What Class of Drug Is Alcohol?


Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused psychoactive drug worldwide. When alcohol is consumed, it interferes with many of the systems in the body and may cause many problems, including heart disease. Alcohol can produce cravings and leads to a physiological addiction. Alcohol affects each person differently depending on factors including the individual's age, gender and weight.

Types of Drugs

  • Many different categories are used to classify drugs. Drugs are typically classified by the effects they have on the body. Depressants such as alcohol and barbiturates slow the body down. Stimulants speed up the processes in the body. Caffeine, cocaine, amphetamines, diet pills,and methamphetamines are classified as stimulants. Hallucinogens such as LSD, psilocybin, DMT, and PCP may cause the user to see things that do not exist. Date rape drugs are another common drug type. Date rape drugs are GHB, ecstasy, Ketamine and Rohypnol. The final type of drug classification is narcotics, such as codeine, heroin, opium and morphine.


  • Alcohol is a depressant. A substance that is classified as a depressant slows an organism's activity. Alcohol has the same affects as general anesthesia, and has been proved to lower inhibitions. It depresses the central nervous system causing or contributing to other ailments.

Side Effects of Alcohol

  • Alcohol can cause loss of memory and the inability to concentrate. Other side effects of consuming alcohol are anxiety. mood swings and insomnia. Excessive amounts of alcohol have been reported to have caused tremors, seizures and delirium.

Diseases Caused By Alcohol

  • Alcohol consumption increases your risk of heart disease because it damages tissue. Excessive consumption of alcohol can also contribute to stomach ulcers, hepatitis and cirrhosis.

How Alcohol Affects People Differently

  • Different people react to alcohol in different ways. Factors that play a role in the level of intoxication are weight, gender and physical condition. Other factors that can have an effect on a person's intoxication level are the time of the day alcohol is consumed, food intake before alcohol consumption and other drugs or medications an individual is taking. The concentration of alcohol in different drinks also plays a part in the intoxication level. Beer contains less alcohol than wine or mixed cocktails. The proof, or strength, of the alcohol consumed is important. The proof is usually two times the alcohol content in that type of alcohol.

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