ETOH is an acronym that stands for ethyl alcohol, commonly referred to as ethanol. This is the substance that constitutes all alcoholic beverages, and it is based on its molecular structure. Ethyl alcohol is a clear liquid absorbed by the body when one consumes an alcoholic drink. More specifically, however, ETOH or ethyl alcohol also refers to grain alcohol. Although many alcoholic drinks are made from grain, this phrase is most commonly used to describe alcohol that much purer than most and still viable for human consumption.
ETOH or grain alcohol is considered to be a “neutral spirit,” meaning that no flavor is added, although some may describe its taste as “medicinal” and having a chemical odor. It is extremely flammable. Besides being used for human consumption, it is also employed as an antiseptic, solvent, and fuel.
Common brand names for grain alcohol include Everclear, Century, Gem Clear, and come in 95% (190 proof) and 75.5% (151 proof) versions. Also, Bacardi 151, as its name would imply, is 75.5% alcohol. Therefore, these beverages are more than twice as potent as many liquors, which often come in at around 35-40%. Due to the strength and potential for alcohol poisoning, many states do not allow the sale of 95% grain alcohol concentrations.
There is no 100% grain alcohol for human consumption because of effects during distillation—that is, fractional distillate can only result in ethanol concentrations of about 96% alcohol to 4% water by weight. Another agent, such as benzene, is required to increase purification further, but contamination by these extra agents makes the alcohol unfit for human consumption. Moreover, pure alcohol is extremely toxic. There is one other method that could result in total purification, but it is not often employed for economic reasons.
ETOH or grain alcohol abuse or addiction is incredibly dangerous. Indeed, Everclear is considered to be among the most dangerous alcoholic drinks in the world. In addition to its high toxicity, it is highly flammable.
While some people like to craft blow torches from potent alcoholic beverages, such as Bacardi 151 and Everclear, the truth is, alcohol and fire don’t tend to mix safely. Fires can erupt when cigarettes or other lighted devices come into contact with grain alcohol. This can result in the destruction of property and also threaten human lives.
Symptoms of ETOH Abuse and Addiction
Alcoholism is hallmarked by frequent, excessive drinking. This behavior results in increased tolerance and dependence on alcohol and will eventually cause physical and mental health problems as well as social concerns and legal issues. Being able to recognize when a person you know is abusing alcohol can help you identify the need for professional help.
Signs of alcohol intoxication include the following:
- Slurred speech
- Bloodshot eyes
- Impaired coordination
- Rambling or repetitive statements
- Difficulty standing or walking
- Agitation or anxiety
- Blank stares (indicative of stupor)
The Dangers of Alcohol Abuse
Both short- and long-term ETOH abuse can take a serious toll on the mind and body, as virtually every organ can be affected by it. Certain organs, such as the liver and the brain, may be affected more than others.
Short-term side effects of excessive alcohol use include the following:
- Impaired breathing
- Impaired judgment
- Memory loss
- Decreased sense of pain/danger
- Distorted vision and hearing
- Alcohol poisoning
- Acute liver failure
The long-term effects of ETOH abuse are often even more severe and can include permanent damage that could result in death. Common long-term effects of alcohol abuse include the following:
- Brain damage
- Anxiety disorders
- Neurological impairment
- Liver disease
- Hand tremors
- Compromised immune system
- Sexual problems
- Neurological damage
- Vitamin B1 deficiency
- Gastritis and digestive issues
- Accidental injuries
- Increased risk of several cancers
ETOH abuse can also lead to many other adverse consequences, such as the following:
- Legal issues such as arrest and incarceration
- Interpersonal relationship problems
- Financial issues
- Issues at work or school, such as tardiness, absenteeism, and reduced productivity
- Neglect of important social, professional, or recreational activities in favor of alcohol abuse
- Inability to experience pleasure not related to drinking
Getting Help for Alcohol Addiction
An addiction to grain alcohol, or any alcohol for that matter, is a very serious and potentially life-threatening condition. The longer alcoholism is allowed to continue unrestrained, the more problematic the effects of its consumption will become in a person’s life.
Fortunately, alcohol abuse and addiction are very treatable using comprehensive, state-of-the-art programs, such as those offered by Just Believe Recovery. Using a combination of psychotherapy, counseling, and group therapy, we strive to ensure that each client we treat is provided with all the tools they need to succeed and enjoy long-lasting sobriety.