Alcoholism information from trusted sources:
Alcohol problems vary in severity from mild to life threatening and affect the individual, the person's family, and society in numerous adverse ways. Despite all of the focus on drugs such as cocaine, alcohol remains the number one drug problem in the United States. According to community surveys, over 13% of adults in the United States will experience alcohol abuse or dependence (also referred to as alcoholism) at some point in their lives. Withdrawal, for those physically dependent on alcohol, is much more dangerous than withdrawal from heroin or other narcotic drugs.
For most adults, moderate alcohol use is not harmful. However, nearly 17.6 million adults in the United States are alcoholics or have alcohol problems. Alcoholism is a disease with four main features: Alcoholism carries many serious dangers. Heavy drinking can increase the risk of certain cancers. It can cause damage to the liver, brain and other organs. It can cause birth defects. It increases the risk of death from car crashes and other injuries as well as the risk of homicide and suicide.
Alcoholism is a chronic disease that makes your body dependent on alcohol. You may be obsessed with alcohol and unable to control how much you drink, even though your drinking is causing serious problems with your relationships, health, work and finances.
Alcohol dependence (alcoholism) is a condition in which a person becomes physically dependent on alcohol [Table 1]. Physical or psychological repercussions from drinking, rather than the amount of alcohol consumed or frequency with which a person drinks, define alcohol abuse and dependence. With increased consumption, a person can develop a tolerance to alcohol, and will require greater quantities of alcohol to achieve a "high" feeling. A person with alcohol dependence may also experience symptoms of withdrawal with reduced alcohol intake.
To determine if a person has consumed ethanol and to measure the amount of ethanol present
Alcohol misuse is when a person drinks levels of alcohol that can cause them physical, psychological, and social problems - both in the short-term and the long-term.
Alcohol and diet
Alcohol comes from fermenting starches and sugars. Alcohol has about 7 calories per gram. These are considered "empty" calories because alcohol contains no beneficial nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals.
Alcohol withdrawal refers to symptoms that may occur when a person who has been drinking too much alcohol every day suddenly stops drinking alcohol.
Alcohol poisoning is a serious and sometimes deadly consequence of consuming large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time. Drinking too much too quickly can affect your breathing, heart rate and gag reflex and potentially lead to coma and death.
Alcohol intoxication, also called drunkenness, is a temporary (short-term) condition after drinking too much alcohol. Alcohol is made up of a chemical called ethanol which may come from grains, or fruits such as grapes. It is found in beer, wine, liquor, such as vodka and whiskey, or other adult drinks. With alcohol intoxication, the amount of alcohol you have taken is more than what your body can handle. Alcohol intoxication may cause abnormal body changes and you may not be able to think, act, or talk properly. Diagnosing and treating alcohol intoxication as soon as possible may relieve your symptoms and prevent more serious problems.