What is Alcohol


What is alcohol?

 
Depending on your location in the world, your view on alcohol could be very contrasting. Alcohol is banned in certain parts of the world, and glorified in others. Alcohol has a long and storied history of consumption, taboo, crazy stories, regret, and even death. This article will attempt to list out exactly what alcohol is, it’s causes, side effects, and stages of intoxication. When alcohol is referred to consumption for recreation this alcohol is officially known as Ethanol. 

Alcohol (Ethanol) Definition: A depressant liquid that is known to cause intoxication and go by many names including Grain Alcohol, Pure Alcohol, Ethyl Alcohol, and drinking Alcohol. Alcohol is known to be very flammable and a mostly colorless liquid. It’s thought to be of the oldest used psychoactive drugs in the world. Alcohol is known to be used in recreational and social drinking. Alcohol is also known to be used as a solvent or even fuel for various machines. 

How is Alcohol made?

The Three major ways to make alcohol:

1. Fermentation: A process that usually involves a grain or fruit mixture settling and fermenting over time with yeast. After fermentation a distillation process if follow for spirits and liquors. This fermentation process is the process that’s used in ethanol (drinking alcohol).
2. Chemical modification of fossil fuels: Modifications of oil, natural gas, coal. The process that’s used for Industrial alcohol.   
3. Chemical combination of hydrogen and carbon monoxide: This combination is used to create wood or methanol alcohol. 

Alcohol Facts

  • Alcohol evaporates at a lower temperature than water. This alcohol attribute is what allows alcohol to be distilled. The alcohol evaporates before water when mixed and heated.
  • Alcohol is not as dense as water
  • Alcohol is clear when at room temperature.
  • Alcohol dissolves in water easily.
  • Alcohol is flammable.
  • 5 Ounces of Wine = 1 ½ Shots of Liquor = 12 Ounces of Beer
  • Alcohol is classified as a depressant.
  • Alcohol impairs human judgement

  • Alcohol Fun Facts

  • Ireland consumes the most alcohol by country in the world
  • The highest tax rates on alcohol are located in Norway and Finland
  • The strongest beer in the world is located in Germany and contains an alcohol percentage of over 43%
  • Naturally fermented beverages will not be stronger than 18% alcohol percentage because yeast can’t grow in that high of percentage
  • Scientists have created artificial yeast that can survive in up to 25% alcohol percentage
  • Alcohol has been consumed by man since the beginning of known human history

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    The Culture of Alcohol

    Like stated earlier alcohol is glorified in many parts of the world, as well as banned in many parts of the world as well. Alcohol has a very distinct and storied place in many world cultures. The inclusion of alcohol in cultures includes drinking alcohol in several different forms from beer, wine, spirits, and many more. Imagine what the Irish culture would be without alcohol? How would various middle eastern cultures be without the ban of alcohol? These are curious questions that can spark interesting thought.

    Side effects of Alcohol

    Alcohol Intoxication (Drunk): Alcohol after extended consumption will cause the consumer to become intoxicated – drunk. The more alcohol that is consumed the more intoxicated the consumer will become. Alcohol Consumer body weight, sex, and several other factors are integral to the level of intoxication to consumption ratio.

    • The higher the concentration of alcohol in a drink, the faster the consumer will become intoxicated. This is known as absorption.
    • Carbonated beverages are known to speed up the process of alcohol absorption which leads to faster intoxication.
    • Consuming Food is known to slow down the absorption of alcohol.
    • Once absorption occurs, alcohol enters the consumer’s blood stream and will start to the effects of alcohol on the body. The level of alcohol in the consumer’s blood stream can be measure by their blood alcohol concentration (BAC Level). There are various tools used to measure BAC level, including blood test and breathalyzers.



    Alcohol angover and alcohol detoxification:
    Alcohol hangovers will cause headaches, upset stomachs and overall not feeling well. Hangovers are caused by the consumer’s body trying to detoxify itself of the alcohol in the body.

    After alcohol is absorbed by the bloodstream in can leave the body in three different ways:  

  • Consumer’s lungs will exhale five percent of alcohol. This is why Breathalyzers work.
  •   

  • kidney will eliminate five percent of alcohol in the consumer’s urine
  • The liver will chemically break down the remaining alcohol into acetic acid


  • A normal human body can detoxify a avg of .5 oz (15 ml) of alcohol in one hour. It would take an average person one hour to get rid of all alcohol in their system from a an average can of beer.

    The stages of intoxication (being drunk)



    [one_third]  1. Alcohol Euphoria
    (BAC = 0.03 to 0.12 percent) 

  • shortening of attention span
  • Confidence levels rise with lowering of inhibition
  • Lack of judgment
  • Lack of vocal filter
  • Looking flushed
  • Trouble with fine motion
  • [/one_third] [one_third] 2. Alcohol Excitement
    (BAC = 0.09 to 0.25 percent)
      

  • Blurred vision
  • Trouble with comprehension and memory
  • Slowing down of reaction time
  • Lack of balance
  • Uncoordinated motion movements
  • Dilution of effectiveness of body senses
  •    
    [/one_third] [one_third_last] 3. Alcohol Confusion
    (BAC = 0.18 to 0.30 percent)

  • Higher pain tolerance
  • Confusion and lack of awareness
  • Dizziness and stumbling
  • Exaggerated emotions
  • blurred vision
  • Speech being slurred
  • fatigue
  •   
    [/one_third_last]

    [one_third] 4. Alcohol Stupor
    (BAC = 0.25 to 0.4 percent)

  • lack of movement
  • lack of responsiveness
  • Not able to independently stand
  • Vomiting & Puking
  • changes in consciousness state
  •    
    [/one_third] [one_third] 5. Alcohol Coma
    (BAC = 0.35 to 0.50 percent)
      

  • Body temperature lowers
  • Heart rate slows down
  • Unconscious
  • lack of reflex
  • Breathing slows down
  •  
    [/one_third] [one_third_last] 6. Death
    (BAC more than 0.50 percent)

  • No heart rate
  • No brain waves
  • Cease of functioning lungs
  •    
    [/one_third_last]

    Long term alcohol side effects

  • Alcoholism – dependency of alcohol
  • Death of Brain cells
  • Reduction of total brain mass
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Death of liver cells
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Decrease in hormone secretion
  • Drop in male sperm count
  • Low iron and vitamin B levels
  • Anemia
  • Many other effects..
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    Alcohol parting shots

    Alcohol can lead to great times and can lead to terrible times. Alcohol is a centric part of many social cultures and is involved in many people’s everyday life. If you choose to consume alcohol for recreational use then do so responsibly and in mediation.

    Discuss! #alcohol   

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