Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Alcohol, probably the oldest drug known, has been used since the earliest societies for which records exist. Ethyl alcohol is the type consumed in drinking. In its pure form it is a clear substance with little odor. People drink alcohol in three main kinds of beverages: beers, wines, and distilled beverages. Drinkers may become addicted to any of these beverages.

In this study, I will try to conclude stating that there are many factors that cause adolescents to try or start drinking. Alcohol is very addictive and can cause many problems. There are many effects of alcohol. The effects of alcohol on the human body depend on the amount of alcohol in the blood (blood-alcohol concentration). This varies with the rate of consumption and with the rate at which the drinker's physical system absorbs and metabolizes alcohol. The higher the alcohol content of the beverage, the more alcohol will enter the bloodstream.

The amount and type of food in the stomach also affect the absorption rate; drinking when the stomach is filled is less intoxicating, because foods delay alcohol absorption. Another factor is body weight; the heavier the person, the slower the absorption rate. Studies indicate that sex is a further factor. That is, the stomachs of women contain relatively lesser amounts of an enzyme that breaks down alcohol than do the stomachs of men, so relatively larger amounts of alcohol enter the bloodstreams of women when drinking (Apthorp,p.37) .

The combination of alcohol and drugs, such as commonly used sedatives and tranquilizers, can be fatal even when the doses, taken separately, would not have a lethal effect. Drugs to counter the effects or aftereffects of alcohol on the body have also been investigated. One such drug, named Ro15-4513, was found to block the behavioral effects of alcohol without altering...