Individual Drug Information




Alcohol is a drug. It is classed as a depressant, meaning that it slows down vital functions—resulting in slurred speech, unsteady movement, disturbed perceptions and an inability to react quickly.

As for how it affects the mind, it is best understood as a drug that reduces a person’s ability to think rationally and distorts his or her judgment.

Although classified as a depressant, the amount of alcohol consumed determines the type of effect. Most people drink for the stimulant effect, such as a beer or glass of wine taken to “loosen up.” But if a person consumes more than the body can handle, they then experience alcohol’s depressant effect. They start to feel “stupid” or lose coordination and control.

Alcohol overdose causes even more severe depressant effects (inability to feel pain, toxicity where the body vomits the poison, and finally unconsciousness or, worse, coma or death from severe toxic overdose). These reactions depend on how much is consumed and how quickly.

There are different kinds of alcohol. Ethyl alcohol (ethanol), the only alcohol used in beverages, is produced by the fermentation of grains and fruits. Fermenting is a chemical process whereby yeast acts upon certain ingredients in the food, creating alcohol.

Alcohol content

Fermented drinks, such as beer and wine, contain from 2% alcohol to 20% alcohol. Distilled drinks, or liquor, contain from 40% to 50% or more alcohol. The usual alcohol content for each is:

  • Beer 2–6% alcohol
  • Cider 4–8% alcohol
  • Wine 8–20% alcohol
  • Tequila 40% alcohol
  • Rum 40% or more alcohol
  • Brandy 40% or more alcohol
  • Gin 40–47% alcohol
  • Whiskey 40–50% alcohol
  • Vodka 40–50% alcohol
  • Liqueurs 15–60% alcohol


“Facts About Alcohol,” U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
“Alcohol and Underage Drinking,” School of Public Health at John Hopkins University
“Results from the 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings,” SAMHSA
“2007 Traffic Safety Annual Assessment—Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities,” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, August 2008
“Alcohol and Crime,” U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics
“Alcohol-related assault: findings from the British Crime Survey,” UK Home Office Online Report
“Statistics on Alcohol: England, 2007,” National Health Service (UK)
“Alcohol in Europe: A Public Health Perspective,” Institute of Alcohol Studies (UK)
“Alcohol Use Disorders: Alcohol Liver Diseases and Alcohol Dependency,” Warren Kaplan, Ph.D., JD, MPH, 7 Oct 2004
“Alcohol and the Brain,” University of Washington
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General
Encyclopedia Britannica
“Alcohol Intoxification,”
“Alcohol Alert,” U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, April 2006
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
"Teen Drivers: Fact Sheet," Centers for Disease Control

More information on Narconon International Website -

Share this post

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

captcha image
Type the letters from the captcha image above:

Please make a donation: