Overview of Alcohol
Used in moderation by consenting adults, alcohol is quite harmless. In fact, though doctors warn against having more than one drink per day, there is evidence that small amounts of alcohol can reduce the risk of Coronary Artery Disease in those above the age of 21.(1)
Unfortunately, for as long as alcohol has been around, the human race has proved incapable of using it in moderation, or of limiting its use to consenting adults. In spite of its widespread social acceptance, Alcohol is responsible for more death and destruction than all other drugs -legal and illegal- combined. Whether you blame human indiscretion, or the substance itself, it is clear that the abuse of alcohol reigns supreme over all other drug use in terms of its destructive impact upon people and societies. (View the “Impact of Alcohol” page for figures.)
Underage Drinking and Abusive Drinking by Adults currently make up 50.1% of the overall consumer expenditures for Alcohol in America.(2)
- Classification: Not Classified by the Controlled Substances Act
- Drug Category: Depressant
- Availability: Highly Available
- Cost per dose: $1 – $2 (Often Free)
- M.T.F. Report: 43% of high school seniors report using alcohol in the past month
- Geographic Predominance: Omnipresent
- Method of Ingestion: Consumed as a beverage, eaten, inserted into body
- D.A.W.N. Report: 577,521 Emergency Room visits in 2006 (U.S.A.)
- Duration of High: 1-4 hours
- Detectable in Urine: Up to 80 hours
Alcohol is most commonly consumed as a beverage, although it can also be eaten as an ingredient in food. Alcohol based products, such as hand-sanitizer are sometimes consumed in order to produce intoxication. Rectal or vaginal insertion of alcohol soaked sponges can been used to surreptitiously introduce alcohol into the bloodstream.
1. Moderate Drinking and Reduced Risk of Heart Disease. Arther Klatsky, M.D.; Alcohol Research and Health. Vol. 23: Nov. 1, 1999.
2. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University. (2003). The economic value of underage drinking and adult excessive drinking to the alcohol industry. New York: The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.
3. Foster, S. E., Vaughan, R. D., Foster, W. H., & Califano, J. A. (2003). Alcohol consumption and expenditures for underage drinking and adult excessive drinking. Journal of the American Medical Association, 289(8), 989-995.