What does ETOH stand for?
ETOH is a shortened medical abbreviation for the word ethanol or ethyl alcohol.
Ethanol (ETOH) may also be known as grain alcohol or drinking alcohol, however it is commonly referred to simply as alcohol as it is a main component of alcohol and is used as a chemical in beverages to enhance their flavor and ease/relax an individuals inhibitions.
In fact ethyl alcohol is generally considered a recreational drug due to its popularity in alcoholic beverages.
As is likely assumed ethyl alcohol is typically ingested into the body via the mouth as a drink.
While ethanol/alcohol can be used to relax and have a good time it can also be accompanied by a number of potential medical issues and health problems.
There are many kinds of alcohols that can serve different purposes depending on their molecular make up.
ETOH (ehtyl alcohol) refers to a particular type of alcohol that is comprised of two carbon molecules.
Alcohols that are composed of two carbon molecules are given the prefix ethyl (ET) while alcohols that do not contain two carbon molecules are given a different prefix.
All alcohols have an (O) oxygen and (H) hydrogen molecule, which makes up the OH part of ETOH.
Simply put ETOH is a two carbon alcohol with an oxygen and hydrogen molecule.
Ethyl alcohol molecular formula = CH3CH2OH.
- Freezing point: 173.2°F (-114°C)
- Boiling Point: 173.1°F (78.37°C)
- Classification: Alcohol
Other uses of ETOH (medical and non medical)
Within the medical field ETOH has been used as an antiseptic to clean medical tools and remove bacteria from the hands prior to working with patients, as an antitussive chemical in over the counter drugs (primarily cough medicine), as a medicinal solvent and as an antitoxin to methanol poisoning.
In situations where ETOH is written on a medical report it is generally used to explain that a patient is intoxicated, most likely from direct alcohol consumption.
Aside from the medical uses ethanol is implemented into variety of household cleaning agents, burned as bio-fuel and used as an ingredient in mouthwash among other things.
Ethanol should be handled with the utmost care as it is a flammable, colorless liquid (with a distinct odor) that can be quite versatile and powerful when not used appropriately.
In fact its flammable make up should be taken into consideration when used around an open fire to ensure proper safety.
Understanding ETOH consumption
The amount of ethyl alcohol found in beverages can vary drastically depending on the alcoholic drink.
Beer (4% -6%) for instance typically has a lower amount of alcohol than wine (7% – 15%) or champagne (8% – 14%), and distilled spirits (40% – 90%) tend to have much higher levels of alcohol when compared to wine or lessor alcoholic beverages.
It is often recommended that those who consume alcohol should be aware of the particular drink they are consuming and eat a healthy meal prior to drinking as food can help slow down ethyl alcohol absorption and reduce the speed at which intoxication occurs.
While food doesn’t eliminate the effects of ETOH consumption it can reduce the risk and impact of consuming alcohol.
Effects on the brain and body
Ethyl alcohol is known to have a number of negative effects on the brain and body when used in sufficient amounts.
ETOH can cause loss of control, weight gain, blood poisoning and gastrointestinal disease.
It has also been linked as a possible cause of cancer.
Those who consume alcoholic beverages should do so with caution and pay attention to the amount of alcohol being consumed over a specified period of time based on the drinks alcohol percentage.
Alcoholic beverages should also be limited to occasional use in order to prevent/reduce the negative impacts it can have on weight gain, aging and other health related issues.
Some of the negative effects experienced by alcohol consumption may include:
- Loss of cognitive functions (balance, focus, control etc…)
- Weight gain
- Reduced health / increased aging
- Mood swings
- Blood poisoning
- Gastrointestinal diseases
Ethyl alcohol can have many negative effects on impairment when consumed and should not be used in an environment where an individual is driving or handling machinery as it can significantly enhance the chances of an accident occurring.
Having a designated driver is also highly recommended, especially when illegal amounts of alcohol are present in the body.
ETOH abuse, withdrawal & dependence
In some instances an individual may abuse ethyl alcohol and become dependent on the chemical.
In fact ethyl alcohol is considered a depressant and psychotic drug due to the impact it has on the body, brain and emotional behavior.
Those who consume alcohol may experience mood swings, depression and a general lack of emotional control.
In these situations an individual who has become dependent on alcohol may believe they cannot function properly without alcohol and feel a consistent compulsion to drink in order to feel better.
Side effects of alcohol abuse:
- Increased tolerance of alcohol
- Loss of physical control
- Cognitive impairment
- Hormonal imbalances (mood swings)
- Physical withdraw symptoms
Alcohol abuse is a very serious matter and should be handled with the utmost care.
People who deal with alcohol abuse may cause significant damage to their relationships, mental/physical health and financial status, and put both themselves and others in harm due to a lack of self control over the substance and themselves.
Those who are able to identify the issue and attempt to withdraw from alcohol abuse may experience a number of negative reactions aside from the emotional toll that goes along with removing a dependency such as alcohol.
It is highly recommended that they seek professional help as trying to go cold turkey and eliminate alcohol can have adverse effects such as severe depression, anxiety, brain damage and even death.
Once an individual begins their treatment for alcohol abuse they may experience headaches, nausea, physical discomfort and sweating among other things.
In addition to receiving professional treatment and aid some individuals may also be given medications to help reduce the effects of withdrawal, reduce alcohol consumption to a more manageable level and/or eliminate alcohol consumption altogether.
While the treatment phase can be very difficult it may be necessary for ones health and well being.
Aside from treatment some individuals may also seek the aid of a group or therapist to help them deal with their psychological dependence and change their thoughts on alcohol consumption.