Alcohol, combined with the creation and improvement of technology and vast social unawareness, is a significant factor in a large number of social, emotional, physical, and mental problems that plague all of humanity in one way or another. The alcohol that we associate with blackouts, hangovers, depression, and death is ethyl alcohol, or grain alcohol. For 5000 years, this fermentation of grain or vegetable starch has been included in beverages such as beer, wine, champagne, and hard liquors. This gives the majority of the population the notion that alcohol is not a drug, when in actuality it is. The fact that it is most commonly used for religious and social purposes also helps their assumptions. This ignorance has led to compulsive and excessive drinking, which in turn leads to abuse, medical conditions such as cancer, liver damage, and ulcers, hallucinations, blackouts, extreme tremors, and death. The principal misconception people express is that alcoholism is the only level of severity when it comes to excessive drinking. In reality, there are actually five or six different levels of alcohol problems. The most common include binge drinking, alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Each has different descriptions, symptoms, causes, effects, and treatments. This paper will focus on informing the reader of the effects of alcohol on the body and describing the symptoms, causes, and the medical, social, and personal effects of alcoholism.
To better understand how alcoholism is caused and its effects on society and humankind, it is necessary to first understand how alcohol affects the body. Alcohol, contrary to popular belief, is a depressant, not a stimulant. It is swiftly absorbed into the bloodstream by the small intestine, and less hastily through the stomach (Encarta Encyclopedia 98 Computer Edition). The level of blood alcohol concentration is influenced by many factors: the amount of alcohol consumed in a certain period of time, the drinker's age, weight, height, gender, build, metabolism, and tolerance level.