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.

  • PFI for Pain-Related Anxiety Among Hazardous Drinkers With Chronic Pain
    on September 5, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Alcohol Problem;   Chronic Pain;   Alcohol AbuseIntervention:   Behavioral: Personalized Feedback InterventionSponsors:   University of Houston;   National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)Recruiting

  • Covid-related Opioid Treatment Policy Evaluation
    on August 31, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Opioid-use Disorder;   Alcohol Use DisorderIntervention:   Sponsors:   Boston VA Research Institute, Inc.;   Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute;   Boston University;   International Business Machines (IBM)Recruiting

  • Alcoholic Liver Disease and the Gut Microbiome
    on August 16, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Alcohol Use Disorder;   Alcoholic Liver Disease;   MicrobiomeInterventions:   Drug: VSL #3 112.5 Capsule;   Other: PlaceboSponsor:   University of California, Los AngelesRecruiting

  • MPFC Theta Burst Stimulation as a Treatment Tool for Alcohol Use Disorder: Effects on Drinking and Incentive Salience
    on August 10, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Alcohol Use Disorder;   Alcohol Drinking;   Substance Use;   Drinking, Alcohol;   Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)Interventions:   Device: Real TBS to the mPFC;   Device: Sham TBS to the mPFCSponsors:   Medical University of South Carolina;   National Institutes of Health (NIH);   National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)Recruiting

  • Effects of Training Combined With a Small Financial Incentive on Reducing Alcohol Consumption
    on August 10, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   Alcohol Use DisorderInterventions:   Behavioral: Brief Alcohol Intervention;   Behavioral: Financial Incentive InterventionSponsor:   Peking UniversityRecruiting

  • tDCS to Prevent Relapse in Alcohol Use Disorder
    on August 4, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Active tDCS;   Sham tDCSIntervention:   Device: tDCSSponsor:   Brugmann University HospitalRecruiting

  • Virtual Reality-Assisted Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Alcohol Dependence (CRAVR-Pilot)
    on August 4, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Alcohol Dependence, in Remission;   Addiction, AlcoholInterventions:   Behavioral: Virtual Reality Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CRAVR);   Behavioral: CBTSponsors:   Psychiatric Centre Rigshospitalet;   The Novavì outpatient clinics, CopenhagenRecruiting

  • Dynamics of Risk Perception and Risk Behavior in Alcohol Use Disorder and Schizophrenia
    on August 2, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD);   Schizophrenia and Related DisordersInterventions:   Behavioral: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for reducing risk behaviors;   Behavioral: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for increasing non-risk behaviorsSponsors:   University of Konstanz;   Centre for Psychiatry Reichenau, GermanyRecruiting

  • Design and Implementation of a Drunk Driving Detection System
    on July 28, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Transportation Accidents;   Drunk Driving;   Alcohol Drinking;   Impaired DrivingIntervention:   Other: Driving under the influence of alcohol with a driving simulatorSponsors:   University of Bern;   University of St.Gallen;   ETH ZurichRecruiting

  • Sleep and Emotional Reactivity in Alcohol Use Disorder
    on July 28, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)Intervention:   Other: Uninterrupted sleep followed by functional neuroimaging.Sponsors:   SRI International;   National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)Recruiting

  • Game Plan for PrEP
    on July 22, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Human Immunodeficiency Virus Exposure;   Alcohol; Harmful UseInterventions:   Behavioral: Game Plan for PrEP;   Behavioral: Attention-Matched Control Lifestyle Habits VideosSponsors:   Brown University;   National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)Recruiting

  • Portrayal of Hospital Alcohol Detoxification in France
    on July 22, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Alcohol Use Disorder;   Addiction;   Alcohol Withdrawal SyndromeIntervention:   Other: Stay for alcohol detoxificationSponsor:   University Hospital, MontpellierRecruiting


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.