Ethyl alcohol is a psychoactive drug produced by the fermentation of yeast, sugars and starches, that is to be found in beer, wine, and hard liquors.
The effects of alcohol on the body are directly related to the amount consumed, and while small amounts can have a relaxing effect, larger amounts can result in delayed reactions, slurred speech, faulty judgements, and difﬁculty in walking.
A standard drink is either one 12 ounce beer, one 5 ounce glass of wine, or a 1.5 ounce glass of hard liquor.
Generally speaking, one drink per day for women, and two drinks or less per day for men.
Binge drinking is deﬁned as having ﬁve drinks or more on a single occasion.
Alcohol abuse is typically the cause of recurrent alcohol related problems, such as poor job performance, disturbed personal relationships, drunken driving, and erratic mood swings.
Alcoholism, also known as alcohol dependence, is characterized by symptoms which include:
- An uncontrollable urge or craving to drink alcohol.
- The inability to stop drinking once drinking has begun.
- Suffering withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, sweating, weakness and nausea after stopping.
- The need for ever increasing amounts of alcohol to achieve the desired “high”.
Excessive drinking can lead to high blood pressure, liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis, psychological problems, as well as car accidents, domestic violence, and child abuse
People who are experiencing alcohol related problems but who are not yet dependent on the drug, can, if motivated, frequently curb their drinking habits without outside support.
For an alcoholic however, the only reliable course is to totally abstain from alcohol. This cure is best implemented with the advice and support of qualiﬁed professionals.