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Alcohol (ethanol, ethyl alcohol) is a psychoactive substance, which acts as a depressant of the central nervous system. It means that it slows down the reactions and functions of the body and dulls the senses. Alcohol use is more accepted by society than the use of other psychoactive substances. At the same time, because of its effects and risks, alcohol is neither a less harmful nor a weaker substance than the other drugs.

Alcohol volume content varies for different types of alcoholic beverages: beer - between 3% and 5%, wine – about 12%, spirit drinks – about 40%. The alcohol volume content of homemade drinks may be higher.

Besides ethyl alcohol, there is one more kind – methyl alcohol (methanol, wood alcohol). It is used for different purposes such as antifreeze, fuel, dissolving agent, in the production industry. Methanol content in homemade alcohol beverages sometimes exceeds the maximum permitted level, thus making them hazardous. Methyl spirit is poisonous and can cause blindness, coma or death.