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What is alcohol?

Alcohol was initially discovered in what is now modern day Iran by a chemist named Muhammad al-Razi; incidentally, alcohol consumption is completely outlawed in modern day Iran! The word ‘alcohol’ was derived from the Arabic word ‘Al-ghawl’ meaning ‘finely divided’. The word related to the distillation process (described below).

How alcohol is produced

The active molecule in alcohol which makes you feel ‘drunk’ is known scientifically as ‘Ethyl alcohol’ or ‘ethanol’. This substance is produced when fruits, grains or vegetables are reacted with yeast, a process known as ‘fermentation’. Alcoholic beverages such as beer, whiskey, and vodka are produced via the fermentation of grains such as barley or rye. On the other hand, alcoholic beverages such as cider and wine are produced via the fermentation of fruits such as grapes and pears.

Spirits undergo a process known as ‘distillation’ where excess water contained in the fermented brew is removed. What is left is a more potent alcoholic beverage. In order to be classed as a ‘spirit,’ the beverage must contain at least 20% ethanol. Examples include vodka, whiskey, gin, brandy, tequila, rum, and cognac. Fortified wines such as port and sherry are produced by mixing non-distilled beverages (wine) with distilled beverages (usually brandy).

Most modern day alcoholic beverages you will find on your supermarket shelves contain between 3%-40% ethanol.

Alcohol is a depressant

The effect alcohol consumption has on the body has led to alcohol being classified as a ‘depressant’ as opposed a ‘stimulant’. This is because alcohol slows down your cells’ neurotransmission abilities. This effect leads to the ‘high’ your body experiences when you are ‘drunk’. Your inhibitions are lowered and social interaction seems to come more natural. However when too much alcohol is consumed a number of often undesirable effects can occur to your body and associated behaviour. Such effects can include:

  • Experiencing the ‘shakes’
  • Unbalanced movement which can lead to accidents
  • Slurring of the speech
  • A decrease in reaction time which can also lead to accidents
  • A decrease in your ability to feel pain

Call the team on 0800 500 3129 today

If any of the above factors affect you or a family member call the team today at Cassiobury Court on 0800 500 3129.

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