Alcohol, a drink containing ethanol and consumed as a recreational drug


Alcohol was probably discovered in the Neolithic, during the sedentarization of human groups, during a spontaneous alcoholic fermentation of floury or sweet foods.

In 2018, archaeologists believe they have unearthed in the Raqefet cave (south of Haifa in northern Israel), burial place of the Natoufian (12,500 – 10,000 BC)

The oldest known prehistoric site for the production of a fermented drink, close to beer but less alcoholic, possibly ceremonial, aged around 13,000 years.

Ancient literature frequently mentions it in the social life of men with beer as the first reference in Mesopotamia.

In Antiquity, the cult of Dionysus / Bacchus was widespread in Greece and Rome.

Alcohol would have had a sacred use, leading in particular to mystical ecstasy, a use taken up by Christians in the myth of the blood of Christ. The “cup” containing wine is said to contain the deity.

According to the biblical account “Noah planted the vine and got drunk” (Genesis 9:20).


Although being a depressant, alcohol has a wide spectrum of effects, often contradictory depending on whether we analyze them in the short, medium and long term.

It depresses, discards or stimulates, calms or excites. In the past, alcohol was used in medicine to relieve pain (especially toothache), bring down a fever, warm people with hypothermia or soothe stomach cramps.

Third cause of morbidity in the world (after high blood pressure and tobacco);

it is directly implicated in the death of 2.8 million people per year, which would make it the 7th risk factor for premature death, and as a dehinibitator facilitating the passage to the act.

He is also indirectly implicated in numerous murders, domestic violence, suicides, rapes, and other sexual violence including sexual assault against children, ill-treatment of children, violence in the hospital emergency services, violence and ill-treatment among the military or athletes or sports supporters (hooliganism …), as well as in many cases of accidental deaths.

It is “the substance most often associated with violent crimes” and it is often associated with several other types of offenses;

Between the ages of 15 and 49, it becomes the first factor in premature mortality. In Western Europe, it is the fourth risk factor, after being overweight.

Around 2015, it is in Denmark that the largest number of alcohol-related illnesses are declared for men and women, while statistically it is in Romania that the most alcohol is consumed in men (8.2 consumption / day on average).

Ukrainian women consume the most (4.2 consumption / day). France is in 6th place (out of 193) for men (and in 8th place for women) for the number of cases of alcohol-related illnesses behind, notably Argentina, Germany and Switzerland.

According to an expert report submitted on May 4, 2017 to the National Public Health Agency (France):

  • the consumption of alcoholic beverages should not exceed 10 standard drinks per week (two drinks per day with two days without drinking alcohol);
  • for young people and adolescents, the safest option is not to drink at all;
  • for pregnant women, it’s “zero alcohol”.

Then a large meta-analysis on the frequency and impact of alcohol consumption among 28 million people in 195 countries between 1990 and 2016 published in 2018 by The Lancet as part of the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) ( associating more than 1,800 researchers from 127 countries under the aegis of the World Health Organization (WHO) has shown that even at low doses alcohol remains dangerous to health:

the only known benefit of alcohol which is (for red wine only, at a reasonable dose) to protect against ischemic heart disease is statistically offset by an increased risk of developing several types of cancer, and this from the first drink (” The increase in risks is small at one drink per day, but then increases rapidly. “Specify the authors who call for re-evaluating the public health recommendations on alcohol, because in view of the available data there would be no dose harmless alcohol.

The authors of this work point out that they did not take into account adolescents under the age of fifteen, and that the risks they describe are therefore undervalued.

According to Dr. Emmanuela Gakidou of the Chicago Institute for Metrology and Health Assessment, “The myth that one or two drinks a day is good for you is just a myth.

It is hard drugs that cause the highest mortality, killing several million people a year demolishing the preconceived idea that “a small glass of alcohol” every day

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