There is more to alcohol than mere intoxication. Infamous because of its social abuse but indispensable because of its many industrial applications. The process of fermentation obtains an alcohol.
Alcoholic drinks are widely popular and an essential element for socializing and relaxation - it is said the ingredients of man's happiness include - wine, women and mirth. Ethanol is the alcohol present in alcoholic drinks. Their excess uses lead to several social and health problems.
"He that drinks fast pays slow." Benjamin Franklin
The production and consumption of alcohol is part of most cultures and societies around the world. Drinking alcohol is an important social event among hunting tribes and civilized nations alike and may be closely associated to the culture of a community.
'Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life.' - George Bernard Shaw
In early and modern cultures, alcoholic beverages have played a vital role in social interaction by providing confidence and removing inhibition. While several psychoactive drugs such as opium and cannabis have the same effect they are not as socially accepted as alcohol.
Uses of Alcohol
In the olden times various reasons are attributed to the usage of alcohol such as-
- Relaxation and feeling of euphoria
- Aphrodisciac (modern studies have proved that this notion is false)
- Inspiration for creativity
With time alcohol was found to be a very useful solvent and as an energy source for industrial use. Today alcohol finds a place as an important substance in many Industrial and pharmaceuticals manufacturing processes.
- An alcohol is used as solvent to dissolve medical drugs, perfumes and essences like vanilla.
- Both methanol and ethanol are used as fuel for automobiles. In comparison to gasoline they burn cleanly producing only carbon dioxide and water.
- It is used as a preservative for specimen storage in laboratories and museums.
- Ethanol has been used as an antiseptic to disinfect the skin before injections. It is used for making soap with disinfectant properties. It is also used for cleaning paint- brushes.
- Thomas DB, Alcohol as a cause of cancer.The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, USA. Environ Health Perspect. 1995 November; 103(Suppl 8): 153–160.
- This History of Alcohol - (http://www.drug-rehabs.org/alcoholhistory.php)
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