Alcohol

What are the street names/slang terms for Alcohol?
Booze Hooch
What is it? 
Alcohol is the most commonly used and widely abused psychoactive drug in the country.
What does it look like?
Alcohol is used in liquid form.
How is it used?
Alcohol is drunk. Types include beer, wine, and liquor.
What are its short-term effects?
When a person drinks alcohol, the alcohol is absorbed by the stomach, enters the bloodstream, and goes to all the tissues. The effects of alcohol addiction, alcoholism, and social use are dependent on a variety of factors, including a person's size, weight, age, and sex, as well as the amount of food and alcohol consumed. The disinheriting effect of alcohol is one of the main reasons it is used in so many social situations. Other effects of moderate alcohol intake include dizziness and talkativeness; the immediate effects of a larger amount of alcohol include slurred speech, disturbed sleep, nausea, and vomiting. Alcohol, even at low doses, significantly impairs the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely. Low to moderate doses of alcohol can also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including domestic violence and child abuse. Hangovers are another possible effect after large amounts of alcohol are consumed; a hangover consists of headache, nausea, thirst, dizziness, and fatigue.
What are its long-term effects?
Prolonged, heavy use of alcohol can lead to addiction (alcoholism). Sudden cessation of long term, extensive alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations and convulsions. Long-term effects of consuming large quantities of alcohol, especially when combined with poor nutrition, can lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and liver. In addition, mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants may suffer from mental retardation and other irreversible physical abnormalities. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than other children of becoming alcoholics. Alcohol
Alcohol is a Drug...
Alcohol is a depressant, which slows down thinking and actions. It acts on the brain and affects all parts of the body. An average-size person's liver can break down about one drink per hour; the rest of the alcohol circulates throughout the body, affecting behavior, judgment, perception, and motor skills - such as driving and operating machinery.
Alcohol Affects Each Individual Differently...
Smaller-size people, women, younger or older people, and those who are ill will feel stronger effects from the same amount of alcohol than larger people, middle-aged adults, or people who are in good physical health. People with a history of alcoholism in their family may also be affected differently than people who have no history of alcoholism in their family.
Alcohol Abuse is a Health Risk...
Abuse of alcohol can cause damage to many of the body's organs. Researchers report damage to brain tissue, heart muscle, and reproductive organs in both males and females. Alcohol may cause the drinker's blood pressure to rise, putting him or her at risk for heart attack and stroke. Stomach ulcers, poor nutrition and sexual dysfunction have all been related to alcohol abuse.
Alcohol Affects Driving Skills...
Alcohol is involved in over half of the fatal car crashes in the U.S. Although many states consider a driver legally intoxicated when their Blood Alcohol Content reaches .10%, driving skills are affected at levels as low as .03%. This is especially true of younger drivers, who may be less experienced. Alcohol affects crucial driving skills like quick reflexes and vision.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Features

Alcohol is Harmful to Unborn Babies... Alcohol consumed by a pregnant woman enters the bloodstream of the fetus she is carrying. Alcohol can affect the fetus in many ways: slowing both physical and mental growth before and after birth; causing severe physical malformations of the face and brain; creating learning disabilities or retardation. The safe choice is not to drink during pregnancy.

Alcohol Reacts with Other Drugs... Combining alcohol with certain over-the-counter or prescription drugs is dangerous. Drinking while taking medication may cause impairment of coordination, a sharp change in blood pressure, seizures, convulsions, and even death. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about how a certain medications reacts with alcohol before combining these two drugs.

Alcohol Abuse May Lead to Alcoholism... Drinking large enough amounts of alcohol over a period of time can produce alcoholism, a physical dependence on alcohol. People with a history of alcoholism in their family are at much greater risk of developing alcoholism themselves. Alcoholism is a treatable illness; family members and friends may need to obtain help, too.

More Facts
  • Alcoholism is one of the most serious public health problems in the US today. Among the 18.3 million adult "heavier drinkers," 12.1 million have one or more symptoms of alcoholism, an increase of 8.2 percent since 1980.
  • One out of three American adults -56 million Americans- says that alcohol abuse has brought trouble to his or her family.
  • Chronic brain injury caused by alcohol is second only to Alzheimer's disease as known cause of mental deterioration in adults.
  • About 65 out of every 100 persons in the US will be in an alcohol-related crash at sometime in their life.
  • Fifty-four percent of jail inmates convicted of violent crimes were drinking before they committed the offense.
  • Over 80 percent of college presidents identify alcohol abuse as the biggest problem on campus.
  • If a man and a woman of similar weight drink the same amount of alcohol, 30% more alcohol will enter the woman's bloodstream, because women have less of a certain stomach enzyme that digests alcohol.

THE SIZE IS DIFFERENT...
THE ALCOHOL IS THE SAME. One Standard Drink is equal to:
12 oz. beer (5% alcohol) 5 oz. wine (12-17% alcohol) or
3 oz. fortified wine 1.5 oz.
hard liquor (80-proof)

Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)