Alcohol


Alcohol is the generic name of a family of chemical compounds of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen that always contain the hydroxyl functional group (-OH), the latter determining the characteristic properties of this family.

comes from the Arabic word al-kuhl, or kohl, a fine antimony powder used for eye makeup. In the beginning, the term alcohol was used to refer to any type of fine powder; however, later the alchemists of medieval Europe used it for the essences obtained by distillation, thus establishing its current meaning.

An alcohol is classified according to the type of carbon that carries the OH group (primary, secondary and tertiary). Primary and secondary alcohols are colorless liquids with a pleasant odor, soluble in water in any proportion and less dense than it. While the tertiaries are all solid.

The best known alcohol is ethyl alcohol or ethanol, it has countless applications as a solvent for organic compounds and as a raw material in the manufacture of dyes, drugs, cosmetics and explosives. It is also the constituent of alcoholic beverages. In fact, in common language, the word alcohol is often used as a synonym for ethyl alcohol or alcoholic beverage.

Alcohol is a substance obtained by fermentation or distillation whose therapeutic value is far-reaching. It is usually identified as a drug that produces habituation in everyday users.

Ethyl alcohol in alcoholic beverages such as wine, cider, beer, aperitifs, and liqueurs produces immediate effects of intoxication and long-term effects such as alcohol dependence.

This substance is rapidly absorbed by the stomach by 20% and the rest by the intestine. It then dissolves in the blood, which carries it to the brain, where it affects the nervous system. Due to this, it should not be driven when alcoholic beverages have been ingested; otherwise, traffic accidents may occur.

Small amounts of alcohol do not produce harmful effects for health, but when consumed in large amounts, its effects produce: depression at the heart level and tension; decreases body temperature, severe chronic disturbances. The liver is damaged and can lead to liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. The alcoholic may suffer from tremors, mental confusion, blurred vision, loss of appetite (malnutrition) or sometimes obesity.

Alcohol has a legal sale and is consumed very frequently in our socio-cultural environment, that is why alcoholism is a very serious problem in our society, alcohol must be consumed with responsibility and caution, especially by people over 18 years of age.