What is Alcohol?

Alcohol is a generic term for many different chemical compounds, each with its own distinct properties.

The type of alcohol consumed by humans is ethyl or ethanol. It is produced by a chemical reaction of fermentation in which yeast feeds on sugar or starch in certain plants, such as barley or grapes, and produces alcohol along with carbon dioxide. Ethanol can have different colours, tastes, potencies and flavours depending on the fruit or vegetables used in its manufacture, the process of manufacture and the additives used.

It belongs to the group of drugs called 'depressants'. Depressant drugs do not necessarily make you feel 'depressed'. Rather, they slow down the activity of the central nervous system. They slow down the messages going to and from the brain and the body.

What is a standard drink?

A standard drink contains 10 grams of alcohol and takes a healthy liver one hour to remove from the body.

The following table gives a guideline for drinking alcohol.


(Standard drinks a day) #

Responsible * 0-3
Hazardous 4-6
Harmful more than 6


(Standard drinks a day) #

Responsible * 0-2
Hazardous 2-4
Harmful more than 4