Facts You Should Know about Alcohol - DHS 4581

Illinois Department of Human Services


Alcohol is a colorless, volatile, and pungent liquid found in fermented liquors such as beer, wine, wine coolers, champagne, and liquors. Alcohol is a depressant to the central nervous system and the most widely used drug in the country.

Slang Terms:

  • Booze
  • Grog
  • Juice
  • Sauce

Methods of Intake:



The disinhibiting effect of alcohol is the main reason it is used. Alcohol appears in the bloodstream within 5 minutes after ingestion and reaches its highest blood alcohol level in 30-60 minutes. Alcohol is transported through the bloodstream to all parts of the body.


Alcohol use has many damaging effects on all areas of a person's life. Alcohol is the primary cause of liver disease, nutritional deficiencies, and is related to half of all traffic fatalities and homicides in the United States. If a person abuses alcohol, he/she may become dependent on it. The side effects of alcohol are dependent on a variety of factors, including the quantity consumed, a person's age, size, sex, as well as the amount of food eaten before or during consumption.

Side Effects:

  • Dizziness
  • Loss of inhibitions
  • Slow reactions
  • Loss of Coordination
  • Blurred Vision
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Slurred speech
  • Sudden mood swings
  • Flushing
  • Irregular pulse
  • Enlarged heart
  • Unconsciousness
  • Talkativeness
  • Memory Impairment
  • High blood pressure

Withdrawal Symptoms:

  • Shakiness
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Body tremors
  • Convulsions


http://www.lec.org/DrugSearch/ Documents/Alcohol.html ;

http://www.drugfreeamerica.org/ druginfo/drugInfo.asp?drugID=1


If you would like to know what substance abuse treatment providers are in your community, contact one of the following helplines:


1-800-662-9832 (Espanol)

1-800-228-0427 (TTY)

OR, visit the following website:


If you have any questions about alcohol or other drugs, call:

Illinois Department of Human Services

Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse

1-866-213-0548 (toll-free Voice)

1-866-843-7344 (toll-free TTY)

If you have questions about any Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS)program, call or visit your FCRC. We will answer your questions. If you do not know where your FCRC is or if you are unable to go there, you may call the automated helpline 24 hours a day at:

  • 1-800-843-6154
  • 1-866-324-5553 (TTY)

You may speak to a representative between:

8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Monday - Friday (except state holidays)

For answers to your questions, you may also write:

Illinois Department of Human Services

Bureau of Customer and Provider Assistance

100 South Grand Avenue East

Springfield, Illinois 62762

Visit our web site at: www.dhs.state.il.us

Programs, activities and employment opportunities in the Illinois Department of Human Services are open and accessible to any individual or group without regard to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion. The department is an equal opportunity employer and practices affirmative action and reasonable accommodation programs.

DHS 4581 (R-03-14) Drug Series - Alcohol

Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois.

500 copies P.O.#14-1098