What is ETOH Abuse?
ETOH is a medical abbreviation or acronym for ethyl alcohol, which is popularly known as ethanol.
Ethanol (ETOH) is also known as drinking alcohol or grain alcohol. In the general public, the compound is simply referred to as alcohol as it is the main ingredient used to make alcoholic drinks. In some beverages, ethanol is used to enhance flavor. When the compound gets into the body, it helps a person to relax.
Ethyl alcohol is generally considered as a recreational drug due to its popularity in making alcoholic drinks. While the compound can make a person relax, it can also lead to various medical and social issues when abused.
Ethyl Alcohol Molecular Composition
There are various type of alcohol on the market. When ingested, the alcohol substances can lead to different effects on an individual depending on their molecular composition.
Alcohols can have either two or more carbon molecules. Those that have two carbon molecules have the prefix ethyl (ET).
All alcohol compounds comprise of an oxygen (O) and a hydrogen (H) molecule. When these two molecules combine, they make up the OH part of ETOH
ETOH (ethyl alcohol) is made of two carbon molecules, and is, therefore, named with the prefix ET.
Therefore, ETOH refers to a compound made of a two carbon alcohol, and an oxygen and hydrogen molecule.
The molecular formula or ETOH is CH3CH2OH
The boiling point of ETOH is 173.1°F (78.37°C) while the freezing point is 173.2°F (-114°C).
ETOH Use (Medical and Non-Medical)
One of the medical uses of ETOH is an antiseptic. The compound is used in hospitals and clinics to clean medical tools and kill bacteria from the hands before working with patients.
Other medical uses of ETOH include as an antitoxin for methanol poisoning and as an antitussive chemical in over the counter drugs.
When ETOH is written on a medical report, it is mainly used to explain that a person was intoxicated from direct consumption of an alcohol beverage.
Ethanol is also a common ingredient in mouthwash and multiple household cleaning agents. The ingredient is also burned as a bio-fuel.
Ethanol is colorless, flammable and has a distinct odor. The ingredient should be handled with utmost care especially when used around an open fire.
Different alcoholic drinks have varied amount of ethyl alcohol. Below is an overview of the amount of ETOH found in common alcoholic drinks:
- Distilled spirits: 40% – 90%
- Champagne: 8% – 14%
- Wine: 7% – 15%
- Beer: 4% – 6%
If you take alcohol, it is important to know the amount of ethanol in the particular beverage you would like. Apart from this, taking a healthy meal prior to consuming alcohol can help to reduce the absorption of ETOH into the blood stream, and in turn, reduce the rate of intoxication.
Eating food does not prevent the effects of ETOH consumption. However, it can reduce the impact and risk of consuming alcohol.
Effects of ETOH on the Brain and Body
When ethyl alcohol is absorbed in the blood stream is sufficient amounts, it can lead to a number of negative effects both on the brain and blood.
Some of the effects of ETOH include:
- Gastrointestinal disease
- Blood poisoning
- Weight gain
- Loss of control
- Increased aging
- Loss of cognitive functions (control, focus, balance, etc.)
- Mood swings
Several studies1 have also shown a link between ETOH and cancer.
To reduce the negative effects of alcohol on the brain and body, you should limit your intake of alcoholic beverages. Moreover, you should not take ethyl alcohol if you would be handling machinery or driving as the compound can lead to cognitive impairment, putting you at a greater risk of getting into accidents.
Prolonged abuse of ethyl alcohol can lead to dependence on the chemical. In medical circles, ethyl alcohol is classified as a psychotic drug and depressant due to the impact it has on the brain, body, and emotional behavior.
When ETOH enters the blood stream, a person may experience depression, mood swings and poor emotional control. In such situations, a person who is dependent on alcohol may believe that he cannot function properly without taking alcohol. The person may also have regular compulsion to drink to feel better.
ETOH Abuse Side Effects
Some of the common side effects of alcohol dependence include:
- Physical withdrawal symptoms
- Hormonal imbalance (mood swings)
- Cognitive impairment
- Loss of physical control
- Increased tolerance of alcohol
Trying to quit severe alcohol addiction usually leads to a number of negative reactions such as brain damage, anxiety, severe depression, and even death. The alcohol withdrawal will also take an emotional toll on the person.
When you start treatment for alcohol addiction, you may experience side effects such as sweating, physical discomfort, nausea, headaches, among others.
Anyone struggling with ethyl alcohol addiction should seek professional treatment. Depending on the severity of the side effects of ETOH withdrawal, a patient may be given various medications to reduce the impact of the effects to a more manageable level.
The treatment phase of alcohol addiction can be quite difficult for a patient. However, it is crucial to undergo treatment to become healthy.
Apart from medical treatment, group therapy can also help you stop taking alcohol. The therapy is usually overseen by a psychologist who is trained to help patients change their thoughts on the consumption and abuse of ETOH.