worsens existing mental disorders?

In short, yes, it can.

Alcohol abuse is associated with numerous mental disorders and can exacerbate their severity.
 

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Mental Disorders Associated with Alcoholism

Alcohol Abuse Leads to Addiction

Why is alcohol a drug of choice for so many of us?

Alcohol does not require a prescription and is obtainable by merely going to the store.

Is alcohol a drug that only affects adults? No, it has the same addictive ability for teens, middle-aged adults, as well as the elderly.

When is alcohol abuse a drug problem?

The varying demographics of alcohol abuse and addiction are startling in contrast to what many of us think.

Under-Age Alcohol Abuse Within the U.S. during 2018:

  • Approximately 7.1 million under the age of 20 consumed alcohol, of which 19.5% were females, and 18.2% were males.
  • Approximately 4.3 million under the age of 20 participated in binge drinking.
  • Approximately 861,000 (2.3% of the age-group population) under the age of 20 heavily abused alcohol.

 
Older Adults and Alcohol Abuse Within the U.S. during 2018:

  • 3% of adults admit to drinking alcohol.
  • 45% of adults admit to binge drinking.
  • 6% of adults admit to heavily abusing alcohol.

 
A study done in 2012 indicated that 10% of children in the U.S. had an alcoholic parent.
 
When is alcohol use an addiction?

  • You crave it and cannot go for long periods without it.
  • You drink all throughout the day or night.
  • You cannot enjoy social events without drinking.
  • You spend your last dollar on alcohol.
  • You become violent and abusive towards your loved ones.
  • You prefer to drink alone.

 
If you see yourself in any of the above scenarios, facts, or statistics, you need help.

Many of us with an addiction to alcohol do not view ourselves as alcoholics.

Taking the first step in admitting you are an alcoholic is the hardest part of this recovery journey.

Reaching Out for Help

When you continue to allow alcohol to control you and your life, you stand to lose so much.

Your sense of pride, independence, and your loved ones are far more precious than a drink.

Even worse, can you live with yourself if you drink and drive and end up killing someone?

Did you know that someone dies because of a drunk driver every 50 minutes in the U.S.?

How Do You Get Help?

Admitting you have a drinking problem is the first and hardest step.

Now it is time to get help from professionals who will be by your side the entire time.

The next step to take is to make that call.
 
North Jersey Recovery Center is a leading treatment facility for alcoholism.

We have a professional standing by 24/7 to take your phone call.

The moment you speak with someone, you will be embraced with compassion.

Inpatient

Detox is a necessary step to rid your body of alcohol.

You will be admitted as an inpatient where you have the choice of social or medical detox.

A team of medical professionals will be by your side during the entire process until you have stabilized.

After you are stable, you will then advance to the “inpatient hospitalization” program, where you ease back into life while still residing at the facility.

Outpatient

When you have graduated to the outpatient program, you will visit the facility as scheduled to continue treatment.

For those who need to plan their treatment around work, children, or school, we offer “intensive outpatient therapy.”

Payment and Insurance

Our staff is more than happy to verify your insurance on your behalf to make things easier for you. You also have the option to use our online verification form to do it yourself.


Regaining Control to Live a Full Life

Treatment is a gift to yourself and to those you love.

Do not let alcohol slowly strip you of the most valuable things and pleasures of life.

You have value and worth, and who knows, you may be the one who inspires someone else with the same problem to find help.

Be their inspiration!

6 Ways to Know You Have a Drinking Problem North Jersey Recovery Center - A man is thinking about the red flags that may mean a drinking problem is prevalent and he may need treatment for alcohol addiction

6 Ways to Know You Have a Drinking Problem

What is Considered a Drinking Problem?

 
Alcohol drinking is a sensitive subject for those who drink but profess they do not have a drinking problem.

Awareness is the first step in how to know if you have a drinking problem.

Admitting you have a drinking problem is the first step, but we look at the different things that indicate dependence (addiction) on alcohol before we go that far.

If you or a loved one drinks a lot, this article will give you a better understanding of alcohol dependence.

  • Do you drink throughout the day?
  • Do you need alcohol to get through any type of social gathering or event?
  • Have you noticed that you are always holding a beer or drink in photos?
  • Do you lose track of time or have blackouts?
  • Has your loved one left you because of alcohol?

Is Alcohol a Drug?

Alcohol does not have the same chemicals that drugs do.

However, alcohol is a depressant and is classified as such.

You can grow dependent on alcohol.

We want to give you an overview of what alcohol addiction looks like.

Alcohol is classified as a depressant. Although it is a beverage and obtainable by going into a store, it is a drug.

A drug is defined as a substance that has the potential to enhance physical or mental welfare. It is not used medically.

Tranquilizers, sedatives, sleeping pills, and antipsychotics produce the same effect as alcohol.

Anytime a depressant enters the body, our brains tell us to relax and loosen up.

This is why you see alcohol present in almost every kind of social gathering.

It helps us to mingle and socialize.

Light drinking keeps us giddy, happy, and relaxed.

Whereas, heavy drinking is sedating to the point you have impaired function.

6 Red Flag Warnings: How to Know if You Have a Drinking Problem

As you read through the below red flags, you will notice a vicious cycle of cause and effect that never ends.

This is what keeps us trapped in the addiction to alcohol.

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Red Flag #1: You Feel Like You Have No Control Over Your Life

Obsessive thinking about whether you may need help is an indicator of knowing if you have a drinking problem.

If you must ask yourself that question, you may have a problem.

Many of us who do have an alcohol dependence feel as though we are losing control.

This can happen because of losing loved ones, friends, or jobs because of our drinking.

When the bank forecloses on your home, or a recovery truck pulls up and hauls your car off because you no longer have a job that makes you feel very helpless.

The thoughts that race through our mind on what we are doing to ourselves causes us to drink more.

Red Flag #2: You Drink at Inappropriate Times and Places

Alcoholics do not care where or when they drink. The craving and need for alcohol distort all reasoning and rationale.

Such scenarios that will help you with how to know if you have a drinking problem include:

  • Showing up to church with alcohol on your breath or a flask neatly tucked in your pocket
  • Driving while drinking, which is especially dangerous if your loved ones are with you
  • As soon as the alarm clock rings in the morning, you opt for a drink instead of coffee or breakfast
  • You need “chasers” to help a previous binge
  • You drink heavily in front of children, therefore, setting a bad example for them
  • You rush home every day to have that cocktail, which is followed up with dinner, wine, and a bedtime nightcap
  • You show up at an AA meeting drunk or you sneak off to the bathroom to drink during a meeting
  • You must spike your coffee at work, or you have a bottle hidden in your desk that you retreat to when no one is looking

Do you get the picture? Alcohol seemingly finds its way into every activity during the day.

Red Flag #3: You Have a Criminal Record Because of Drinking

You have been pulled over for drinking and driving. As a result, you were arrested. This is a BIG red flag yelling at you: “This is how to know if you have a drinking problem!”

One arrest leads to two or three, and before you know it, you no longer have a driver’s license and must depend on public transportation or someone else to get you to where you need to go each day.

Spending time in jail is not what you had in mind, but it has happened to you. Repeated arrests lead to longer jail sentences as well.

Once you are out of jail, you go home and grab a beer because you have missed having it while in jail and just need to unwind.

Red Flag #4: Your Drinking Drove Away Loved Ones

Have you been in such a drunken rage that you hit your spouse or threw something at the TV and broke it? These are two examples of how to know if you have a drinking problem.

As our husband or wife walks out the door, we know we cannot stop drinking to keep them from leaving.

We will promise and beg to be better, but we do not get better.

Having our children witness their dad or mom lying on the floor in urine-soaked clothing or vomit from drinking is humiliating, to say the least.

Our families lose all respect for us when we allow alcohol to dictate our lives.

Many of us have such violent outbursts after drinking that we have physically and emotionally hurt those we love.

The regret that comes after the alcohol wears off is so painful that we grab another drink.

Red Flag #5: You Have to Drink More as the Effects Wear Off to Avoid Withdrawal Symptoms

When we begin to feel sweaty, shaky, and overall sick, we know it is time for another drink.

We do not want to experience the unpleasantries of withdrawal.

As soon as our body begins to quiver, we drink. This is perhaps one of the main reasons we continue to drink.

Feeding the hungry demon within ourselves leaves us feeling completely out of control.

We know we need help but are afraid to admit our problem.

It is more convenient to keep drinking than invest the time to go to rehab.

Red Flag #6: You Have Repeated Loss of Time You Can’t Account for

Have you ever woken up disoriented and confused about how you ended up in a strange place? Not only is it frightening, but you feel vulnerable and afraid. When you are trying to piece things together, you can only assume your drinking landed you where you are.

Blackouts happen because of heavy drinking.

The college days of waking up on someone’s sofa after a night of partying are long gone.

A blackout does not necessarily define unconsciousness. You can get behind the wheel of a vehicle, walk somewhere, or be a part of illicit activities that you do not remember doing.

The fact that you can harm or kill yourself or others during a blackout should be enough to cause you to seek help.

But instead, you drink to numb the fear and sense of helplessness that a blackout causes you. This is a serious red flag on how to know if you have a drinking problem.

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Payment Options

Do you want treatment but are worried about how you can pay for it?

We have a team of financial professionals who provide free insurance verification.

We will work with you to determine how to move forward with the treatment in a way that works for you and your financial situation.

How to Get Help

There are so many reasons why you should get help.

We should love ourselves enough to grant ourselves the opportunity to live a clean and sober life.

Now that you have information on how to know if you have a drinking problem, take that step, and get help.

Call North Jersey Recovery Center at 877-786-0572 to schedule your consultation.

You deserve to live a happy life free from alcoholism.