Alcohol, the most commonly used addictive substance, can cause irreversible harm if you drink in excess.
Whether your drink of choice is beer, wine, or hard liquor like bourbon, tequila, or gin, what you don’t know about alcohol could hurt you.
According to a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) survey, 56 percent of American adults over age 18 reported drinking in the previous month, and 24 percent acknowledged binge drinking.
Of course, most people who drink don’t binge drink, don’t have physical problems related to alcohol abuse or alcoholism, and will never develop a problem with alcohol.
But before you take your next drink, consider these facts about alcohol, alcohol abuse, and your health:
1. Ethyl alcohol is the intoxicating ingredient in alcoholic drinks. Ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, is produced from fermented yeast, sugars, and starches from a variety of grains, fruits, vegetables, and plants. Ethyl alcohol is fundamentally the same in all types of alcoholic beverages, and when you drink in moderation, your liver can comfortably metabolize alcohol from any of these beverages. But heavy drinking overwhelms your liver, and excess alcohol circulates through every organ in your body, including your brain. This is what makes you drunk.