Alcohol Use

Last updated: June 21, 2018

What Does Alcohol Use Mean?

Alcohol use is defined as the consumption of beverages containing ethyl alcohol, including wine, beer, and spirits. Alcohol use can affect individuals differently depending on age, weight, and medications taken. Alcohol use is categorized by levels of consumption, both in terms of habitual use and of use at a given point in time. Alcohol use in itself, does not necissarily indicate a safety risk, but the level of use may.


WorkplaceTesting Explains Alcohol Use

Alcohol use is observed in terms of how much an individual drinks at one point in time, which is categorized into levels of intoxication.

These levels are classified as to the amount of alcohol in a person's blood stream - which is measured as the blood alcohol concentration (BAC), and the effects the alcohol is having on a their body.

The first stage is a lessened sense of awareness, which includes overconfidence, lack of attention, poor judgement, and careless behavior. The second stage is a reduction in muscle coordination, which includes poor sense of balance, unreasonable behavior, and a slower reaction time. The third stage is confusion, which includes staggering, dizziness, and sleepiness. The fourth stage is stupor, which involves vomiting, the inability to move, and intermittent loss of consciousness. The fifth stage is coma, which includes a slower heart rate, unconsciousness, and may result in death. The sixth stage is death, in which the nervous system shuts down. These states are relative to the size of the individual, any medications that person takes, and any health conditions that person suffers from.

Alcohol use may also be observed in terms of habitual use, which ranges from intermittent drinkers, who occasionally consume alcohol, to social drinkers, who drink regularly as a means of socialization, to those drinkers who are addicted to alcohol, and are further categorized into stages of alcohol dependence.


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