Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman

Alcohol Consumption

  • Susan E. CollinsEmail author
  • Megan KirouacEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_626-2



Alcohol consumption, as the term is used in clinical and research applications, refers to the act of ingesting – typically orally – a beverage containing ethanol. Ethyl alcohol or ethanol (CH3CH2OH) is the only type of alcohol that is safe for human consumption. Other types of alcohol, such as isopropyl and methyl alcohol, are toxic and potentially lethal. Alcoholic beverages that are typically consumed may include beer, wine, distilled spirits, and beverages that contain combinations of these or other additives, including malt liquor, fortified wine, liqueur, and cordials. In certain populations, nonbeverage alcohol (e.g., hand sanitizer, vanilla extract, cooking wine) may also be consumed.


Relevance to Behavioral Medicine

Alcohol consumption is an important construct in behavioral medicine because alcohol is a psychoactive substance that affects the body in various ways. In addition to its acute effects, it can have longer-term...


Alcohol Consumption Behavioral Medicine Standard Drink Blood Alcohol Level Distil Spirit 
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References and Further Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Washington, Harborview Medical CenterSeattleUSA