This is a widespread debate that many people argue. Some sources claim that alcohol is much deadlier than drugs due to its availability and overall harm that it causes, while others state that drugs are worse because many people must break the law to obtain them. However, both can cause a lot of damage.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcoholism can have direct effects on the brain, which can cause mood and behavior changes. Cardiomyopathy is the stretching and drooping of the heart muscle – another dangerous effect of alcoholism. Arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeat, can cause a lot of stress to the body as well. In an article titled, “The Effects of Alcohol on Your Body”, Healthline describes that inflammatory damage, such as liver inflammation and liver disease, are other dangerous consequences of alcoholism. Alcoholism can cause a stroke, heart attack, heart disease, and can also increase risk for mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, and breast cancer. Rehab International notes the social implications that alcoholism causes, such as withdrawing from family and friends, neglecting work responsibilities, and lack of family structure which can also cause marriage and parenting problems.

Recovery Gateway, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals’ recovery, notes that drug users make over 527,000 emergency room visits each year for drug-related problems. Drug addiction can weaken the immune system, cause damaging cardiovascular conditions, nausea, abdominal pain, and directly impacts the brain’s reward system, otherwise known as dopamine. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that heart or lung disease, cancer, mental illness, HIV/AIDS, stroke, heart attack, psychosis, and even death can occur. Drug addiction can also cause a person to act differently at work, school, and family settings, causing disruption in their social lives as well.

When compared, one should understand that neither are worse than the other – both are damaging and both should be addressed. Carole Bennett, MA and writer for Psychology Today, notes that addiction is addiction – either one causes destructive, out of control behavior and lots of pain for everyone involved. Whether you are addicted to alcohol or drugs, both can cause extreme mental, emotional, physical, and social consequences. If you suffer from addiction, speak with a doctor today to begin your journey towards recovery.

Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665

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