Maybe you enjoy having a drink, or two, or more, occasionally, or more frequently, or as a daily routine. You may or may not be aware of how alcohol affects the body and brain. You may have heard that it’s healthy to drink a little of some types of alcohol. But, generally, alcohol is an addictive drug that is dangerous to the health and safety of users. Below are some answers to some of the most common questions about alcohol use.
FAQs About Alcohol
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about alcohol.
What Is Alcohol?
The kind of alcohol in beer, wine, and liquor is the active ingredient that causes intoxication. This form of alcohol is ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol. It occurs when yeast ferments in the sugars contained in fruits, vegetables, or grains. For example, the sugar in grapes ferments to make wine, fermented sugars in grains are used to make whiskey, and the sugar in potatoes is fermented to make vodka.
Is Alcohol a Drug?
Yes, alcohol is a psychoactive drug. It impacts your body’s functioning, as other drugs do, and it is addictive and toxic. When consumed in small amounts, alcohol can have a relaxing and comforting effect. However, it is a depressant drug. That means it slows the transmission of messages between the brain and body, altering the way the user feels, thinks, and acts. Larger doses can have serious negative impacts on mood, motor coordination, and judgment.
Is Alcohol a Poison?
Alcohol is toxic. It kills microorganisms, which makes it useful in sterilization. In large doses, it is fatal to humans. An amount only a few times as much as the quantity that makes the blood alcohol content (BAC) exceed the limit to be considered drunk driving can cause death.
How Much Alcohol Is Safe to Drink?
Alcohol is never entirely safe to consume. It can harm the person drinking it and potentially those near the user. To minimize the serious health and safety risks of drinking alcohol, it is essential to limit the quantity and abstain from operating a motor vehicle or other equipment or engaging in other activities requiring unimpaired motor skills.
How Much Alcohol Is in Your Drink?
The percentage of alcohol in drinks varies depending on the type of drink. For example:
- Beer contains about 5% alcohol.
- Wine contains around 12% alcohol.
- Liquors like rum, scotch, and others contain from about 40% to 60% alcohol.
That means that drinking the same volume of one type of drink can have much stronger alcohol effects than another type.
How Does Alcohol Destroy the Body?
Alcohol use can damage the liver, which is the organ that functions to break down harmful substances in the body. Alcohol overconsumption can promote the onset of jaundice, hepatitis, and cirrhosis (extreme scar tissue) that ultimately destroys the liver. Alcohol can also cause inflammation of the bladder, kidney, and other organs.
What are the legal limits for alcohol in the blood of someone driving a car?
Under the laws of most states in the U.S., a BAC of 0.08 or above is intoxication. Driving a car with that concentration of alcohol in the blood or higher can lead to charges of DWI or DUI. The BAC limit for commercial vehicle operators is 0.04%. For people under age 21, there is a zero BAC limit when driving. Any amount of blood alcohol content is illegal for minors and can result in legal charges.
Treatment Of Alcohol Use Disorder At Renaissance
Renaissance Recovery Center in Gilbert, Arizona, offers the best evidence-based diagnosis and rehab for AUD. Each treatment program is customized to meet our client’s specific needs.