EtOH is the abbreviation for ethyl alcohol, which is a chemical compound you might recognize from household cleaning compounds or even rubbing alcohol in some instances. This chemical can also be a disinfectant when used in high concentrations. It might make you wonder why something that is meant to kill organic bacteria and other kinds of viral infections is put into your favorite alcoholic beverages. However, it pays to know that EtOH is the only kind of alcohol safe to consume in controlled doses, with intoxication as the prime side effect.
What Is EtOH
In the world of chemistry, alcohol is a description of any organic compound that is bound to the carbon molecule. While this substance is used for various chemistry purposes, such as producing cleaning agents, fuel, and other compounds, only EtOH is safe for consumption. Even if an alcohol agent has low acute toxicity, they are still not advised to be ingested in any form.
Alcoholic beverages contain various traces of EtOH, which is known as drinking alcohol. Today, ethanol describes the alternative fuel source with a corn origin but is the same chemical used in your favorite adult drinks. The fuel is exceptionally pure, and this is because of how it is produced and processed.
When talking about alcohol products, the chemical is created through fermentation, which is the breakdown of organic matter into alcohol. This action is visible in other food and natural material such as fruits, vegetables, and plant decays, wherein bacteria break down their sugars into the compound. Research has been done and has shown signs of proof that humans can efficiently metabolize alcohol, which allowed us to digest them without getting sick. This ease of digestion made humans find ways to ferment ingredients in a controlled manner. With beer and wine being the first few alcoholic beverages that surfaced, humans have since created a whole range of other drinks.
The process of fermentation today is much more efficient and quicker than it was before. With machines and other scientific methods backing up the production of alcoholic drinks, these are easily produced in large quantities. Beer often holds up to around 5 percent alcohol, while wine holds 13 percent, giving anyone the drunk feeling when they consume enough.
Hard liquors like whiskey, vodka, and rum go through an extra step to increase ethanol content in a single glass. The distillation process boils the substances fermented to extract ethanol from them, and these cause the hard drinks to have a content of around 40 percent alcohol by volume.
Alcoholism is prominent in today’s world, and while many never liked the taste of drinking these beverages, the intoxicating effects quickly grow on people. EtOH abuse can come in many forms and can have potentially fatal side effects. Since these beverages have psychoactive effects, they are classified as drugs for some addiction treatment centers.
The tricky part is that drinking to celebrate or have a good time is a massive part of any country’s culture. In America, people love to have a beer when watching sports on Sundays and bring out hard liquor on their birthdays. Some might even resort to a glass of wine with a tasty meal. Other countries like Spain typically drink, and their population starts drinking wine quite early on in terms of age. Overall, alcoholic beverages are a massive part of society, and it is perceived as expected for any adult or adolescent to be drinking.
America’s statistics on alcohol consumption are definitely indicative of the pressing issue of a growing problem with EtOH use. In 2015, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that almost 90 percent of people over 18 years old have stated that they have tasted or drank alcohol at some point in life. It is safe to say that the most common recreational drug is arguably these intoxicating drinks, holding the throne with nicotine and caffeine.
You can tell someone is abusing ethanol when their drinking habits are over-the-top. Even if a person looks normal, they can have high-functioning alcoholic symptoms. Some of the primary signs of a brewing addiction to EtOH are drinking alone and hiding their consumption levels. Heavy drinking can lead to alcoholism, classified as consuming five or more drinks within two hours for men. Women who consume four drinks within the same period are also known to have a substance abuse disorder. When this is done over five times a month, this can be a sign that a person is addicted. It pays to look at weekend habits as well, as going on a binge every time a person is off work is a telltale sign.
People hooked will often choose to drink over handling responsibilities and priorities and typically start to have a glass of their choice of poison earlier in the day. An average person drinks to celebrate, while someone addicted to alcohol makes it a part of their daily or weekly lives and often needs it to function at a certain point.
One thing every drinker must look out for is treating physical or emotional issues with drugs. While prescription medications exist and are given with a proper diagnosis, people who self-medicate to avoid pressing life issues never end up in a good place. While a stressful week is nice to unwind with a glass of your favorite alcoholic beverage, doing this very often can cause your coping mechanisms to be damaged and cause other issues.
Any drug that a person becomes addicted to has withdrawal symptoms that surface when consumption is not possible. EtOH withdrawals can come with anxiety and depression, and those who are heavy drinkers might experience paranoia or hallucinations. These mental health symptoms are why those who sober up develop cognitive illnesses and therefore require medications to function correctly. Physical withdrawals can be in the form of headaches, vomiting, nausea, and difficulties in sleeping, and developing eating disorders. This sharp drop in lifestyle quality when drugs are removed from the picture is the reason why detox programs have to be run in drug rehabs to ensure the safety of an addicted person.
Withdrawals can be potentially deadly, and if they are not appropriately treated, a person might experience extreme discomfort and often lead to damaging actions. These symptoms are best treated medically, as removing addictive toxins from the body will help remove the cravings and harmful effects of having substances flowing within.
EtOH is one of the prime ingredients in alcoholic beverages responsible for the intoxication people receive from drinking. While it is not exactly poisonous, these can cause many issues in the long run in health and even personality changes. Alcohol is, indeed, a poison that kills many things inside of a person, both good and bad, which is why consumption must always be in moderation to avoid falling into substance abuse.