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Drinking Alcoholic Beverages – Paper Essay

An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol, commonly known as alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes: beers, wines, and spirits (or distilled beverage). They are legally consumed in most countries, and over 100 countries have laws regulating their production, sale, and consumption.[1] In particular, such laws specify the minimum age at which a person may legally buy or drink them. This minimum age varies between 16 and 25 years, depending upon the country and the type of drink. Most nations set it at 18 years of age.[1] The production and consumption of alcohol occurs in most cultures of the world, from hunter-gatherer peoples to nation-states.[2][3]

Alcoholic beverages are often an important part of social events in these cultures. Alcohol is a psychoactive drug classified as depressant. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recently redefined the term “binge drinking” as any time one reaches a peak BAC of 0.08% or higher as opposed to some (arguably) arbitrary number of drinks in an evening.[4] A high blood alcohol content (BAC) is usually considered to be legal drunkenness because it reduces attention and slows reaction speed. However, alcohol can be addictive known as alcoholism. Health effects of moderate drinking


In a 2010 long-term study of an older population, the beneficial effects of moderate drinking were confirmed, but abstainers and heavy drinkers showed an increase of about 50% in mortality (even after controlling for confounding factors).[57] Ethanol has been found to double the lifespans of worms feed 0.005% ethanol but does not markedly increase at higher concentrations.[58] [edit]


Daily consumption of a small amount of pure alcohol by older women may slow or prevent the onset of diabetes by lowering the level of blood glucose.[59] However, the researchers caution that the study used pure alcohol and that alcoholic beverages contain additives, including sugar, which would negate this effect.[59] People with diabetes should avoid sugary drinks such as dessert wines and liqueurs.[60] [edit]

Heart disease

Main article: Alcohol and cardiovascular disease

Alcohol consumption by the elderly results in increased longevity, which is almost entirely a result of lowered coronary heart disease.[61] A British study found that consumption of two units of alcohol (one regular glass of wine) daily by doctors aged 48+ years increased longevity by reducing the risk of death by ischaemic heart disease and respiratory disease.[62] Deaths for which alcohol consumption is known to increase risk accounted for only 5% of the total deaths, but this figure increased among those who drank more than two units of alcohol per day.[62]

One study found that men who drank moderate amounts of alcohol three or more times a week were up to 35% less likely to have a heart attack than non-drinkers, and men who increased their daily alcohol consumption by one drink over the 12 years of the study had a 22% lower risk of heart attack.[63] Daily intake of one or two units of alcohol (a half or full standard glass of wine) is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease in men over 40, and in women who have been through menopause.[64] However, getting drunk one or more times per month put women at a significantly increased risk of heart attack, negating alcohol’s potential protective effect.[65] Increased longevity due to alcohol consumption is almost entirely the result of a reduced rate of coronary heart disease.[61]


A substance with a distinct molecular composition that is produced by or used in a chemical process. Chemical substances (also called pure substances) may well be defined as “any material with a definite chemical composition” in an introductory general chemistry textbook.[2] According to this definition a chemical substance can either be a pure chemical element or a pure chemical compound. But, there are exceptions to this definition; a pure substance can also be defined as a form of matter that has both definite composition and distinct properties.[3] The chemical substance index published by CAS also includes several alloys of uncertain composition.[4] Non-stoichiometric compounds are a special case (in inorganic chemistry) that violates the law of constant composition, and for them, it is sometimes difficult to draw the line between a mixture and a compound, as in the case of palladium hydride.

Broader definitions of chemicals or chemical substances can be found, for example: “the term ‘chemical substance’ means any organic or inorganic substance of a particular molecular identity, including – (i) any combination of such substances occurring in whole or in part as a result of a chemical reaction or occurring in nature”[5] In geology, substances of uniform composition are called minerals, while physical mixtures (aggregates) of several minerals (different substances) are defined as rocks. Many minerals, however, mutually dissolve into solid solutions, such that a single rock is a uniform substance despite being a ‘mixture’. Feldspars are a common example: anorthoclase is an alkali aluminum silicate, where the alkali metal is interchangeably either sodium or potassium.


The concept of a “chemical substance” became firmly established in the late eighteenth century after work by the chemist Joseph Proust on the composition of some pure chemical compounds such as basic copper carbonate.[6] He deduced that, “All samples of a compound have the same composition; that is, all samples have the same proportions, by mass, of the elements present in the compound.” This is now known as the law of constant composition.[7] Later with the advancement of methods for chemical synthesis particularly in the realm of organic chemistry; the discovery of many more chemical elements and new techniques in the realm of analytical chemistry used for isolation and purification of elements and compounds from chemicals that led to the establishment of modern chemistry, the concept was defined as is found in most chemistry textbooks. However, there are some controversies regarding this definition mainly because the large number of chemical substances reported in chemistry literature need to be indexed.

Isomerism caused much consternation to early researchers, since isomers have exact the same composition, but differ in configuration (arrangement) of the atoms. For example, there was much speculation for the chemical identity of benzene, until the correct structure was described by Friedrich August Kekulé. Likewise, the idea of stereoisomerism – that atoms have rigid three-dimensional structure and can thus form isomers that differ only in their three-dimensional arrangement – was another crucial step in understanding the concept of distinct chemical substances. For example, tartaric acid has three distinct isomers, a pair of diastereomers with one diastereomer forming two enantiomers. chemical is a form of matter that has constant chemical composition and characteristic properties.[1]

It cannot be separated into components by physical separation methods, i.e. without breaking chemical bonds. It can be solid, liquid or gas. Chemical substances are often called ‘pure’ to set them apart from mixtures. A common example of a chemical substance is pure water; it has the same properties and the same ratio of hydrogen to oxygen whether it is isolated from a river or made in a laboratory. Other chemical substances commonly encountered in pure form are diamond (carbon), gold, table salt (sodium chloride) and refined sugar (sucrose). However, simple or seemingly pure substances found in nature can in fact be mixtures of chemical substances. For example, tap water may contain small amounts of dissolved sodium chloride and compounds containing iron, calcium and many other chemical substances.

Cigarette Smoking

The 1982 United States Surgeon General’s report stated that “Cigarette smoking is the major single cause of cancer mortality [death] in the United States.” This statement is as true today as it was then.

Tobacco use is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the United States. Because cigarette smoking and tobacco use are acquired behaviors − activities that people choose to do – smoking is the most preventable cause of death in our society. The 1982 United States Surgeon General’s report stated that “Cigarette smoking is the major single cause of cancer mortality [death] in the United States.” This statement is as true today as it was then. Tobacco use is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the United States. Because cigarette smoking and tobacco use are acquired behaviors − activities that people choose to do – smoking is the most preventable cause of death in our society.

Who smokes cigarettes?


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that about 43.8 million US adults were cigarette smokers in 2011 (the most recent year for which numbers are available). This is 19% of all adults (21.6% of men, 16.5% of women) − about 1 out of 5 people. There were more cigarette smokers in the younger age groups. In 2011, the CDC reported 22.1% of people 25 to 44 years old were current smokers, compared with 7.9% of those aged 65 or older.High school and middle school students.Nationwide, 18% of high school students were smoking cigarettes in 2011. The most recent survey of middle school students, done in 2011, shows that about 4% were smoking cigarettes. In both high schools and middle schools, white and Hispanic students were more likely to smoke cigarettes than other races/ethnicities.

Effects of smoking on how long you live and your quality of life Cigarette smokers die younger than non-smokers. In fact, according to a study done in the late 1990s by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking shortened male smokers’ lives by 13.2 years and female smokers’ lives by 14.5 years. Men and women who smoke are much more likely to die between the ages of 35 and 69 than those who have never smoked. But not all of the health problems related to smoking result in deaths. Smoking affects a smoker’s health in many ways, harming nearly every organ of the body and causing many diseases. The diseases often seen are chronic bronchitis, emphysema, heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. And some studies have found that male smokers may be more likely to be sexually impotent (have erectile dysfunction) than non-smokers.

These problems can steal away a person’s quality of life long before death. Smoking-related illness can limit a person’s daily life by making it harder to breathe, get around, work, or play. Smoking can cause or worsen poor blood flow in the arms and legs (peripheral vascular disease or PVD.) Surgery to improve the blood flow often doesn’t work in people who keep smoking. Because of this, many vascular surgeons (surgeons who work on blood vessels) won’t do certain surgeries on patients with PVD unless they stop smoking. The smoke from cigarettes (called secondhand smoke or environmental tobacco smoke) can also have harmful health effects on those exposed to it. Adults and children can have health problems from breathing secondhand smoke. (See our documents called Secondhand Smoke and Women and Smoking.)


Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are drugs you can buy without a prescription. Some OTC medicines relieve aches, pains and itches. Some prevent or cure diseases, like tooth decay and athlete’s foot. Others help manage recurring problems, like migraines. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration decides whether a medicine is safe enough to sell over-the-counter. Taking OTC medicines still has risks. Some interact with other medicines, supplements, foods or drinks. Others cause problems for people with certain medical conditions. If you’re pregnant, talk to your health care provider before taking any medicines. It is important to take medicines correctly, and be careful when giving them to children. More medicine does not necessarily mean better. You should never take OTC medicines longer or in higher doses than the label recommends. If your symptoms don’t go away, it’s a clear signal that it’s time to see your healthcare provider.

Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are medicines that may be sold directly to a consumer without a prescription from a healthcare professional, as compared to prescription drugs, which may be sold only to consumers possessing a valid prescription. In many countries, OTC drugs are selected by a regulatory agency to ensure that they are ingredients that are safe and effective when used without a physician’s care. OTC drugs are usually regulated by active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), not final products. By regulating APIs instead of specific drug formulations, governments allow manufacturers freedom to formulate ingredients, or combinations of ingredients, into proprietary mixtures.[1]

The term over-the-counter may be somewhat counterintuitive, since, in many countries, these drugs are often located on the shelves of stores like any other packaged product. In contrast, prescription drugs are almost always passed over a counter from the pharmacist to the customer. Some drugs may be legally classified as over-the-counter (i.e., no prescription is required), but may only be dispensed by a pharmacist after an assessment of the patient’s needs and/or the provision of patient education. In many countries, a number of OTC drugs are available in establishments without a pharmacy, such as general stores, supermarkets, gas stations, etc. Regulations detailing the establishments where drugs may be sold, who is authorized to dispense them, and whether a prescription is required vary considerably from country to country.

Restricted OTC Substances

An ill-defined third category of substances comprises those products having over-the-counter status from the FDA, while being simultaneously subject to other restrictions on sale. While these products are legally classified as OTC drugs, they are typically stored behind the pharmacy counter and are sold only in stores employing a registered pharmacist; such items may be unavailable in convenience or grocery stores that stock other non-restricted OTC medications. For example, many U.S. drugstores have moved products containing pseudoephedrine, an OTC product, into locations where customers must ask a pharmacist for them. A prescription is not required; the change has been made in an effort to reduce methamphetamine production.

Since the passage of the Illinois Methamphetamine Precursor Control Act and the subsequent Federal Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005, the purchase of pseudoephedrine in the United States is restricted. Sellers of pseudoephedrine must obtain and record the identity of the purchaser and enforce quantity restrictions. Some states may have more stringent requirements (e.g., Oregon , where a medical prescription is required to purchase any quantity of pseudoephedrine). After initial attempts to control meth use by requiring documentation of sale with government issued ID as well as limits on the quantity an individual could purchase failed to realize meaningful reductions in methamphetamine use and production, Mississippi passed House Bill 512 in the State Senate on February 2, 2010,” to require a prescription from a licensed medical professional to purchase over-the-counter medicines with pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, or any other precursor chemical that can readily and illicitly be converted into methamphetamine, Methcathinone or any active/scheduled analogs of Phenylethylamines/ amphetamine. Despite these restrictions, products containing the substance are still OTC in most states, since no prescription is required.

Laws Related to Drugs and Alcohol

Here are a few of the laws in regards to alcohol and drugs. Do not think that this list is exhaustive, there are more. These are the commonly encountered laws by IU Police Officers. The following laws are current as of January 2003. The following text should be used as a guide not the definitive answer. Some text from the excerpts was omitted.

Search the Indiana Code. Alcohol Related

* IC 7.1-5-7-1 False statements of age Sec. 1. (a) It is a Class C infraction for a minor to make a false statement of the minor’s age or to present or offer false or fraudulent evidence of majority or identity to a permittee for the purpose of ordering, purchasing, attempting to purchase, or otherwise procuring or attempting to procure an alcoholic beverage. (b) In addition to the penalty under subsection (a), a minor who: (1) uses a false or altered driver’s license or the driver’s license of another person as evidence of majority under this section; or (2) is convicted of purchasing or procuring an alcoholic beverage with or without using a false or altered driver’s license; shall have the minor’s driver’s license suspended for up to one (1) year in accordance with IC 9-24-18-8 and IC 9-30-4-9. (c) Upon entering a judgment for the infraction under this section, the court shall forward a copy of the judgment to the bureau of motor vehicles for the purpose of complying with subsection (b).

* IC 7.1-5-7-2 Furnishing false evidence of identification Sec. 2. It is a Class C misdemeanor for a person to sell, give, or furnish to a minor false or fraudulent evidence of majority or identity with the intent to violate a provision of this title. * IC 7.1-5-7-3 Possession of false identity Sec. 3. It is a Class C infraction for a minor to have in his possession false or fraudulent evidence of majority or identity with the intent to violate a provision of this title. * IC 7.1-5-7-7 Illegal possession Sec. 7. (a) It is a Class C misdemeanor for a minor to knowingly: (1) possess an alcoholic beverage; (2) consume it; or (3) transport it on a public highway when not accompanied by at least one (1) of his parents or guardians. (b) If a minor is found to have violated subsection (a) while operating a motor vehicle, the court may order the minor’s driver’s license suspended for up to one (1) year.

However, if the minor is less than eighteen (18) years of age, the court shall order the minor’s driver’s license suspended for at least sixty (60) days. (c) The court shall deliver any order suspending the minor’s driver’s license under this section to the bureau of motor vehicles, which shall suspend the minor’s driver’s license under IC 9-24-18-12 for the period ordered by the court. * IC 7.1-5-7-8 Sales to minors prohibited Sec. 8. (a) It is a Class C misdemeanor for a person to recklessly sell, barter, exchange, provide, or furnish an alcoholic beverage to a minor. (b)

This section shall not be construed to impose civil liability upon any educational institution of higher learning, including but not limited to public and private universities and colleges, business schools, vocational schools, and schools for continuing education, or its agents for injury to any person or property sustained in consequence of a violation of this section unless such institution or its agent sells, barters, exchanges, provides, or furnishes an alcoholic beverage to a minor. * IC 7.1-5-7-15 Aiding unlawful possession Sec. 15. A person twenty-one (21) years of age or older who knowingly or intentionally encourages, aids, or induces a minor to unlawfully possess an alcoholic beverage commits a Class C infraction.

* IC 7.1-5-1-3 Public intoxication prohibited Sec. 3. It is a Class B misdemeanor for a person to be in a public place or a place of public resort in a state of intoxication caused by the person’s use of alcohol or a controlled substance (as defined in IC 35-48-1-9). * IC 7.1-5-1-6 Intoxication upon common carrier prohibited Sec. 6. It is a Class B misdemeanor for a person to be, or to become, intoxicated as a result of the person’s use of alcohol or a controlled substance (as defined in IC 35-48-1-9) in or upon a vehicle commonly used for the public transportation of passengers, or in or upon a common carrier, or in or about a depot, station, airport, ticket office, waiting room or platform.

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