The World Health Organization (WHO) defines as a drug any drug that can alter functions in a living organism and at the same time is not a food. Unlike in English-speaking countries, where the term "drug" also includes pharmaceuticals, the concept of drugs in Germany is somewhat narrower. In Germany substances and preparations are considered to be drugs that can cause a state of intoxication or a change of consciousness and perceptions and lead to dependence.
The drugs differ in their production, composition and mode of action. For example, they can be classified into biogenic and synthetically produced, hard and soft, legal and illegal drugs.
Alcohol (ethanol) as a drug
Alcohol is one of the socially acceptable, legal drugs. Since drinking alcohol is associated with socializing and fun in most Western countries, it is often not considered a drug. There is nothing wrong with an occasional glass of wine or beer. However, if alcohol is consumed regularly and / or in excess, the way into alcoholism is inevitable.
Alcohol is one of the drugs with very high damage potential. Drinking alcohol is obtained by the fermentation and distillation of various raw materials such as grain, fruit or sugar cane.
Effect of alcohol
In small doses, alcohol has a deterrent effect. He makes outgoing and courageous and can bring about a mood change. With a real intoxication it can come to perception and attention disturbances up to the complete "film tear". Drunks are often limited in their ability to coordinate and speak, resulting in swaying and lulling.
The day after the intoxication, consumers usually experience a "hangover" that is accompanied by headaches, nausea and physical weakness. Long-term consequences of alcohol abuse can be heart problems, increased violence, liver damage, depression and a physical and social decline. Alcohol-dependent people have a 20-year lower life expectancy than the average population.