What is Alcohol?

Alcohol is a colourless volatile flammable liquid which is produced by the natural fermentation of sugars and is the intoxicating constituent of wine, beer, spirits and other drinks.

Alcohol is formed when yeast ferments (breaks down without oxygen) the sugars in different food. For example, wine is made from the sugar in grapes, beer from the sugar in malted barley, cider from the sugar in apples and vodka from the sugar in potatoes, beets or other plants. A drinks alcohol content is affected by how long it’s left to ferment. Spirits also go through a distillation process where a proportion of the water is removed, leaving a stronger concentration of alcohol and flavour.

Alcohol is classed as a sedative hypnotic drug meaning it acts to depress the central nervous system at high doses. At lower doses, alcohol can act as a stimulant, inducing feelings of euphoria and talkativeness, but drinking too much alcohol in a short time period can lead to drowsiness.

As well as its acute and potentially lethal sedative effect at very high doses, alcohol effects every organ in the body and these effects depend on the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over time.

With alcohol being a depressant drug, it slows various sections of the brain, affecting your ability to control behaviour and bodily functions, like thinking, talking, walking and even breathing. Alcohol enhances the effects of the calming agents on the brain, and slows down the rate at which information travels down the brain’s highways. This is what causes its disorienting effects as well as deterioration of motor skills and judgement.

Alcohol is the most popular drug globally and is used in almost every social aspect from small and large social gatherings such as parties and weddings. “Alcohol is by far the most commonly used drug in Ireland. Around 8 out of 10 people in Ireland drink alcohol” (HSE).

Randox Testing Services

At Randox Testing Services we aim to educate and inform our clients about the effects and dangers of consuming alcohol and drugs for any more information please do get in touch!

Call: 028 9445 1011

Email: testingservices@randox.com