Ethanol, which is also known as EtOH, is a clear liquid used in cleaning products, antiseptics and alcoholic beverages. It is the main ingredient in alcoholic drinks and is responsible for their intoxicating effects. Ethanol is a central nervous system depressant and interferes with chemical reactions in the brain that regulate moods. When abused, ethanol can have severe health consequences and even lead to alcohol use disorder.
Long-term EtOH abuse can cause a person to develop GERD, or gastrointestinal reflux disease. It can also interfere with the body’s normal regulation of blood sugar. It can also increase a person’s risk for heart problems and stroke. It can also impair a person’s ability to solve problems, remember details and pay attention.
People who are addicted to EtOH will need specialized treatment to overcome their addiction and recover from the harms caused by alcohol abuse. This will include developing a relapse prevention plan and addressing any underlying mental health issues that may be contributing to their alcohol abuse.
Preventing alcohol abuse starts with acknowledging that there is a problem. A preventive approach can also involve teaching healthy coping mechanisms, such as stress management techniques or physical activities that promote social bonding. It can also involve providing mental health support through community initiatives or through family counseling.
Many people who become addicted to ethanol use the substance as a way of self-medicating for underlying psychological issues such as depression or anxiety. Identifying these issues and addressing them in therapy can help people stop using alcohol as a way to feel better.