Street Names and Nicknames for Alcohol
Alcohol may not be widely considered a drug of abuse, but it definitely is. As a central nervous system depressant, alcohol is one of the most widely abused mind-altering substances. Some alarming alcohol statistics include:
- In 2015 alone, nearly 53% of people aged 12 and older reported using alcohol in the past month alone.
- Almost 88,000 people die from alcohol-related health problems every year.
These facts don’t even take into account the damage caused by driving under the influence. Alcohol impaired driving accounted for 30.8% of all driving fatalities in 2013. Alcohol’s consequences often extend beyond the user and into society.
Other Names for Alcohol
Although many people call it by its given name or simply refer to specific types of alcohol, others get more creative when referencing alcoholic drinks. This may be because people either want a cute, familiar name for it or they are intentionally obscuring the reference because they don’t want others around them to know they are drinking.
- Hard stuff
- Liquid bread
- Oats soda
- Tummy buster
- Liquid courage
- 12 oz. curl
- Redneck wine
Many of these names have been around for years, while others are modern terms that are used in more limited circles. Some may have gotten their roots from other countries or old stories involving alcohol.
There are no doubt many other names that you can call a beer or other type of alcohol. Many groups or cliques, especially fraternities and college-based clubs, have their own special or unique names. In addition, other countries and regions may have name variations based on the popular types of alcohol served there.
According to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, talking to children about alcohol use and knowing the warning signs early on can help prevent life-long problems. Early alcohol use can lead to dependence by early adulthood. In addition, alcohol use can affect school performance and social function and lead to risky or even illegal behavior, including drunk driving, crime, and sexual activity.
Because of the large percentage of the population engaging in alcohol use, it is important to keep children focused on school and extracurricular activities. It is also important that they choose friends wisely and steer clear of bad influences. Hopefully by knowing the different names for alcohol, parents can find out if their child is drinking alcohol before it is too late.
Who’s at Risk for Alcohol Addiction
Numerous factors can contribute to a person developing an alcohol addiction:
- Genetics. Certain genetic profiles may increase a person’s risk of developing alcoholism, but they don’t guarantee it. There are many environmental factors that also affect a person’s risk for alcohol abuse and dependence.
- Underage drinking. Research has shown that those who begin drinking at a younger age increase their risk of developing alcohol dependence.
- Binge drinking. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol is known as “binge drinking” and it goes against the idea of moderating your intake. Binge drinking can cause damage to their brain and body. It can also can speed the onset of physical dependence and tolerance. When this occurs, an individual’s system grows accustomed to higher amounts of alcohol intake, eventually requiring increasing amounts to experience the same effect or to avoid withdrawal. Binge drinking also affects the general health of an individual. Binge drinkers are more likely to report more sick days and experience poor health compared to non-binge drinkers.
- Motivation. Why people choose to drink can influence their risk. Common reasons that may indicate an alcohol problem include stress reduction and mood enhancement, wherein a person is using alcohol to feel better rather than seeking positivity in non-substance sources.
- Expectations. If a person believes that drinking alcohol will provide them with positive social, emotional, or status changes, they are more likely to drink more and more often. Social relationships can also have an effect on drinking habits and expectancies as drinking in a group leads to a stronger experience of euphoria than drinking alone. Social settings generally facilitate overconsumption of alcohol.
While each of these factors contributes in its own way, the development of an alcohol problem is never the result of any singular one. All of these factors interact with each other to create a risk profile for alcoholism that can have a powerful influence on a person.
Health Effects of Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol has many different effects on the brain and the body:
Brain. In the brain, alcohol slows cellular communication, resulting in very obvious behavioral effects, such as:
- Slurred speech.
- Unsteady gait.
- Intense emotions or changes in mood.
- A blank, non-reactive stare or a total loss of consciousness. These can be signs of potential alcohol poisoning.
Body. In addition to brain changes, alcohol can cause other bodily damage, including:
- Damage to the heart muscle and other chronic cardiac problems.
- High blood pressure.
- Gastrointestinal tract inflammation and ulceration.
- Liver damage.
- Immune system suppression.
- Alcohol is also a known risk factor for cancer, including throat, esophagus, mouth, liver, and breast cancer.
Alcohol is also dangerous because it reduces a person’s appetite and often replaces healthful caloric intake, leading to a malnourished diet that can give way to even worse problems, including Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, in which a person suffers from extreme dementia due to long-term alcohol abuse.
Treatment for Alcohol Abuse and Addiction
Treatment for alcohol abuse and addiction can involve the following treatment aspects:
Detox. Alcohol addiction treatment must start off with medically-supervised detox. Withdrawal from alcohol abuse can cause life-threatening seizures, so professional medical supervision is necessary.
Talk therapy. Once the body is cleared of all alcohol, talk therapy (psychotherapy) and counseling can begin. Behavioral therapies that target the key contributors toward drinking behavior and help the person understand why he or she was abusing alcohol can make a huge difference in a person’s life. The main goal of these therapies is to help the person find their own motivation for sobriety.
Medications. These can be prescribed by a doctor to help with alcohol abstinence maintenance. Naltrexone, disulfiram, and acamprosate are all currently used to help with alcohol abuse recovery, but the best results come from a combination of medications and psychotherapy.
Self-help groups. Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and SMART Recovery can also provide free aftercare support once a person leaves a formal alcohol addiction treatment program. These organizations provide a network of sobriety support that encourages long-term abstinence.
Traditional Vs. Luxury Alcohol Treatment
Alcohol addiction treatment can begin with a host of uncomfortable side effects. Withdrawal from alcohol abuse is notoriously dangerous and unpleasant. The course of recovery can be complicated by persistent cravings throughout the treatment process. Working toward recovery in a facility that is catered toward comfort may help some people stay focused on their path to sobriety.
When it comes to alcohol abuse recovery in particular, the discomfort of the initial withdrawal and craving period may be alleviated by having numerous distractions to keep a person’s mind off of drinking. The amenities provided by luxury addiction programs may help a person distract him or herself as they adjust to a sober lifestyle.
Luxury and executive treatment programs place focus on privacy, comfort, and provide a range of activities and amenities for those in treatment. They may offer luxury-minded people the best course for recovery. These programs come at a higher price, however, so be sure to consider cost when deciding between a standard and a luxury program.
While potentially beneficial, luxury treatment programs aren’t for everyone. A traditional treatment facility is still often able to provide people recovering from alcohol abuse and addiction with comfort and a safe, solid recovery course.
Outpatient treatment allows the flexibility of fulfilling daily-life obligations while getting treatment. A person in alcohol addiction treatment can continue to live at home and have access to medical care and therapy at fixed times during the week.
Inpatient addiction facilities offer specialized care and a place for the person to stay, which can be beneficial because it lacks certain triggers than can exacerbate alcohol craving. Some of these facilities also offer around-the-clock medical supervision for alcohol detox. Inpatient facilities are well-suited if a person has been through previous attempts at detox or outpatient treatment hasn’t worked.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010). Alcohol and public health: Alcohol-related disease impact.
- Foroud, T., Edenberg, H. J., & Crabbe, J. C. (2010). Genetic research: Who is at risk for alcoholism? Alcohol Research and Health. 33 (1, 2). Pp. 64-75.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2014). 2013 motor vehicle crashes: Overview.
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2012). A family history of alcoholism: Are you at risk?
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Psychosocial factors in alcohol use and alcoholism.
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2010). Beyond hangovers: Understanding alcohol’s impact on your health.
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2004). Alcohol’s Damaging Effects on the Brain. Bethesda, MD.
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Exploring treatment options for alcohol use disorders. Alcohol Alert. 81.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2015). Alcohol.