What is Alcohol?


he alcohol in an alcoholic drink is ethanol, produced by fermenting grains, fruits, or other foods that contain sugar. Alcohol has been used as a beverage since prehistoric times. It is mentioned in ancient Egypt, Babylon, and many other societies.

Alcohol produces intoxication due to its chemical composition. Because alcohol molecules are so small, they easily disrupt the brain’s neurotransmitters. The body cannot store alcohol, so it is broken down by the liver and excreted in urine.

What is Alcohol

What Conditions is Alcohol Associated With?

Many people consume alcohol during recreational activities. Consumed infrequently, it may have few or no health effects. However, it is also associated with an extremely wide variety of dire health conditions, many of which are chronic and/or can be fatal.

About 15 million Americans suffer from an alcohol abuse disorder.

What’s more, only about 6.7% of people who have a drinking problem seek professional help. About 88,000 people die of alcohol-related causes every year. Problem drinking can result in physical dependence on alcohol.

Since alcohol consumption leads to reductions in reaction time, judgment, and decision-making, any episode of drinking can lead to harmful accidents or injury. However, most health risks of alcohol come from problem drinking, including binge drinking.

Conditions associated with long-term alcohol misuse include:

  • High blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular events
  • Cirrhosis (permanent scarring) of the liver caused by alcohol exposure
  • A higher risk of certain cancers, including breast, mouth, throat, and liver
  • Decline in cognitive performance, especially in learning and memory
  • Greater likelihood of mental health complications like anxiety and depression

What Research Currently Exists on the Effects of Alcohol?

For many years, research around alcohol focused on the idea that it had health benefits if used in moderation. However, recent research is casting doubt on these long-held assumptions.

Over the last five years, scientific studies have confirmed the connection between even moderate alcohol use and premature death, cancer, stroke, and high blood pressure. Some studies also suggest that abstaining from alcohol can improve mental health.

In general, a scientific consensus is forming around the idea that zero alcohol consumption is the best approach for individuals who want to safeguard their overall health.

Why Are Further Clinical Trials on the Effects of Alcohol Important?

Alcohol and its risks have been researched extensively. However, there are still many areas where more findings are needed. 40%-60% of people treated for alcoholism eventually relapse. The precise brain chemistry involved in alcoholism and successfully abstaining from problem drinking are not understood. Quality of support for sufferers can be spotty.

A limited number of medications are available to help people with alcoholism. However, these are effective in only a fraction of cases.

Clinical Trials on the Effects of Alcohol

Likewise, further research is necessary to support the anecdotal conclusions of treatment organizations, especially faith-based organizations, about the best way to provide social support during long-term treatment.

Current Clinical Trials on the Effects of Alcohol

This is the most recent list of clinical trials on the effects of alcohol submitted to ClinicalTrials.gov.

Alcohol clinical resources are developed by organizations worldwide. Watch this space for further information about alcohol studies that may lead to groundbreaking treatment. If you have a study to include on our site, contact our team.

  • Screening While You Wait 2: Alcohol and Tobacco Use
    on October 20, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Alcohol; Harmful Use;   Tobacco Use;   Tobacco Use Cessation;   Alcohol Use, UnspecifiedIntervention:   Behavioral: Behavioral: Usual care plus eToolkitSponsor:   Women's College HospitalRecruiting

  • Early Intervention Following Sexual Assault
    on October 9, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Ptsd;   Alcohol Use Disorder;   Sexual Assault and RapeInterventions:   Behavioral: Written Exposure Therapy Integrated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Alcohol Use Disorder;   Behavioral: Written Exposure TherapySponsors:   Medical University of South Carolina;   National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)Recruiting

  • Effects of tDCS Paired With Cognitive Training on Brain Networks Associated With Alcohol Use Disorder in Veterans
    on October 5, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   Alcohol Use DisorderInterventions:   Device: Active Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS);   Device: Sham Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)Sponsors:   VA Office of Research and Development;   Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical CenterRecruiting

  • Ethyl Glucuronide in Urine Samples of Pregnant Women Within the HUS ja PHHYKY Area
    on October 1, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   Fetal Alcohol Spectrum DisordersIntervention:   Sponsors:   Hanna Kahila;   Finnish Pediatric Neurology Association;   Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies;   Päijänne Tavastia Central Hospital;   Helsinki University Central Hospital;   Seinajoki Central HospitalRecruiting

  • Testing an Online Insomnia Intervention
    on September 25, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Alcohol Use Disorder;   InsomniaInterventions:   Behavioral: Web-Based Insomnia Education Program;   Behavioral: SHUTi InterventionSponsor:   Jessica WeaferRecruiting

  • FITSTART+ Parent-Based Intervention Efficacy Study
    on September 16, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Alcohol Drinking;   Alcohol Problem Drinking;   ParentingInterventions:   Behavioral: FITSTART+ PBI;   Behavioral: General Parenting AdviceSponsor:   Loyola Marymount UniversityRecruiting

  • Sex Differences in Risk for Alcohol Abuse
    on September 10, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   Alcohol AbuseIntervention:   Drug: AlcoholSponsors:   Jessica Weafer;   National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)Recruiting

  • Blended Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder
    on September 1, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   Alcohol Use DisorderIntervention:   Device: Blend-ASponsors:   University of Southern Denmark;   Region of Southern DenmarkRecruiting

  • Risk Factors for Stress-induced Alcohol Misuse: Genetic Predictors and Mediation by Personality Type
    on September 1, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   Alcohol Use, UnspecifiedIntervention:   Sponsors:   Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust;   University of PortsmouthRecruiting

  • Open Label Pilot Study of Perampanel for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder
    on August 6, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   Alcohol DisordersInterventions:   Drug: Perampanel Tablet;   Drug: DisulfiramSponsors:   Virginia Commonwealth University;   National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)Recruiting

  • Vortioxetine for Treatment of Depressive Mood and Alcohol Use
    on August 5, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Depressive Disorder, Major;   AlcoholismInterventions:   Drug: Vortioxetine;   Drug: AcamprosateSponsor:   Hanyang University Seoul HospitalRecruiting

  • Mediators and Moderators of a Web-based Intervention for Alcohol Use
    on August 5, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   Alcohol DrinkingIntervention:   Other: Personalised Normative FeedbackSponsors:   Federal University of São Paulo;   Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São PauloRecruiting


Alcohol has been part of human history for thousands of years. However, modern medicine still has a long way to go in managing the serious health risks associated with it. More alcohol clinical studies are crucial for discovering the alcohol clinical resources millions of people need to stop drinking.