Monday, March 06, 2006

The Basics About Alcohol

The Basics About Alcohol
By Craig Dawber

Alcohol has had its ups and downs throughout history. Most people look at it as a casual way to relax and have a good time. For others it is a serious drug that has impacted their life in a bad way. Alcohol can be good or bad depending on how you use it. There are many effects, both short term and long term that come with using alcohol.

Alcohol is a legal drug. It is a depressant which means it slows down your body. There are four basic types of alcohol - Methyl, Ethyl, Propyl, and Butyl. Ethyl is used in making beverages for consumption. The other types can not be consumed. Alcoholic beverages are made through fermentation of yeast in the alcohol or through distillation of the alcohol. Alcohol use can be casual or become an addiction.

The use of alcohol produces results based upon how much of it is consumed in conjunction with other factors, like your tolerance level and body weight. The first effects usually include impaired judgment, reduction in coordination and a relaxed feeling. Intoxication occurs when the liver can not metabolize the alcohol. When this happens these initial effects are made worse. In some cases death can occur when the respiratory system is severely depressed by an overload of alcohol on the body. Over a period of use a person builds up tolerance to alcohol meaning that each time they use it they must consume more to achieve the effects.

Long term alcohol use can damage the liver and the brain. Drinking during pregnancy can cause birth defects and driving while intoxicated can cause accidents. Drinking has also been found to have some positive long term effects. Those who have one to two drinks per day are found to have a lower risk of developing heart disease and cancer than those who do not drink. While there are many sides to the issues of alcohol use, the facts speak for themselves. Most bad problems associated with alcohol can be avoided by responsible drinking habits.

Alcohol has its friends and foes. Research is being done constantly to test the effects alcohol has on the body. Responsible drinking is encouraged to avoid many alcohol related issues and problems. Responsible drinking is alcohol use by those over the legal drinking age and in a non-abusive manner.

About the Author
By Craig Dawber. Visit
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