chapter  10
3 Pages

Alcohol

BySeymour Eiseman, Robert A. Eiseman

Alcohol is a psychoactive substance which has the ability to depress central nervous system activities. Pharmacological effects reveal a dilation of blood vessels close to the body surface, hence, giving off body heat. The use of beverage alcohol dates back thousands of years. It is generally a socially-acceptable beverage. Acceptance varies according to cultural practices. Alcohol is no respecter of age, sex group, or socioeconomic status. Alcohol is a general depressant which has the ability to produce sedation, cause depression of inhibitory centers, i.e., elevation of mood, talkativeness, sociability, impaired judgment, reactions to set and setting. Alcohol metabolizes in the liver, increasing formation and activity of liver enzymes responsible for metabolism. One appears to be intoxicated when involved with behavioral tolerance. Some of the short- and long-term toxic effects of alcohol are as follows: clouding consciousness; impaired intellectual function; impaired memory function; and disturbance in orientation.