ERIC Number: ED311372
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Reference Count: N/A
What Is Alcohol? And Why Do People Drink? Pamphlet Series.
Milgram, Gail Gleason
Alcoholic beverages have been used throughout American history but their use has always been controversial. Ethyl alcohol is one of the few alcohols man is able to drink, although it is never full strength. The fermentation process is used to manufacture alcoholic beverages. Wines are made from a variety of fruits. Beer is made from yeast and a malted cereal such as corn, rye, wheat, or barley. Distilled beverages, often called spirits, are mainly flavored alcohol and water. These include whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, brandies, and liqueurs. Alcohol has been drunk by some people since the beginning of civilized man. For most people who drink alcoholic beverages alcohol does not cause problems. About 30 percent of Americans are abstainers. For the most part alcohol is introduced to children in the home, usually between the ages of 10 and 13. Alcohol acts directly on the brain and changes its ability to work with the effects related directly to the concentration of alcohol in the blood. Alcohol is absorbed through the stomach and the small intestine into the bloodstream. Most of the alcohol leaves the body through oxidation and produces calories. Federal laws on alcoholic beverages regulate the production of the beverages and the portion of alcohol contained in the product. Laws related to alcoholic beverages availability are controlled by state and local authorities. Alcoholism is a chronic and usually progressive disease. Fortunately, alcoholism can be successfully treated. (Resources on alcoholism are listed.) (ABL)
Descriptors: Alcoholic Beverages, Alcoholism, Behavior Patterns, Drinking, Intervention, Prevention, Trend Analysis
Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies, P.O. Box 969, Piscataway, NJ 08855-0969 ($2.50 + postage; quantity discount--inquire).
Publication Type: Reports - General
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Rutgers, The State Univ., Piscataway, NJ. Center of Alcohol Studies.
Note: For related documents, see CG 021 983-990.