Show Summary Details
Page of



Leslie L. Iversen

, Susan D. Iversen

, Floyd E. Bloom

, and Robert H. Roth

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 06 August 2021

When textbooks of chemistry describe alcohol, they refer to any organic compound consisting of carbon and hydrogen in which the hydroxyl group -OH is attached to the carbon atom. When textbooks of pharmacology refer to alcohol, the substance cited is ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, the main alcohol present in alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, or hard liquors such as whiskey, gin, vodka, and brandy. The acute and chronic effects of beverage alcohol, ethanol, are widely held to be socially acceptable when consumed in moderation but are physically and criminally dangerous when consumed in excess consistently. Finding the scientifically validated boundary between acceptable moderate use and excessive consumption is a matter of individual metabolism, history of consumption, cultural environment, and, often, family history.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.