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.

  • Effectiveness of Repeated MOTivational InterVention to Reduce Ethanol Intake During prEgnancy
    on February 19, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Condition:   Alcohol Abuse in PregnancyIntervention:   Behavioral: Motivational interviewSponsors:   Fundació Sant Joan de Déu;   Instituto de Salud Carlos III;   European Union;   Red Salud Materno Infantil y del Desarrollo;   University of BarcelonaRecruiting

  • Efficacy and Mechanisms of Mobile-Delivered Alcohol Attentional Bias Modification
    on February 10, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Condition:   Alcohol; Harmful UseIntervention:   Behavioral: Attentional Bias ModificationSponsors:   University of New Mexico;   National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)Recruiting

  • A Novel Human Lab Model for Screening AUD Medications
    on January 31, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Condition:   Alcohol Use DisorderInterventions:   Drug: Placebo;   Drug: Naltrexone;   Drug: VareniclineSponsors:   University of California, Los Angeles;   National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)Recruiting

  • EUS Based Prevalence of Chronic Pancreatitis in Alcoholic Cirrhosis
    on January 28, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Condition:   Alcoholic CirrhosisIntervention:   Other: Endoscopic ultrasound for detection of Chronic pancreatitisSponsor:   Asian Institute of Gastroenterology, IndiaRecruiting

  • EUS Guided Liver Biopsy - Will it Give Better Yield, More Tissue With Less Complication?
    on January 22, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Conditions:   NAFLD;   Alcoholic HepatitisInterventions:   Device: Endoscopic USG guided Liver biopsy;   Device: Percutaneous Liver BiopsySponsor:   Asian Institute of Gastroenterology, IndiaRecruiting

  • Effectiveness of a Case Management Intervention for Alcohol Use-Related Problems in Frequent Users of an Emergency Department
    on January 7, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Conditions:   Alcohol Drinking;   Alcohol-Related DisordersIntervention:   Behavioral: Case ManagementSponsor:   Hospital Clinic of BarcelonaRecruiting

  • Impact of Art Therapy on Alexithymia in People With Alcohol Use Disorder
    on December 20, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Conditions:   Alexithymia;   Alcohol Use DisorderIntervention:   Other: Art TherapySponsor:   University Hospital, AngersRecruiting

  • Trial of the Families Moving Forward (FMF) Connect Mobile Health Intervention
    on December 11, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Condition:   Fetal Alcohol Spectrum DisordersIntervention:   Other: FMF ConnectSponsors:   University of Rochester;   National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)Recruiting

  • Businesses That Care - Zacatecas
    on November 18, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Condition:   Alcohol DrinkingInterventions:   Behavioral: Brief Intervention Motivational Interviewing (BIMI) Intervention;   Behavioral: Tomando Buenas Decisiones (TBD) Intervention;   Behavioral: Social Development Strategy (SDS) Intervention;   Behavioral: BTC Training SessionSponsors:   University of Miami;   AB InBev FoundationRecruiting

  • Varenicline and Bupropion for Alcohol Use Disorder
    on November 18, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Conditions:   Alcohol Use Disorder;   Alcoholism;   Alcohol DependenceInterventions:   Drug: Varenicline Tartrate 1 mg b.i.d;   Drug: Bupropion Hydrochloride 150 mg b.i.d;   Other: Placebo for varenicline;   Other: Placebo for bupropionSponsor:   Vastra Gotaland RegionRecruiting

  • Patient Trajectories for Older Adults Admitted to Hospital for Alcohol-related Problems
    on November 15, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Conditions:   Alcohol Consumption;   Alcohol; Harmful Use;   Health Risk Behaviors;   Alcohol DependenceIntervention:   Other: Brief alcohol interventionSponsors:   Helse Stavanger HF;   Helse Vest;   Helse Fonna;   Helse Møre og Romsdal HF;   Sorlandet Hospital HF;   Helse Sor-Ost;   Helse Nord-Trøndelag HF;   Lovisenberg Diakonale Hospital;   Oslo University HospitalRecruiting

  • Mindfulness for at Risk Youth: Understanding Substance Use and Important Mechanisms of Change
    on November 13, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Conditions:   Alcohol Use, Underage;   Alcohol Problem Drinking;   Substance UseInterventions:   Behavioral: Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention;   Behavioral: Control (CTL)Sponsor:   University of Southern CaliforniaRecruiting

  • Addiction Treatment Outcome Monitoring Study
    on November 7, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Conditions:   Alcohol Use Disorder;   Substance Use DisordersInterventions:   Other: Measurement;   Other: FeedbackSponsors:   University of Washington;   National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)Recruiting

  • Alcoholic Hepatitis in Latin-America: A Prospective and Multicentric Study (AH-LATIN).
    on October 29, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   Hepatitis, AlcoholicIntervention:   Biological: blood withdrawSponsors:   Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile;   ALEH;   Hospital Nacional Hipolito;   Hospital Goyoneche Arequipa;   Hospital Nacional Edgardo Rebagliati Martins;   HBCASE;   Hospital Regional Honorio Delgado Arequipa Peru;   Hospital Nacional Daniel Alcides Carrión - Callao;   Instituto de Gastroenterología;   Hospital Docente Clinico Quirurgico:Manuel Piti Fajardo;   Hospital de Clínicas D. N. Avellaneda;   Hospital Padilla. Tucuman;   Hospital Pablo Soria. Jujuy;   FUNDACIÓN SAYANI;   Hospital Italiano Buenos Aires;   Rosario;   Hospital de Gastroenterología Dr Carlos Bonorino Udaondo;   Hospital Austral de Buenos Aires;   Francisco Alfonso Solís Galindo;   Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Hepáticas y Gastroenterología;   Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Medicas y Nutricion Salvador Zubiran;   Hospital General de Mexico;   Hospital Eugenio Espejo;   Hospital de Especialidades de las FF.AA Quito;   Hospital Carlos Andrade Marín;   Hospital General San Juan de Dios;   Hospital Roosevelt;   Hospital San Vicente Fundación Medellín;   Clinica Universitaria Colombia;   Hospital San Vicente Fundación - Rionegro;   Fundacion Cardioinfantil;   Hospital Pablo Tobon Uribe. Univ. De Antioquia;   Fundação Hospital Adriano Jorge;   Hospital do Rocio;   Hospital das Clinacas Riberao Preto;   Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP) - Botucatu/São Paulo;   FUNDHACRE- Serviço de Assistência Especializada- Acre;   Hospital Getúlio Vargas - Teresina/Piauí;   Hospital do Servidor Público Estadual - São Paulo/São Paulo;   Hospital Federal de Bonsucesso - Rio de Janeiro/Rio de Janeiro;   CHP/ Cl Davila / HCUH;   Hospital San Juan de Dios;   Hospital Sotero Del Rio;   Hospital San Borja-Arriaran;   University of Chile;   Hospital Clinico Universidad Catolica;   Hospital de Concepcion;   Hospital EscuelaRecruiting

  • Alpha-1 Blockade for Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)
    on October 23, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)Interventions:   Drug: Doxazosin;   Drug: PlaceboSponsor:   Brown UniversityRecruiting

  • Neurobiological Responses in Alcoholism and Early Trauma
    on October 16, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Alcohol Use Disorder;   Early Trauma ComplicationsIntervention:   Behavioral: 8-week outpatient treatmentSponsors:   Yale University;   National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)Recruiting

  • Neurophysiological Mechanisms of Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)
    on October 10, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Depressive Symptoms;   Stress Disorder, Acute;   Prolonged Grief Disorder;   Alcohol Abuse;   Stress Disorders, Post-TraumaticIntervention:   Behavioral: Accelerated Resolution TherapySponsor:   University of South FloridaRecruiting

  • A Study of New Treatment for Excessive Alcohol Users by Electric Stimulation of Nerves Around Ear
    on September 27, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   Alcohol Use DisorderIntervention:   Device: Drug Relief V(version) 2.0 Auricular Percutaneous Electrical Neural Field Stimulation (PENFS)Sponsor:   DyAnsys, Inc.Recruiting

  • Study of Genetic Determinants in Alcoholic Hepatitis and Establishment of a Multicenter Prospective Cohort of Patients With Alcoholic Liver Disease
    on September 27, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Alcoholic Liver Disease;   Severe Alcoholic Hepatitis;   Alcoholic CirrhosisIntervention:   Sponsor:   University Hospital, LilleRecruiting

  • Post-Marketing Surveillance Study of Nalmefene Hydrochloride Hydrate in Patients With Alcohol Dependence
    on September 27, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   Alcohol DependenceIntervention:   Drug: Nalmefene Hydrochloride HydrateSponsor:   Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.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.