Alcohol is a depressant and the most widely used psychoactive drug. Alcohol is rapidly absorbed from the stomach and small intestine into the bloodstream and affects every organ in the body. One drink is defined as: 12 ounces of lager beer, 7 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 1/2 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (a shot).

While alcohol is a legal drug and many people can drink in moderation without becoming dependent or experiencing adverse consequences, consider these statistics:

  • 25-35% of hospital admissions are due to alcohol;
  • More than half of rapes involve the abuse of alcohol;
  • About half of murder victims and half of the murderers were drinking alcohol at the time of the crime;
  • Alcohol causes most of the world’s health and societal problems.

Source: Cohen, W. & Inaba, D. (2007). Downers: Opiates/Opioids & sedative-hypnotics. In Uppers, Downers, All Arounders (2nd ed., pp 246). Medford, Oregon: CNS Productions, Inc.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcohol’s Damaging Effects on the Brain

All About Alcohol – Medline Plus

CDC Fact Sheet on Binge Drinking

College Drinking – Changing the Culture

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Rethinking Drinking

What’s a Standard Drink?

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