Drinking alcohol is itself not a problem. There is nothing wrong, bad or evil about drinking alcohol. It is a perfectly acceptable activity. Drinking alcohol is something people do to relax and enhance their ability to have fun. People drink to socialize, celebrate and relax.

girl passed out from drinkingThe problem with alcohol occurs when a person loses their ability to only drink one or two drinks and then stop. In other words, there is nothing wrong with drinking alcohol, unless someone has lost their ability to control it.
Drinking too much can cause a range of consequences, and increase the risk for a variety of health and related problems.

The kind of alcohol in alcoholic beverages is ethyl alcohol. It is the intoxicating agent found in beer, wine, and liquor.

How It Is Produced

A fermentation process, using yeast, sugars, and starches produce ethyl alcohol. Fermentation is the process in which yeast breaks down sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Yeast is tiny single-celled fungi that contain special enzymes responsible for this reaction. Carbon dioxide gas bubbles out of the fermenting solution into the air leaving a mixture of ethanol and water.

How It’s Classified

It is classified as a drug. It is a central nervous system depressant.

How is a Drink Defined?

A standard drink is equal to 0.6 ounces of pure ethanol. That equates to about 12 ounces of beer, 8 ounces of malt liquor, and 5 ounces of wine. A “shot” of 80-proof distilled liquor, such as gin, rum, vodka, or whiskey is approximately 1.5 ounces of ethyl alcohol.

How It’s Absorbed Into The Body

It is rapidly absorbed from the stomach and small intestine into the bloodstream. It impacts every organ in the drinker’s body and will damage a developing fetus. It will impair brain function and motor skills. Heavy use increases the risk of certain cancers, stroke, and liver disease.

How Does It Affect the Human Body?

Alcohol enters your bloodstream as soon as you take your first sip. Alcohol’s immediate effects can appear within about 10 minutes. As you drink, you increase your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level, which is the amount of alcohol present in your bloodstream. The higher your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), the more impaired you become by alcohol’s effects.

These effects can include:

  • Less Inhibited
  • Slurring Speech
  • Motor Function
  • Confusion
  • Memory
  • Concentration
  • Breathing
  • Death