Why Isn’t Alcohol Considered A Gateway Drug?

BFoundAPen
4 min readMay 26, 2021
Adobe Stock: LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS

Alcohol has been around for about as long as humans have. It’s been brewed, crafted, conjured, and sold whether it was entirely legal or not. Despite the devastating aftermath alcohol can cause, it is widely socially accepted. When people talk about how dangerous drugs like marijuana, crack, and heroin is, they usually fail to mention how dangerous alcohol can be as well. Why is that?

Why isn’t alcohol considered a gateway drug?

Why isn’t it considered a drug at all? When taken in excess, it causes mental impairment and lowered impulse control. It’s a factor in countless suicides, homicides, and traffic accidents year after year.

“Alcoholism has a profound effect on the entire body, especially the brain, heart, pancreas, mouth, liver, and immune system. In spite of its negative impact, more Americans than ever before consume alcohol on a regular basis.” — Talbott Recovery

Consuming alcohol aids in over 300,000 deaths a year. It ruins the lives of many more. Alcoholism runs on both sides of my family. My grandmother is terrified of the stuff after watching various family members become trapped in addiction. I grew up hating alcohol myself after seeing what it did to my father. I carried a mixture of fear, anger, and hatred towards alcohol for years. Eventually, I made myself try it just to prove to myself that I wouldn’t let addiction control me.

Since drinking is widely socially acceptable, it’s harder to recognize when some have taken it too far. Teenagers and young adults are pressured to drink at parties while surrounded by friends and acquaintances. Unlike the lie D.A.R.E is selling children that people will offer up expensive, hardcore illegal drugs for free, alcohol is one of those things that are given away more liberally. Whether it's a dinner party or a secret high school get-together, drinks are offered just as much as Christianity pamphlets in less fortunate countries.

Alcohol blocks the chemical signals your brain sends between neurons.

This is what causes slurred speech, slower reflexes, impaired memory, and impulsive behavior. Consistent heavy drinking can cause the brain to react in a more severe manner…

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