Classification: alcohol is the most commonly-used depressant, affecting the central nervous system by slowing down the functions of the brain and depressing the pulse rate, blood pressure, respiration, and other body functions. Alcohol is the most abused drug in the nation.

Source: alcoholic beverages, wine,beer, and hard liquors.

Slang terms: booze, juice, sauce, brew, vino

Appearance: liquid consumed as a beverage.

Effects: a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, and a shot of whiskey all have about the same alcohol content and potential for inebriation.

The effects of alcohol consumption are:

"hangovers" from over-indulgence include:


43 percent of all auto-crash fatalities involves a driver who has been drinking.


Indications of alcohol abuse:

Addiction: alcoholism is a progressive disease. The body becomes increasingly dependent on the use of alcohol. This dependency can lead to uncontrollable drinking habits that interfere with normal life patterns. The progressive stages of alcoholism vary, but the following is a typical pattern:

Symptoms of delirium tremens (dt's), characterized by delirium, muscle tremors, confusion, and hallucinations, can occur after several years of addiction.

Withdrawal: alcohol withdrawal can be fatal. Symptoms of withdrawal are tremors, jitters, anxiety, nausea, sweating, vomiting, cramps, frightening hallucinations, convulsions, exhaustion, coma, and circulatory and heart failure.

The alcoholic needs professional medical attention for withdrawal. It takes several weeks to achieve withdrawal.

Organized therapy groups for the alcoholic encourage abstinence by giving emotional security and support to the alcoholic.


� RCMP/GRC 2002