Access to Health Ch. 11 (Drinking Alcohol Responsibly)

Ethyl Alcohol

Addictive drug produced by fermentation that is the intoxicating substance in alcoholic beverages.


Process in which yeast organisms break down plant sugars to yield ethanol.


Process in which alcohol vapors are condensed and mixed with water to make hard liquor.


Measure of the percentage alcohol in a beverage; the _____ is double the percentage of alcohol in the drink.

Standard Drink

Amount of any beverage that contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol.

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

The ratio of alcohol to total blood volume; the factor used to measure the physiological and behavioral effects of alcohol.

Learned Behavioral Tolerance

The ability of heavy drinkers to modify behavior so they appear to be sober even when they have high BAC levels.


Loss of water from body tissues.


Physiological reaction to excessive drinking, including head ache, upset stomach, anxiety, depression diarrhea, and thirst.


Forms of alcohol that are metabolized more slowly than ethanol and produce toxic by-products.

Alcohol Poisoning

Potentially lethal blood alcohol concentration that inhibits the brains ability to control consciousness, respiration, and heart rate; usually occurs as a result of drinking a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time. Also known as acute alcohol


The last stage of liver disease associated with chronic heavy alcohol use, during which liver cells die and damage becomes permanent.

Alcoholic Hepatitis

Condition resulting from prolonged use of alcohol in which the liver is inflamed; can be fatal.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)

Birth defect involving physical and mental impairment that results from the mothers alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

Binge Drinking

A pattern of drinking alcohol that brings blood alcohol concentration to 0.08 gram percent or above; corresponds to consuming 5+ drinks for adult males or 4+ drinks for adult females, in 2 hours.

Alcoholism (alcohol dependence)

Condition in which personal and health problems related to alcohol use are severe, and stopping alcohol use results in withdrawal symptoms.

What age group most often binge drinks?

65 and older.

Delirium Tremens (DT's)

State of confusion, delusions, and agitation brought on by withdrawal from alcohol.


A planned confrontation with an alcoholic led by a professional counselor in which family members and or friends try to get the alcoholic to face the reality of his or her problem and to seek help.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

Organization whose goal is to help alcoholics stop drinking; includes auxiliary branches such as Al-Anon and Alateen.