Alcohol is a psychoactive (mind-altering) drug that affects the way we think and behave. It is a depressant that slows down our heart rate, breathing, thoughts and actions. Drinking alcohol is a problem when it negatively affects our life or the lives of others.
Types of Alcohol – Finding Treatment for Excessive Alcohol Consumption
There are three different types of alcohol: methanol, isopropanol, and ethanol. Ethanol is the type of alcohol found in alcoholic drinks and the only type that’s not poisonous to humans. Learning about different types of alcohol can help people find drinks (and how many) they can consume responsibly. But for a lot of individuals, the line between enjoyment and a crippling alcoholism problem is very thin; and what can be a rewarding, fun hobby quickly becomes a corrupting dependence on alcohol, even as finances, health, and relationships fall by the wayside. If you feel alcohol is negatively affecting you or a loved one, it may be time to seek professional help.
What is Alcohol?
Humans have been drinking alcohol for thousands of years. Alcohol is both a chemical and a psychoactive drug. In chemistry, an alcohol exists when a hydroxyl group, a pair of oxygen and hydrogen atoms, replaces the hydrogen atom in a hydrocarbon. Alcohols bind with other atoms to create secondary alcohols. These secondary alcohols are the three types of alcohol that humans use every day: methanol, isopropanol, and ethanol.
An alcoholic beverage can refer to any liquor or brew that contains alcohol. All of these drinks contain a particular type of alcohol know as ethanol (or ethyl alcohol). It is this that causes people to become inebriated when they drink. Alcohol is a type of recreational drug, but it is so commonly used that people fail to view it that way.
Alcohol consumption, particularly heavier drinking, is an important risk factor for many health problems and, thus, is a major contributor to the global burden of disease. In fact, alcohol is a necessary underlying cause for more than 30 conditions and a contributing factor to many more. The most common disease categories that are entirely or partly caused by alcohol consumption include infectious diseases, cancer (alcohol causes 7 types of cancer), diabetes, neuropsychiatric diseases (including alcohol use disorders), cardiovascular disease, liver and pancreas disease, and unintentional and intentional injury.
The 3 Types of Alcohol
Ethanol is the type of alcohol in alcoholic beverages that is safe for human consumption is ethanol. We use the other two types of alcohol (methanol and isopropanol) for cleaning and manufacturing, not for making drinks. For example, methanol (or methyl alcohol) is a component in fuel for boats and cars. It’s also used to manufacture paint remover, antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, and many other products. Isopropanol (or isopropyl alcohol) is the chemical name for rubbing alcohol, which we use for cleaning and disinfecting. Both methanol and isopropanol are poisonous to humans because our bodies metabolize them as toxic substances which cause liver damage. Drinking even a small amount of methanol or drinking rubbing alcohol can be fatal.
- Types of Alcohol – Finding Treatment for Excessive Alcohol Consumption
- What is Alcohol?
- The 3 Types of Alcohol
- The Main Types of Ethyl Alcohol (Consumable Alcohol)
- Types of Alcohol – Undistilled Alcoholic Drinks
- Types of Alcohol – Distilled Alcoholic Drinks
- Safe Alcohol Consumption
- Is it Bad to Consume Alcohol?
- What Are the 5 Types of Alcoholics?
- What Is Alcoholism?
- Determining Your Alcoholic Type
- Alcoholism Treatment
- Can You Die from Drinking Rubbing Alcohol?
- How to Sober Up Fast
- When are You Considered an Alcoholic?
- Married to an Alcoholic
- How To Help a Drunk Person?
- Best Alcohol to Drink with UTI?
- Does Drinking Alcohol Decreases Your Immune System?
- Is Alcohol a Drug?
- Is Alcohol a Depressant?
- Is Alcohol a Stimulant?
- Is Alcoholism a Disease?
Types of Alcohol – Isopropyl Alcohol
- Also referred to as rubbing alcohol, isopropyl alcohol is mainly used for sterilization. This alcohol type is used as the main ingredient in most cleaning products due to its superb sterilization properties. it is unsafe for drinking and can prove fatal if consumed in large amounts.
Types of Alcohol – Methyl Alcohol
- Also called wood alcohol or methanol, methyl alcohol is widely used in manufacturing activities. As an industrial-strength solvent, methanol is used to make products like antifreeze, printing ink, and paint removers. And although methanol has a similar odor and appearance to ethanol, this alcohol is extremely toxic and should not be consumed as it can lead to permanent blindness, coma, or even death!
Types of Alcohol – Ethyl Alcohol
- Ethyl alcohol, also referred to as grain alcohol, drinking alcohol or ethanol, is the only type of alcohol fit for human consumption. Ethanol (or ethyl alcohol) is the type of alcohol that over two billion people drink every day. This type of alcohol is produced by the fermentation of yeast, sugars, and starches. For centuries, people have consumed ethanol-based drinks, such as beer and wine, to change the way that they feel.
- Despite being the only type of consumable alcohol, the human liver can only metabolize it in limited quantities. Infact, excessive ethanol usage can damage body organs like the brain and liver over time.
The Main Types of Ethyl Alcohol (Consumable Alcohol)
There are two main categories or types of alcoholic drinks: undistilled alcohol and distilled alcohol. Undistilled alcoholic drinks are also known as fermented drinks. Fermentation is the process by which yeast, or bacteria chemically converts sugar into ethanol. Beer and wine are both fermented, undistilled alcoholic drinks. Wineries ferment grapes to make wine. Breweries ferment wheat, barley and other grains to produce beer.
Distillation is a process which follows fermentation. The process converts a fermented drinks into one with an even higher concentration of alcohol. Distillation concentrates alcohol by separating it from the water and other components of a fermented substance. Spirits and liquors are distilled alcoholic beverages. They contain more alcohol by volume than undistilled drinks. In general, a distilled alcoholic beverage will have a higher alcohol proof.
Alcohol proof and alcohol by volume (ABV) are two measures of alcohol content, or the concentration of alcohol in an alcoholic drink. Alcohol by volume is the number of milliliters of ethanol per 100 milliliters (or 3.4 fl.oz.) in a solution, while alcohol proof is twice the percentage of alcohol by volume. For example, a drink which has 50% alcohol by volume (ABV) will be 100 proof.
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In 2019, of the 85,688 liver disease deaths among individuals ages 12 and older, 43.1 percent involved alcohol. Among males, 53,486 liver disease deaths occurred, and 45.6 percent involved alcohol. Among females, 32,202 liver disease deaths occurred, and 39.0 percent involved alcohol.
According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 85.6 percent of people ages 18 and older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime.
According to the 2019 NSDUH, about 7.3 percent of adults ages 18 and older who had alcohol use disorder (AUD) in the past year received any treatment in the past year.
An estimated 95,000 people (approximately 68,000 men and 27,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually.
The chemical name ethanol sometimes refers to alcohol, is a depressant drug that is the active ingredient in drinks such as beer, wine, and distilled spirits (hard liquor).
What is its origin?
The earliest known evidence comes from 7,000 BCE in China, where residue in clay pots has revealed that people were making an alcoholic beverage from fermented rice, millet, grapes, and honey.
What are common street names?
Many people have heard of the names “booze,” “brew,” and “cold one” to describe alcohol, specifically beer. Some other common street names and nicknames for alcohol include:
- Hard stuff
- Liquid bread
- Oats soda
What are common scientific names?
- Absolute alcohol
- Alcohol (USP)
- Ethanol (JAN)
- Ethylic alcohol
- Ethyl alcohol
- Ethyl hydrate
- Ethyl hydroxide
- Grain alcohol
Legal status: US: Unscheduled
Routes of administration Common: by mouth
Uncommon: suppository, inhalation, insufflation, injection
What Type of Drug is Alcohol?
- Sedatives; Anxiolytics
- GABAA receptor positive modulators
What is its effect on the body?
Physiological effects of oxycodone include:
- Pain relief, sedation, respiratory depression,
constipation, papillary constriction, and cough
- Extended or chronic use of oxycodone
containing acetaminophen may cause severe liver
Protein binding: Weakly or not at all
Metabolism: Liver (90%):
• Alcohol dehydrogenase
• MEOS (CYP2E1)
Metabolites Acetaldehyde; Acetate; Acetyl-CoA; Carbon dioxide; Water; Ethyl glucuronide; Ethyl sulfate
Onset of action Peak concentrations:
• Range: 30–90 minutes
• Mean: 45–60 minutes
• Fasting: 30 minutes
Elimination half-life Constant-rate elimination at typical concentrations:
• Range: 10–34 mg/dL/hour
• Mean (men): 15 mg/dL/hour
• Mean (women): 18 mg/dL/hour
At very high concentrations (t1/2): 4.0–4.5 hours
Duration of action 6–16 hours (amount of time that levels are detectable)
Excretion• Major: metabolism (into carbon dioxide and water)
• Minor: urine, breath, sweat (5–10%)
Types of Alcohol – Undistilled Alcoholic Drinks
After water and tea, beer is the most commonly consumed drink in the world and likely the oldest recorded in history. Most beers come as either a larger or ale with an average ABV of between 4 and 6%. Some beers do come with lower or higher ABV, with light beers usually having between 2 and 4% and malt liqueurs and strong lagers having up to 12%.
Types of Beer
The word beer can be used to refer to a number of different alcoholic beverages including:
* Larger beers are fermented and conditioned at low temperatures to give them their milder taste – they are usually also a light color.
* Ales are made from malted barley and involve warm fermentation with brewer’s yeast. Stout drinks such as Guinness are also a type of ale.
* Wheat beers are made with wheat as well as barley – this is what gives them their distinctive taste. This type of beer is particularly popular in Europe.
* Fruit beers are often made by adding flavor extracts to beer rather than fermenting fruit.
Wine is another drink that dates back centuries and has many varieties from all over the world. The most common forms of wine come in red, white, and rose varieties with a standard ABV of between 12 and 14%. Champagne, prosecco, cava, and other sparkling wines are carbonated for a fizzy finish and are normally between 10 and 12% ABV. Fortified wines such as vermouth, port, and Madeira are mixed with distilled alcohol to give a higher ABV, normally around 20%.
Types of Wine
Some individuals devote a great deal of their life to understanding all about the different wines, but it is possible to divide them into a number of types including:
- Red wine is made from red or black grapes. The taste of red wine is often described as more complex than that of white wine.
- Rose wine is made from red grapes, but these undergo a special process to create the rose look.
- White wine is produced using white grapes. This type of wine has a lighter taste than the red or rose wine.
- Champagne (sparkling wine) gets is bubbles from the fermentation process due to carbon dioxide in the bottles.
- Fortified wines (including sherry and port) have a distilled beverage added to them to make the stronger. The reason why fortified wines originally became popular was that they were easier to transport around the world by ship.
Sake uses fermented rice and originates from Japan. It typically has a higher ABV than other undistilled alcohols at around 16-18%.
Cider or hard cider is made with the same process as beer but uses fermented apple juice. The standard ABV of cider is around 5% but there are light and strong options also.
Mead can be dated back to the ancient Egyptians and consists of water and fermented honey with an ABV of between 10% to 14%.
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Types of Alcohol – Distilled Alcoholic Drinks
The following are some examples of the types of hard alcohol:
Gin is made with a combination of juniper berries and other botanical elements. Its ABV ranges from 35 to 60%.
Brandy is a form of distilled wine that is stronger than other fortified wines. The most famous type of brandy is Cognac that has an ABV of 40% with other types of brandy ranging from 35 to 60%.
Whisky is made with fermented grain and has its origins in Scotland, though is now produced in different varieties all over the world. The typical ABV for whisky is 40 to 55%
Rum is made by distilling fermented sugarcane or molasses and comes in dark, white, and spiced versions. Typically, rum has an ABV of 40% though some overproofed versions can be 57.5 to 75.5%.
Tequila originates from Mexico and is made from fermented agave, a type of cactus. Tequila ABV is normally around 40% but can go up to 60%. The drink usually comes in clear or golden colors, but can be combined with other ingredients to create new flavors.
Vodka has its origins in Russia and other Eastern European countries, typically made by distilling fermented grains and potatoes with a clear finish. Standard vodka concentration is 40% but like tequila, some can reach 60%.
Absinthe is a spirit that was banned for many years due to its supposed hallucinogenic properties. It is made from fermented herbs and leaves and normally has a vivid green color, leading to the nickname “the green fairy”. It is now commonly sold with a 40% ABV though some manufacturers still produce 90% varieties.
Everclear is a grain-based spirit and has one of the highest ABV levels of any alcoholic drink, typically around 60% but reaching as high as 95%. These are sometimes referred to as ETOH alcohol drinks.
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Safe Alcohol Consumption
If people stick to sensible limits then alcohol can be something that gives them pleasure. The recommended levels for safe alcohol consumption are:
* 2 drinks per day for men between the ages of 21 and 65 years of age.
* 1 drink per day for men who are over the age of 65.
* 1 drink per day for women over the age of 21.
* Anyone who has ever had problems controlling their drinking should quit completely.
In regard to these recommendations a drink is considered to be a standard beer, a glass of standard measure wine, and one shot of spirits (not a strong spirit). Anyone who regularly drinks above this level may be putting their mental and physical health at risk.
Is it Bad to Consume Alcohol?
Alcohol isn’t necessarily bad if used in moderation. However, occasional drinking can lead to increased dependency, which can eventually progress to addiction.
And while some alcoholic beverages have more alcohol content than others, uncontrolled use of any alcoholic beverage can lead to addiction, which often leads to a reduced quality of life financially, emotionally, socially, and physically.
Alcohol tolerance, dependence, and addiction can form quickly, changing the brain’s chemical balance until the alcohol is required to function or feel normal. The risk of dependence and addiction is increased when people drink irresponsibly, such as with binge drinking. Also, due to alcohol’s wide social acceptance, many don’t know they are developing a problem.
If you, a friend, or a beloved family member is struggling with alcohol use disorder, then it’s best to contact an addiction treatment provider for assistance before the situation gets out of hand.
What Are the 5 Types of Alcoholics?
According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 85.6 percent of people ages 18 and older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime. Only 7.3 percent of adults ages 18 and older who had alcohol use disorder (AUD) in the past year received any treatment in the past year. What is really alarming is an estimated 95,000 people (approximately 68,000 men and 27,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually.
One such issue is that of a perceived need for professional help and recognition that a problem with alcohol exists. This idea may be perpetuated if a person doesn’t fit into the role of the stereotypical “alcoholic.” When a person is educated, has a stable home life, holds down a job, and has no family history of alcoholism, it may be difficult for them to accept that their drinking is problematic.
Researchers at NIAAA, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have identified five different types of alcoholics to help people gain a better understanding of the disease. The five types of alcoholism include:
Young Adult subtype: 31.5 percent of U.S. alcoholics. Young adult drinkers, with relatively low rates of co-occurring substance abuse and other mental disorders, a low rate of family alcoholism, and who rarely seek any kind of help for their drinking.
Young Antisocial subtype: 21 percent of U.S. alcoholics. Tend to be in their mid-twenties, had early onset of regular drinking, and alcohol problems. More than half come from families with alcoholism, and about half have a psychiatric diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder.
Many have major depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety problems. More than 75 percent smoked cigarettes and marijuana, and many also had cocaine and opiate addictions. More than one-third of these alcoholics seek help for their drinking.
Functional subtype: 19.5 percent of U.S. alcoholics. Typically middle-aged, well-educated, with stable jobs and families. About one-third have a multigenerational family history of alcoholism, about one-quarter had major depressive illness sometime in their lives, and nearly 50 percent were smokers.
Intermediate Familial subtype: 19 percent of U.S. alcoholics. Middle-aged, with about 50 percent from families with multigenerational alcoholism. Almost half have had clinical depression, and 20 percent have had bipolar disorder. Most of these individuals smoked cigarettes, and nearly one in five had problems with cocaine and marijuana use. Only 25 percent ever sought treatment for their problem drinking.
Chronic Severe subtype: 9 percent of U.S. alcoholics. Comprised mostly of middle-aged individuals who had early onset of drinking and alcohol problems, with high rates of Antisocial Personality Disorder and criminality. Almost 80 percent come from families with multigenerational alcoholism.
They have the highest rates of other psychiatric disorders including depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders as well as high rates of smoking, and marijuana, cocaine, and opiate dependence. Two-thirds of these alcoholics seek help for their drinking problems, making them the most prevalent type of alcoholic in treatment.
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What Is Alcoholism?
AUD or alcoholism is a chronic, relapsing disease that is diagnosed based on an individual meeting certain criteria outlined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Alcoholism is when one can no longer control their use of alcohol, compulsively abuse alcohol, despite its negative ramifications, and/or experience emotional distress when they are not drinking.
Determining Your Alcoholic Type
Alcohol is the most common addictive substance abused in America today. NIAAA reports than one out of every 12 adults struggle with alcohol abuse, dependence, or addiction. NIDA publishes the 11 signs of addiction that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) lists as being indicators of the disease. These include:
- Difficulties stopping drinking once you start and trouble controlling how often you drink
- Making multiple attempts to stop drinking and being unsuccessful despite wanting to stop
- Experiencing cravings for alcohol
- Spending a lot of time getting alcohol, consuming it, and recovering from its aftermath
- Continuing to drink even though it damages relationships and social interactions
- Drinking interfering with fulfilling regular life obligations
- Giving up activities and recreational events for alcohol
- Drinking alcohol in situations where it is physically dangerous or risky to do so
- Continuing to drink even when you know that it will cause physical, emotional, social, or other issues
- Tolerance to alcohol as indicated by the need to drink more to feel “normal”
- Withdrawal symptoms when alcohol wears off and in between episodes of drinking
The presence of any two symptoms within a one-year period can result in a diagnosis of alcohol addiction.
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First and foremost, if you think a loved one is abusing alcohol, you should research the substances and their associated addiction to understand better what your loved one needs. Next, you must plan an intervention to provide your loved ones with options to battle the effects of alcohol addiction in a safe and supportive environment. During this intervention, offer compassion and support instead of judgment. Lastly, show your support throughout the entire treatment process.
In addition, prolonged drug use can have severe physical and psychological effects on you, so it is essential to seek treatment as soon as possible. Inpatient drug rehab offers intensive care that can help you promptly get through the early stages of alcohol withdrawal.
Medical detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated alcohol withdrawal but doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior contributing to drug use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete the alcohol detox.
Cravings are very common during alcohol detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can give medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Inpatient Alcohol Rehab
There isn’t one treatment approach or style that will suit everyone. Treatment should speak to the needs of the individual. Inpatient rehab and addiction treatment aren’t just about drug use. the goal is to help the patient stop using alcohol and other substances, but alcohol rehab should also focus on the whole person’s needs.
Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior. When someone or their family is considering different treatment facilities, they should account for the complexity of addiction and the needs of the individual. The objective of attending an inpatient rehab center for addiction treatment is to stop using the drug and re-learn how to live a productive life without it.
Following a full medical detox, most people benefit from inpatient rehab. Inpatient drug rehab can last anywhere from 28 days to several months. Patients stay overnight in the rehab facility and participate in intensive treatment programs and therapy. Once someone completes rehab, their addiction treatment team will create an aftercare plan, which may include continuing therapy and participation in a 12-step program like Narcotics Anonymous.
Many rehab programs will also have early morning classes or programs. Group sessions occur during inpatient rehab, as do individual therapy sessions. Family therapy may be part of inpatient rehab when it’s feasible. Alternative forms of therapy may be introduced during inpatient rehab, like a holistic therapy program, yoga for addiction recovery, or an addiction treatment massage therapy.
Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with addiction, including:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – is an effective treatment that involves changing both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.”
- Solution-focused therapy is an approach interested in solutions that can be quickly implemented with a simple first step leading to further positive consequences.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Drug abuse and mental health disorders often co-occur. In many cases, traumatic experiences can result in mental health disorders and substance abuse. Dual-diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. This strategy treats both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend mainly on the treatment for both diseases done by the same team or provider.
Medication Assisted Treatments (MAT)
Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.
Please, do not try to detox on your own. The detox process can be painful and difficult without medical assistance. However, getting through the detox process is crucial for continued treatment. We Level Up provide proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to assist your recovery through our opioid addiction treatment program medically. So, reclaim your life, and call us to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.
Alcohol Rehab Near Me
Alcohol addiction is a condition that can cause major health problems, such as an overdose. We Level Up NJ rehab treatment & detox center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from this with professional and safe treatment. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition and clarify issues like alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.
Search Types of Alcohol Topics & Resources
 The Risks Associated With Alcohol Use and Alcoholism – PMC (nih.gov)
 Information about Alcohol – NIH Curriculum Supplement Series – NCBI Bookshelf
 Alcohol Use Disorder – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)
 Alcohol | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (nih.gov)
 Alcohol (who.int)
 Top Effective Alcoholism Treatment Center Recovery Programs (welevelup.com)