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Alcohol

Any scholarly discussion concerning the effects of alcohol on the human body should include a general discussion of the chemical "alcohol." The term alcohol is an all encompassing term for a specific and unique class of chemical compounds. Chemical compounds can be grouped into two main categories of Organic and Inorganic. The qualifier for the classification of organic is that the compound's primary element is Carbon (C). An organic compound which has Hydrogen (H) atoms as its major secondary element is called a Hydrocarbon. The various hydrocarbon compounds are differentiated from one another by their specific Functional Groups.

A functional group is a combination of atoms which, when attached to a carbon atom or atoms causes the organic compound to act and react in a specific manner. All alcohols are hydrocarbon derivatives with a specific functional group composed of two atoms, one Oxygen (O) and one Hydrogen (H). These are called a Hydroxyl Group. Alcohol is also classified as a Hydrophilic compound meaning that it is infinitely soluble in water.

In theory, there are an infinite number of alcohol type compounds or molecules. All may be classified as alcohols, but their particular molecular structure results in each compound being absorbed and metabolized by the body into different metabolic substances. It is this unique metabolic process which creates the various levels of toxicity for each compound.

ALL ALCOHOLS ARE TOXIC TO THE HUMAN BODY, MEANING DEATH WILL RESULT IF A SUFFICIENT QUANTITY OF ALCOHOL IS CONSUMED.

Three main forms of alcohol are consumed by humans. The form called Ethanol is common drinking alcohol used in alcoholic beverages. the form Methanol is occasionally consumed by hard core alcoholics and children. The form Isopropanol is occasionally consumed by these groups, as well.

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