Alcohol Information


Alcohol has been used in a number of diverse ways throughout history that can be called "beneficial."

It was also recognized many hundreds of years ago, however, that drinking alcohol in an excessive and abusive manner led to a number of unhealthy alcohol side effects such as alcohol-related social as and personal drinking problems.

In a similar manner, people in the industrialized nations have been drinking alcohol over an extended time frame.

And similar to what happened hundreds of years ago, many of the people in the world's developed nations have become aware of the damaging consequences of chronic, abusive drinking.

Why then do so many people in these industrialized nations seem to gamble with their futures by submitted themselves to the deleterious and unhealthy alcohol side effects of alcohol abuse and alcoholism?

Why do so many people ignore the hazardous "alcohol side effects" that were identified and discussed hundreds and hundreds of years ago?

What Is Alcohol?

The alcohol that is consumed at parties or bars is called ethyl alcohol or ethanol.

In short, this is the kind of alcohol that is ingested when people engage in drinking alcohol.

Ethyl alcohol is created by fermentation, a process in which yeast fungus feeds on sugars and/or starches in various grains (such as rice, barley, or hops) or fruits (such as grapes) and excretes alcohol along with carbon dioxide (CO2).

Ethyl alcohol is a depressant drug and not a stimulant as claimed by many people.

This fact makes it more clear why so many people become depressed when they drink in an abusive and excessive manner and why more than a few people exhibit alcoholism and depression at the same time.

The amount of alcohol in drinks varies widely depending on the specific drink.

For instance, while wine and beer usually have an alcohol content between 5% and 15%, hard liquor, conversely, commonly has an alcohol content of up to 40% or more.

Interestingly, from the least expensive beer to the most expensive wine or after dinner liqueur, all alcohol is made with the same fermentation process.

The various colors, strengths, flavors, and tastes come from the different fruits or vegetables that are used as well as from the diluting substances, by-products, and additives used in the fermentation process.

It is enlightening to note that the fermentation process used in alcoholic beverages is the same process that will occur with apple juice, orange juice or other fruit juices and fruit if they are not consumed.

Blood Alcohol Concentration

The following represents information about alcohol that many people seemingly do not know about.

Alcohol information such as this, it is asserted, can increase the "alcohol awareness" people possess about drinking alcohol and drinking problems.

When a person drinks an alcoholic beverage, roughly 20% of the alcohol is absorbed in the stomach and 80% is absorbed in the small intestine.

The type of drink, the frequency of drinks that are consumed, whether the stomach is empty or full, and the concentration of alcohol in the drink affect the speed at which the alcohol is absorbed.

Once the alcohol is absorbed into the tissues, it affects the individual's body and his or her brain.

It usually takes around 20 minutes after having an alcoholic beverage for a person's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level to rise.

After alcohol is absorbed and metabolized, it exits the body essentially in three ways: via the liver, kidneys, and via the lungs.

One note of interest: the ways in which drinking alcohol affects the person's body or his or her brain is based on the above information about alcohol absorption and also on a person's body weight and how quickly the individual's body metabolizes alcohol.

Alcohol Statistics

Unfortunately, many of the dangers associated with drinking alcohol in a chronic and abusive manner do not make a "real" impression on people until they read and "digest" some of the key alcohol abuse and alcoholism statistics.

It is with this in mind that the following alcohol related statistics, "alcohol side effects," and other alcohol information about problem drinking will be presented.

It is also hoped that these alcohol facts and statistics will result in an enhanced level of "alcohol awareness."

According to a study undertaken by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University in 2005, the following statistics about alcohol abuse and alcoholism were discovered:

  • Every day in the U.S. more than 13,000 children and teens take their first drink.

  • Every year in the U.S. more than 150,000 college students develop health problem that are alcohol-related.

  • Alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse cost the United States an estimated $220 billion in 2005. This dollar amount was more than the cost associated with cancer ($196 billion) and obesity ($133 billion).The 9.6% of adult alcoholics drink 25% of the alcohol that is consumed by all adult drinkers.

  • American youth who drinking before the of age 15 are four times more likely to become alcoholics than young people who do not drink before the age of 21.

  • Every year, 1,400 American college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related inadvertent injuries, including motor vehicle accidents.

  • In the United States during 2004, 16,694 deaths occurred as a result of alcohol-related motor-vehicle crashes. This amount was approximately 39% of all traffic fatalities. This amounts to one alcohol-related death every 31 minutes.

  • The 25.9% of underage drinkers who are alcohol abusers and alcohol dependent drink 47.3% of the alcohol that is consumed by all underage drinkers.

It is apparent from these alcohol abuse and alcoholism facts and statistics that drinking alcohol in an irresponsible, excessive way results in a host of problems and issues.

Not only are these alcohol related problems widespread throughout our society, but they also lead to devastation and destruction that are experienced at the personal level.

In a word, the unhealthy and damaging alcohol side effects such as alcohol abuse and alcoholism cry out for increased alcohol awareness in our society.

Teenage Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Research has shown that there are millions of American teens who are problem drinkers.

Consequently, it is important for teenagers to learn about the short and the long-term effects of abusive drinking.

If teenagers can read about and internalize the facts and statistics concerning underage drinking, perhaps they will be able to avoid the devastating effects that are intrinsically related to alcoholism and chronic alcohol abuse in our society.

It is access to relevant and factual alcohol information about alcohol abuse and alcoholism and acting on this information that gives rise to heightened "alcohol awareness" in our teens and in our adults.

Conclusion: Alcohol Information

Alcohol has been used in a variety of ways throughout history that can be called useful or "positive."

It is ironic, however, to note that thousands of years ago it was known that drinking alcohol in an abusive and excessive way resulted in a multitude of drinking problems and unhealthy alcohol-related side effects.

The industrialized nations of the world need to educate their citizens with the relevant facts, statistics, and consequences of abusive, irresponsible, chronic, and heavy drinking.

Why? Mainly so that their people can raise their level of "alcohol awareness" and significantly reduce the destructive alcohol related side effects, and tragic drinking problems that happen all too frequently in today's modern world.

In short, as sophisticated and as knowledgeable as our society is, negative alcohol effects such as binge drinking, alcohol abuse, and alcoholism are experienced by millions of our citizens.

Moreover, various alcohol abuse and alcoholism statistics and facts have been listed above that give a more realistic picture of the destructive and devastating nature of excessive and abusive drinking.

The important point to keep in mind regarding this article is the following: The more alcohol is consumed in an abusive manner, the more likely it is that the drinker will become an alcoholic.

If this describes you, then you need to be honest with yourself and admit that you have a drinking problem.

Once you have taken this step, consider making it a priority to talk with an alcohol abuse and alcoholism professional about getting alcohol rehab as soon as you can.