Alcohol as a Drug: Understanding its Effects and Risks

Alcohol as a Drug: Understanding its Effects and Risks

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a drug as any active ingredient that can change functions in a living organism and is not food simultaneously, unlike in English-speaking countries, where the term “drug” also includes medicinal products, the term “drug” is defined somewhat more narrowly in Germany. Substances and preparations that can cause intoxication or a change in consciousness and perception and lead to dependency are considered drugs in this country.

The drugs differ in their production, composition and mode of action. For example, they can be classified into biogenic and synthetically produced, hard and soft, legal and illegal drugs.

Alcohol (Ethanol) as Dry

Alcohol is one of the socially accepted, legal drugs. Because drinking alcohol is associated with socializing and fun in most Western countries, it is often not considered a drug. There is nothing wrong with an occasional glass of wine or beer. However, if alcohol is consumed regularly and in excess, the path to alcoholism is inevitable.

Alcohol is one of the drugs with a very high potential for harm. Potable alcohol is obtained through the fermentation and distilling of various raw materials such as grain, fruit or sugar cane.


effect of alcohol

In small doses, alcohol has a disinhibiting effect. It makes you more outgoing and courageous and can bring about a change in mood. An actual intoxication can lead to disturbances in perception and attention, up to and including complete “film tears”. Intoxicated people often have limited coordination and speech, resulting in swaying and slurring.

The day after the intoxication, users usually experience a “hangover” accompanied by headachesnausea and physical weakness. Long-term consequences of alcohol abuse can include heart problems, increased violence, liver damage, depression, and physical and social decline. According to studies, alcohol addicts have a life expectancy that is 20 years shorter than the average population.



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