Alcohol Awareness Month

Alcohol Awareness Month started in 1987.

    A big part of the work of Alcohol Awareness Month is to point out the stigma that still surrounds alcoholism and substance abuse in general. For many, denial is a common trait among those struggling with alcoholism or alcohol abuse.1 They often underestimate the amount they drink, the duration of their drinking problem, the impact it has had on their life, or overestimate their ability to control their drinking or to quit.1 Denial is also common among friends and family members who are uncomfortable acknowledging the gravity and reality of the situation.

Alcohol is, for many, a staple in their diet. And, almost unsurprisingly, the sales and consumption of alcohol is on the rise. Since the start of the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the United States the sales of alcohol have increased up to as much as 400% on a weekly basis. The consumption of alcohol has been reported to have increased as much as 25% in the same time period. 

All of this, because Ethanol comes in so many different delicious forms. We will use the word ALCOHOL in this article in place of the word ethanol alcohol.  But first a high level reminder about alcohol:

What is Alcohol?

3d model of alcohol
Kinda looks like a wiener dog

There are three types of alcohol from a chemistry perspective.  So, what happens is a pair of oxygen and hydrogen atoms replace the hydrogen atom in hydrocarbons!  Then some other science happens and some atoms get together and create the three types of molecules you know about.

  1. Isopropyl C3H8O
    1. Kitchen cleaners
    2. Hand sanitizers
    3. Medical disinfectants
  2. Methanol CH3OH
    1. Solvents
    2. Antifreeze 
    3. Plastics
  3. Ethanol C2H6O
    1. Medical antiseptics
    2. Fuels
    3. Pain reliever
    4. Consumable drinks
Diferent types of ethanol alcohol you can drink
Delicious beverages

Only one of these types is “safe” for human consumption. Alcohol for consumption is produced through fermentation of yeast, sugars and starches.  

Undistilled drinks are the simplest and oldest known to man.  The alcohol doesn’t go through any further process once the fermentation is complete. 

The oldest recipe known to exist is a recipe for beer

The most common undistilled alcohol beverages

  1. Beer
  2. Wine
  3. Sake
  4. Cider
  5. Mead

Then there is the much more complex of creating alcohol.  The oldest evidence of the distillation process is from the 12th century in China.

The most common distilled alcohol beverages

  1. Gin
  2. Brandy
  3. Whisky
  4. Rum
  5. Tequila
  6. Vodka
  7. Absinthe
  8. Everclear

Alright now we covered the basics. Let’s get real. All three forms of alcohol -isopropyl, methanol, and ethanol are poisons. Ethanol Alcohol is definitely the least toxic of the three it is still poison


poison, in biochemistry, a substance, natural or synthetic, that causes damage to living tissues and has an injurious or fatal effect on the body, whether it is ingested, inhaled, or absorbed or injected through the skin.

The NIAAA, alcohol-related problems are among the most significant public health issues in the country

Just in the United States, 95,000 people die from alcohol related causes each and every year. This does not take into account the countless other overdose deaths that alcohol played a significant roll in.  Alcohol use while taking benzodiazepines or opioids can significantly increase the drug’s effects.  And that often leads to overdose.

Interesting facts about alcohol

  1. 75% of esophageal cancers are attributable to chronic excessive alcohol consumption.
  2. Nearly 50% of cancers of the mouth, pharynx and larynx are associated with heavy drinking
  3. Chronic alcohol consumption is associated with 10% increase in a woman’s risk of breast cancer.
  4. Heavy chronic drinking contributes to approximately 65% of all cases of pancreatitis.
  5. Among emergency room patients admitted for injuries, 47% tested positive for alcohol and 35% were intoxicated; of those who were intoxicated, 75% showed signs of chronic alcoholism.
  6. There are more deaths and disabilities each year in the U.S. from substance abuse than from any other cause.
  7. As many as 35% of heavy drinkers develop alcoholic hepatitis.
  8. As many as 36% of the cases of primary liver cancer are linked to heavy chronic drinking.
  9. Alcoholics are 10 times more likely to develop carcinoma than the general population.
  10. Accidents related to alcohol use are among the leading causes of death for teens.

One more interesting thing about alcohol is that chronic drinking actually makes pain worse. 

According to the penn foundation 

Tolerance develops to alcohol’s analgesic effects so that it takes more alcohol to produce thesame effects. Increasing alcohol use to stay ahead of tolerance can lead to other problems,

including the development of alcohol dependence.

Which leads to:

Withdrawal from chronic alcohol use often increases pain sensitivity which could motivate some people to continue drinking or even increase their drinking to reverse withdrawal-related increases in pain. Over time, alcohol misuse generates a painful small fiber peripheral neuropathy, the most common neurologic complication associated with alcohol use disorder.

Hopefully you know there are a lot of resources if you need to get some guidance in your life about alcohol awareness. 

The FMCSA has a program in place specifically for you.

The primary objective of the controlled substances use and alcohol misuse program is deterrence rather than detection. Public safety is best served by making drivers aware of the effects of alcohol.

Employers are required to provide educational materials for drivers (see Chapter 3) and training for supervisors prior to the start of testing (§382.601 and §382.603, respectively).

SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

Learn about our services on our services page.

Hear what all our customers are saying on our Google review page.

Still have questions? Give us a call at 1-877-405-5003