How Much Alcohol Is in One Drink?
The type of alcohol that is found in most alco- holic drinks is ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanol or grain alcohol. The amount of alcohol in a given drink can vary considerably. Hard liquors such as whiskey, gin, vodka, and brandy are made up of about 40 to 50 percent pure alcohol (80 to 100 proof). Beer has about a 4 percent alcohol content and wine 14 percent, but beer and wine are typically served in larger portions than are dis- tilled spirits. So, although the proportion of alcohol varies, the actual alcohol intake is about the same. Having some food in your stomach will delay the absorption of alcohol into your blood- stream. Also, watery drinks such as beer will be absorbed more slowly than drinks, such as hard liquor, in which the alcohol is more concentrated.
• Hard liquor: 40–50 percent
• Wine: 12–14 percent
• Wine cooler: 3–5 percent
• Beer: 3.5–9 percent
Different Drinks: Same Amount of Alcohol
Ounce for ounce the alcohol content varies widely from one alcoholic beverage to another. A 5-ounce glass of wine contains about the same amount of alcohol as a mixed drink with 11⁄2 ounces of 80-proof liquor or a 12-ounce wine cooler or glass of beer.
the heart or the inhalation of vomit, which can cause suffocation. Withdrawal from these substances produces serious effects such as anxiety, severe diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, and seizures.
It is also possible to become addicted to prescription drugs that you may have received for a medical purpose. Drugs that may become habit-forming include narcotic painkillers prescribed for conditions such as chronic back pain or taken after surgery, or sedatives or tranquilizers prescribed for chronic insomnia or anxiety. Ask your doctor about the potential for addiction when he or she pre- scribes any medication. Always take medication according to your doctor’s instructions and only for the period of time speciﬁed on the prescription.
Any type of drug, including alcohol, has the potential to alter your judgment and perception and increase your chances of having a motor vehicle collision or other type of accident. Alcohol and other drug use also is linked with higher inci- dences of homicide and suicide in men. Moderation is the key when it comes to the use of alcohol (see previous page). Experimentation with other recreational drugs is a risky behavior that can increase your chances of continued substance abuse, accidental injury, and death.