Ethanol, commonly referred to as alcohol, is a carbon-based molecule found in fermented beverages, known for its intoxicating effects.(1) These include a sense of relaxation, reduced inhibitions, impaired coordination, and, for some, a sense of euphoria. Alcohol has been produced and consumed by human beings for thousands of years, and is among the most common psychoactive substances in the world.
Many people are able to drink moderate amounts of alcohol without experiencing significant problems. Heavy alcohol use, on the other hand, can result in physical injury, poor decision-making, numerous chronic illnesses, and even fatal overdose.(2)
Alcohol is also an addictive substance. Millions of people across the United States struggle with alcohol addiction, and millions more fall into a gray area—meaning they are drinking more than they would like. At Ria Health, our mission is to help people regain control over their alcohol use, and establish a healthier relationship with this common substance.
Learn more about how our program works
Alcohol intoxicates you because of its impact on the central nervous system, and several body chemicals linked to pleasure and relaxation.
Here’s how it works:
As your liver processes the alcohol out of your blood, these enjoyable effects tend to fade, and you may begin to experience the opposite impact. This may include a hangover or withdrawal symptoms.
As a whole, alcohol can have a powerful effect on how you feel. Many people find themselves wanting to drink again to experience the same positive sensations.
Read more: How Does Alcohol Make You Drunk?
The impact of alcohol on your health depends on how much you drink, and your overall health to begin with.
Most of the severe impacts of alcohol on health are tied to excessive alcohol consumption. But even moderate alcohol use can have negative effects. This is why, even if you aren’t addicted, it is sometimes a good idea to cut out alcohol.
Learn more about Alcohol and Your Health
Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) occurs when someone has trouble controlling their use of alcohol, despite negative consequences. AUD ranges from mild to severe,(10) and doesn’t have to mean you are an “alcoholic.” For example:
AUD is not a cause for shame, or a sign of weakness. Alcohol is an addictive substance that affects everyone differently, and many people develop problems with it at some point in their lives.
At Ria, we recognize AUD as a common, treatable chronic illness caused by changes to a person’s brain chemistry. We believe that if you’re struggling with this ailment, you deserve the same medical attention as a person with any other health problem, without stigma or shame.
Read more: What Is Alcohol Use Disorder
Whether you’d like to improve your overall health, or feel you’ve become dependent on alcohol, there are many reasons to give up drinking—and many ways to do it.
If you’re not yet struggling with addiction, it may be possible to simply set daily drink limits or weekly goals. Keeping a journal to track your drinks, and finding alternative activities are both helpful strategies.
Many people who have become dependent on alcohol benefit from attending support groups, using drink-tracking apps, or even joining rehab programs to help them quit drinking.
Learn more about How To Stop Drinking
However, many also find that the most common forms of support aren’t a good fit. Often, getting help for your drinking is expensive, requires you to pause or disrupt your daily life, creates shame and stigma, or requires you to subscribe to beliefs or labels you may not agree with.
Our goal is to normalize getting help for problem drinking, so that more people can get the support they need.
We offer a comprehensive approach that doesn’t require you to put your life on hold, identify as an alcoholic, or even quit completely if you don’t want to. We use only evidence-based methods, including:
Best of all, the whole program happens online, on your schedule, through our smartphone app.
Take our short alcohol quiz to learn where you fall on the drinking spectrum and if you might benefit from quitting or cutting back on alcohol.