Ethanol, ethyl alcohol.
Central nervous system depressant, sedative.
Liquid of varying strength, from 2.8% (mild beer) to 40% (spirits).
Desired: mild intoxication, sociability.
Side effects: dehydration, loss of coordination, slurred speech, disinhibition, visual disturbance, confusion.
Tolerance, overdose, accidents (drunk driving). If used during pregnancy it could damage the foetus (foetal alcohol syndrome).
Dependence, damage to brain, heart, liver, stomach.
Illegal to use under 5 years of age, illegal to purchase under 18 years of age, illegal to sell between the hours of 11pm and 11am, without a special licence. Illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence.
How is it taken?
Pumps, bottles, glasses.
Where does it come from?
Alcoholic drinks are produced in distilleries and breweries throughout Britain and the world. It is estimated that there are over 170,000 licensed outlets such as public houses, bars, and shops in the UK alone.
Hospital based in-patient detoxification units and out-patient dependence units. There are also community based Councils on Alcohol, Community Alcohol Teams and self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.