What is Alcohol?
The 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 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.
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.
- Theta Burst Stimulation for Alcohol Use Disorderon September 29, 2023 at 4:00 am
Conditions: Alcohol Use Disorder Interventions: Device: Active cTBS; Device: Sham cTBS Sponsors: Gopalkumar Rakesh Recruiting
- Amplification of Positivity for Alcohol Useon September 8, 2023 at 4:00 am
Conditions: Alcohol Use Disorder; Anxiety; Depression Interventions: Behavioral: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; Behavioral: Amplification of Positivity Therapy; Behavioral: Surveys and Interviews Sponsors: Laureate Institute for Brain Research, Inc.; University of California, San Diego; National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Recruiting
- Semaglutide Therapy for Alcohol Reduction (STAR)on August 29, 2023 at 4:00 am
Conditions: Addiction; Alcohol Use Disorder Interventions: Behavioral: Take Control; Drug: Semaglutide Sponsors: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Recruiting
- Cultural Adaptation of Drug Treatment for DJJ Youthon August 22, 2023 at 4:00 am
Conditions: Substance Use Interventions: Behavioral: Culturally Adapted Adolescent Substance Use Treatment Sponsors: Medical University of South Carolina Recruiting
- Alcohol and Cannabis Concentrates Co-Administrationon August 21, 2023 at 4:00 am
Conditions: Alcohol Use Disorder; Cannabis Use Interventions: Other: commercially available cannabis and commercially available alcohol Sponsors: Colorado State University; Institute of Cannabis Research (ICR)--Colorado State University, Pueblo Recruiting
- Cue Effects in Human Addiction: Pavlovian to Instrumental Transferon August 15, 2023 at 4:00 am
Conditions: Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD); Alcoholism; Substance Use Disorders; Smoking, Tobacco; Stress Reaction; Stress Interventions: Biological: fMRI imaging (BOLD); Biological: sMRI (structure); Behavioral: Trier Social Stress Test; Behavioral: PIT paradigm; Behavioral: Counting Stroop task; Behavioral: No-go Simon task; Diagnostic Test: Stop Signal Task; Diagnostic Test: blood samples; Diagnostic Test: questionnaires for chronic stress; Diagnostic Test: hair samples; Diagnostic Test: saliva samples; Diagnostic Test: EMA assessment; Diagnostic Test: clinical diagnostic Sponsors: Charite University, Berlin, Germany; Technische Universität Dresden Recruiting
- Study of the Families Moving Forward Website Behavioral Intervention for Teachers of Students With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorderon August 14, 2023 at 4:00 am
Conditions: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Interventions: Behavioral: Families Moving Forward (FMF) Teacher adapted training Sponsors: University of Rochester Recruiting
- Knee Genicular Nerve Ablation by Thermal Radiofrequency vs Thermal Radiofrequency Plus Alcohol Neurolysison August 8, 2023 at 4:00 am
Conditions: Knee Osteoarthritis Interventions: Procedure: genicular nerve ablation by thermal radiofrequency; Procedure: genicular nerve ablation by thermal radiofrequency plus alcohol neurolysis Sponsors: Ain Shams University Recruiting
- Role of Acetaldehyde in the Development of Oral Canceron August 3, 2023 at 4:00 am
Conditions: Alcohol-Related Carcinoma; Fanconi Anemia; Oral Cavity Carcinoma Interventions: Drug: Alcohol; Procedure: Biospecimen Collection; Procedure: Breath Test Sponsors: Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota; National Institutes of Health (NIH) Recruiting
- Improving HIV Care Engagement Among Ugandan Adolescent Girls and Young Women: The Kisoboka Mukwano Interventionon July 17, 2023 at 4:00 am
Conditions: HIV-infection/Aids; Intimate Partner Violence; Domestic Violence; Alcohol Use Disorder Interventions: Behavioral: Kisoboka Mukwano ("It is possible, my love!") Intervention; Behavioral: Screening and Referral Sponsors: Arizona State University; National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA); San Diego State University; Makerere University; University of California, San Diego; Reach the Youth Uganda Recruiting
- The Brain, the Bug, and the Binge: the Interplay Between Binge Drinking, Gut Microbiota, and Brain Functioningon July 14, 2023 at 4:00 am
Conditions: Binge Drinking Interventions: Dietary Supplement: Inulin Intervention; Dietary Supplement: Maltodextrin Intervention Sponsors: University of Minho; Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) Recruiting
- Improving Attendance in Community Wiseon July 7, 2023 at 4:00 am
Conditions: Intervention Engagement and Retention Interventions: Behavioral: Community Wise Sponsors: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Comprehensive Behavioral Health Center Recruiting
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.