Alcohol includes a lot of different drinks. But, there are certain ones that are the most commonly used and widely abused psychoactive drug in the country.
Alcohol is the most widely tried drug among teens. 50% of 8th graders and 8 out of 10 12th graders report having tried alcohol.
Many teenagers report binge drinking. In 1995, 30% of 12th graders surveyed reported binge drinking (5+ drinks in one sitting) in the previous 2 weeks. Even young teenagers report irresponsible use of alcohol. 25% of 8th graders have been drunk.
When a person drinks alcohol, the alcohol is absorbed by the stomach, enters the bloodstream, and goes to all the tissues. The effects of alcohol are dependent on a variety of factors, including a person's size, weight, age, and sex, as well as the amount of food and alcohol consumed. The disinhibiting effect of alcohol as one of the main reasons it is used in so many social situations. Other effects of moderate alcohol intake include dizziness and talkativeness; the immediate effects of a larger amount of alcohol include slurred speech, nausea, disturbed sleep, and vomiting. Alcohol, even at low doses, significantly impairs the judgement and coordination required to drive a car safely. Low to moderate doses of alcohol can also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including domestic violence and child abuse. Hangovers are another possible effect after large amounts of alcohol are consumed; a hangover consists of feeling headachy, nauseated, thirsty, dizzy, and tired.
Prolonged, heavy use of alcohol can lead to addiction (alcoholism). Sudden cessation of long term, extensive alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations and convulsions.