Alcohol

Alcohol- Drug Facts

Alcohol is synthesized by fermentation of sugars and starches. Alcohol is a depressant. Many persons drink alcohol for pleasure and social events, and do not drink alcohol on a daily basis. Other persons drinking alcohol drink to become intoxicated. The alcohol starts absorption in the stomach, travels to the bloodstream, and enters the tissues. Several factors affect the level of absorption obtained from alcohol, and are individual to each partaker of the substance. For instance, a person’s age, sex, size and weight play a significant part in how quickly liquor is absorbed into the system. The level of intoxication depends on the amount of food and the type of food intake prior to drinking alcohol. An estimated 10% of persons consuming alcohol will become alcoholics. Alcohol causes significant health problems if consumed over a long period of time. It affects the stability of communities, and increases crimes throughout the country. Reportedly, 1 in 2 teens consumed alcohol in the last year. Many people may think alcohol is not a drug; however, alcohol is a drug. In the past alcohol was used for medical purposes, but today alcohol is only used in some cough syrups and elixirs.

Description and Overview:
– Colorless Flammable Liquid
– Series of Hydroxyl Compounds
– Saturated Hydrocarbons
– Chemical Makeup – C 2 H 5 OH
– Fermentation of Sugars & Starches
– Pure or Denatured
– Used as a Solvent in:
o Drugs
o Cleaning Solutions
o Explosives
o Rubbing Alcohol
o Intoxicating Beverages
–  Also known as:
o Ethanol
o Ethyl Alcohol
o Gran Alcohol
– Types of Categories
o Beer
o Wine
o Liquor

Breakdown of Illegal Users:
- 1 in 2 Teens Drank in Last Year
– Binge Drinking
– Experimentation Among Adolescence
– Frat Parties at College
– High School to Obtain Social Acceptance
– Production of Illegal Liquor
o Hooch – Illegally Made Hard Liquor
o Moonshine – Illegally Distilled Home Made Whiskey
o Corn Liquor – Illegally Distilled Home Made Whiskey
o Rotgut – Poorly Made Whiskey
o White Lightening

Methods of Use:
- Drinking

Medically Used to Treat:
- Used in Some Cough Syrup & Elixirs

Used Illegally For:
- Affects
– Profit
– Social Acceptance by Adults
– Social Acceptance by Teens

Some Slang Phrases for Alcohol:
- Booze
– Cold One
– Fire Water
– Get Drunk
– Grandpa’s Cough Syrup
– Hard Stuff
– Liquid Courage
– Sauce
– Spirits
– Take a Nip
– Take a Sip

How Alcohol Affects the Brain:
- Affects the Central Nervous System
– Cognitive Deficits
– Increased Parietal Glucose Metabolism
– Interference with Verbal Fluency
– Interference with Fine Motor Performance
– Motor Deficits
– Motor Memory Deficits
– Relative Glucose Metabolism = Impaired Mood

Short-Term Effects of Using Alcohol
- Dizziness
– Slurred Speech
– Talkativeness
– Disturbed Sleep
– Nausea
– Vomiting
– Impaired Judgment
– Aggressiveness
– Domestic Violence
– Child Abuse
– Hangovers Consisting of:
o Dizziness
o Dry Mouth
o Fatigue
o Headache
o Nausea
o Thirst

Long-Term Effects of Using Alcohol:
- Addiction
– Convulsions
– Death
– Depression
– Erratic Behavior
– Emotional Instability
– Hallucinations
– Mood Disturbances
– Permanent Damage of the Brain
– Permanent Damage of the Heart
– Permanent Damage of the Liver
– Pregnant Women Who Drink:
o May Deliver Babies with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
o Possible Mental Retardation
o Irreversible Physical Abnormalities
o Infants May Inherit Gene to Abuse Alcohol
– Sadness & Unhappiness
– Severe Anxiety
– Social Disability
– Tremors
– Violent Behavior
– Weight Loss
– Withdrawal Symptoms

Links:
www.drugabuse.gov/NIDA_notes/NNvol21N5/alcohol.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2670101