Social acceptance of alcohol and its adverse effects

Drinking alcohol

The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health(NSDUH) reported that 86.4% of American adults admitted to having drunk alcohol at least once in their lives. In this percentage, 15 million people have Alcohol Use Disorder(AUD).
This shows the extent to which alcohol has been accepted in social circles.
If you find it hard to stop taking alcohol despite the obvious social and health consequences, this article is for you.
Read on to understand the answer to – Is alcohol a controlled substance?

Is Alcohol A Controlled Substance?

Knowing more about alcohol policies will make you understand why alcohol is socially acceptable despite its adverse effects.
Now, for a substance to be termed as ‘controlled’, it simply means that the government regulates the manufacturing, distribution, possession, and use of the specific drug. These substances are grouped into five groups known as schedules.
Possession of any controlled substance without a prescription is against the law and can invite imprisonment of up to 40 years.
• Schedule 1 Drugs
These substances have no health benefits and have a high potential for addiction. Mostly, they are sold on the streets and are the least safe of all drugs.
Dealers can serve between 5 and 40 years of imprisonment. Heroin, Bath salts, LSD, ecstasy, and marijuana are common schedule 1 drugs.
Recent studies show that marijuana doesn’t have a high potential for addiction but instead has a high dependence rate.
Another widely spread theory is that usage of marijuana leads to the usage of other drugs. However, this has been contradicted by studies showing that less than 1% of marijuana users have tried or heroin or harder drugs.
This has sparked the debate on whether marijuana should be removed from the list. What do you think?
• Schedule II Drugs
These drugs differ from schedule I drugs in that they have some health benefits and are actually prescribed by the doctor.
You might still find some being sold on the streets. Most common schedule II drugs include cocaine, opium, Adderall, Oxycodone, and Ritalin. Dealers caught selling can face up to a maximum of 20 years in prison.
• Schedule III Drugs
These drugs have a number of health benefits but have a moderate potential for dependency.
Despite being described to a number of people suffering from medical conditions, unlicensed selling of the drug is illegal.
Offenders can serve up to 10 years in prison and five hundred thousand dollars in fine.
Common examples include ketamine, testosterone, and anabolic steroids
• Schedule IV Drugs
These drugs have health benefits but have a limited potential for abuse. They are mostly prescribed to people suffering from anxiety. They include Xanax, valium, Ambien, Rohypnol, and Somas.
If caught selling these drugs, you can serve up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fine.
• Schedule V Drugs
These drugs have major health benefits and have a low potential for dependence or abuse.
Mostly, they are prescribed for serious colds and coughs. Some contain dangerous levels of codeine and can’t be sold over the counter.
Examples include lacosamide, pregabalin, cough medicine with under 200mg of codeine per dose and pyrovalerone.
If caught selling these drugs, you can serve a maximum of 1 year in prison and $100,000 in fines.
Alcohol: Controlled Or Regulated?
No, alcohol is not a controlled substance, rather it’s a regulated one.
Therefore, it’s not part of any scheduling protocol by the Drug Enforcement Agency(DEA).
However, under the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category(BASIC) regulations, heavy machinery should not be driven under the influence of alcohol.

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Alcohol Addiction
In the recent past, there have been numerous debates aimed at adding alcohol to the list of controlled substances but none has been successful.
Those supporting the notion argue that alcohol can be highly addictive and have adverse effects on someone life.
If you or your loved one exhibit the following signs, then you are probably addicted to alcohol.
1. You are avoiding and responsibilities so as to drink.
2. Being arrested for hurting someone while under the influence of alcohol.
3. Using alcohol to avoid family and relationship conflicts.
Talk to someone you feel less judged by and plan on visiting the detox center near you to aid in drug withdrawal.
Alcohol Dependence
Due to its brain-altering effects, alcohol is widely abused. Its Dependence comes easy since it is more socially acceptable as compared to other drugs.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), substance dependence definition is a condition characterized by strong craving for alcohol and continued use despite obvious harm. At this point, you have lost the ability to stop drinking.
Your body gets used to drinking so much that the moment you stop drinking; you begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms. They include sweating, anxiety, shakiness, and nausea.
High dependence on alcohol can transform anyone into a homeless drug addict.
Reclassification of Alcohol And Marijuana
• Alcohol
Alcohol may be used as an alternative antiseptic and pain reliever but other than that has no tangible health benefits. It is highly addictive and should be classified under Schedule I drugs.
Debates pushing for this notion may fail to be successful due to the societal impact alcohol has. More so, the drugs may be under government regulation but vary from state to state.
It becomes impossible to get a uniform opinion.
Alcohol has been used in almost every culture to celebrate good times and deal with the bad times. Its social significance makes it hard to impose hard laws on the substance.
It also generates a lot of income for the country to make it a resourceful venture. Controlling it would imply less consumption and eventually low sales.
It is possible that we recognize this and don’t want to change. For now, alcohol remains a regulated but not controlled substance.
• Marijuana
On the other hand, more research is being conducted on the medicinal attributes of marijuana. It is likely that marijuana will be reclassified to schedule iii drugs.
What do you think should be the final verdict?
I hope the information was helpful in answering the question: Is alcohol a controlled substance?
Check out this page to understand more about drug treatment programs.

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