Man has been fermenting grain, fruit and honey to make alcohol for thousands of years, with the first evidence of an early alcoholic drink being recorded in China around 7000 B.C.
By the sixteenth century, alcohol, referred to as spirits, was predominately used within medical practice, and by the beginning of the eighteenth century, British parliament passed a law encouraging the use of grain for distilling spirits. Subsequently, cheap spirits flooded the market and by the mid eighteenth century the consumption of gin had reached 18 million gallons and alcoholism became widespread.
- Alcohol, a short story. Drug free world
A recent report published in The Citizen states South Africa, whilst not ranking in the top 10 alcohol consuming countries world wide, is the "drunkest" country on the African continent. South Africans consumed 11.0 litres of pure alcohol per person in 2010, tipping them as the African country who consumes the most alcohol per capita. South Africa fits into this trend with beer being the most popular drink in the country, followed by wine (8%), other and least enjoyed, spirits.
- Two thirds of a beer or spirit cooler with 5% alcohol content.
- 75ml of red or white wine per hour with an alcohol content of 12% to 14% .
- Spirits, up to one 25ml tot of alcohol per hour.
- Mild alcohol intoxication - smell of alcohol on breath, slight behavioral disturbances in functions and responses, or slight difficulty in coordination
- Moderate alcohol intoxication - smell of alcohol on breath, moderate behavioral disturbances in functions and responses, or moderate difficulty in coordination
- Severe alcohol intoxication - severe disturbance in functions and responses, severe difficulty in coordination, or impaired ability to cooperate
- Very severe alcohol intoxication - very severe disturbance in functions and responses, very severe difficulty in coordination, or loss of ability to cooperate
- Increase in heart and respiratory rate
- Decrease in various brain centre functions
- Inconsistent effects on behavioural task performance
- Decrease in judgement and inhibitions
- Mild sense of elation, relaxation and pleasure
- Physiological sedation of nearly all systems
- Decreased attention and alertness, slowed reactions, impaired coordination, and a reduction in muscle strength
- Reduced ability to make rational decisions or exercise good judgement
- Increased anxiety and depression
- Decreased patients
- Dramatic slowing of reactions
- Impairment of balance and movement
- Impairment of some visual functions
- Slurred speech
- Vomiting, especially if rapidly consumed
- Severe sensory impairment, including reduced awareness of external stimulation
- Severe motor impairment
- Non-responsive stupor
- Loss of consciousness
- Anaesthesia comparable to that of surgery
- Cessation of breathing
- Death, usually due to respiratory failure