Alcohol adversely affects the brain, the liver, the kidneys, the heart, blood vessels, the lining of the stomach, and various hormonal and regulatory systems. Even the word “intoxicated” indicates alcohol’s true nature: a toxic substance.

Getting wasted every weekend might not be the best thing for your physical or mental well-being, but moderate alcohol consumption may have some substantial health benefits. It should be noted that alcohol consumption and its benefits vary based on an individual's body makeup and type.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, "moderate alcohol consumption is defined as having up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. This definition is referring to the amount consumed on any single day and is not intended as an average over several days."

Drinks that contain ethanol are commonly termed as alcoholic drinks and there is a long list of them. Anyone who has ever visited a grocery store knows that there are many different types of alcohol. Some kinds of alcohol are distilled, which concentrates their alcohol content making them more dangerous.

The physical consequences of heavy alcohol use, such as liver damage and high blood pressure, are well known.   Alcohol use at any level, however, is also bad news for the brain. Even moderate users or those who have been drinking in excess for a short period of time can experience mental fog, anxiety, and mood changes.

For people who have alcohol use disorder, binge drink, or have been using alcohol for many years, brain changes affecting cognitive function and mood can become severe and debilitating.

Opioids are taking the news headlines by storm, and rightfully so, as we are living amongst a deadly opioid overdose epidemic here in the U.S. People are dying from prescription pills every day, and we cannot do enough to reduce the number of these deaths. However, what we don’t hear enough about is alcohol and how deadly it is. Alcohol is the most socially acceptable drug on the market and the most easily accessible. Even with this knowledge, the general public still has a tendency to believe alcohol is ok, not dangerous, and an acceptable form of relaxation. Science tells us something different. Alcohol is the deadliest drug of all. Let’s look at why this is true.