An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing chemicals from the alcohol family. Mostly ethyl alcohol (ethanol, EtOH), other alcohols are usually present only in small quantities, notably consumable t-Amyl alcohol (t-Amylol, t-AmOH) which is about 20X more potent than ethanol, and hazardous methanol with much weaker sedative effect than ethanol, thus are not prohibited by law or regulated by taxation in most if not all countries. However, alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes for taxation and regulation of production: beers, wines, and spirits (or distilled beverage). They are legally consumed in most countries, and over 100 countries have laws regulating their production, sale, and consumption. In particular, such laws specify the minimum age at which a person may legally buy or drink them. This minimum age varies between 16 and 25 years, depending upon the country and the type of drink. Most nations set it at 18 years of age.
In the human body, ethanol affects the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors and produces a depressant (neurochemical inhibitory) effect. Ethanol is similar to other sedative-hypnotics such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines both in its effect on the GABAA receptor, although its pharmacological profile is not identical. It has anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, hypnotic, and sedative actions similar to many other sedative-hypnotic drugs. Ethanol is also cross-tolerant with benzodiazepines and barbiturates. In fact, a synthetic alcohol based on benzodiazepines is currently developed by a team at Imperial College London, led by Professor David Nutt (chair of ISCD). The alcohol substitute give the drinker the effects of drunkenness without many of the risks of alcohol; Accordingly to ISCD alcohol was the most harmful of all drugs considered, scoring 72%. Alcohol is the most available and widely abused substance and its chronic consumption causes neurobehavioral disorders. A high-functioning alcoholic (HFA) is...
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