In chemistry , an alcohol is any organic compound in which a hydroxyl group ( - O H ) is bound to a carbon atom of an alkyl or substituted alkyl group. The general formula for a simple acyclic alcohol is CnH2n+1OH.
Other alcohols are substantially more poisonous than ethanol, partly because they take much longer to be metabolized and partly because their metabolization produces substances that are even more toxic.
Among youth, the use of alcohol and other drugs has also been linked to unintentional injuries, physical fights, academic and occupational problems, and illegal behavior.
Long-term alcohol misuse is associated with liver disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurological damage as well as psychiatric problems such as depression, anxiety, and antisocial personality disorder .
Drug use contributes directly and indirectly to the HIV epidemic, and alcohol and drug use contribute markedly to infant morbidity and mortality.
Zero tolerance laws, in all states, make it illegal for youth under age 21 years to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in their system (i.e., with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) ≥0.02 g/dL).