Stronger is not always better. This is the truth when it comes to harmful substances such as alcohol. Many times, people who consume alcohol seek more potent drinks to continuously challenge themselves and their egos – after all, being able to drink a massive amount of alcohol used to be a measure of “masculinity” in the old days.
What is unfortunate, however, is that this archaic way of thinking is still being practiced especially when it comes to college students and young adults. This is the reason why drinking games are so common as forms of entertainment designed to test a person’s tolerance level.
While beer and cocktails are commonly consumed by college students, stronger alcohol drinks are becoming more popular. One of these drinks is grain alcohol or more popularly known by the brand name Everclear.
Presently, the term grain alcohol is being used to refer to a purified form of ethanol or ethyl alcohol produced by distillation of fermented grain. Grain alcohol is colorless, odorless, flammable, and volatile. It is supposed to be tasteless but some say it has a harsh chemical aftertaste. If you drink it straight from the bottle, it can also taste like battery acid. It is usually bottled with 75.5% alcohol by volume (151-proof) and 95% alcohol by volume (190-proof)
Aside from its superior strength, another reason many college students prefer Everclear is because they mistakenly think that they are getting a great deal. Because the alcohol by volume or ABV of Everclear is 95%, they think that they can get drunk easily without spending too much money. However, not many realize the dangers associated with drinking Everclear or grain alcohol.
Physical and Mental Impairment
If you are not used to drinking alcoholic drinks, this means your tolerance to alcohol is low. Therefore, when you drink grain alcohol, the effects will hit you much sooner than you would expect.
Consuming grain alcohol can cause you to lose control physically and mentally. Common side effects of alcohol intoxication include loss of coordination, passing out, lack of judgment, rash decision making, and more. These effects can cause you to engage or do things that you may regret the next morning.
There have also been reports that grain alcohol is being used as a date rape drug because if it is mixed with cocktails, it can be very hard to detect it.
When you had a glass of wine or a bottle of beer, you might be able to argue that you’re sober enough to drive. The reality, however, is that whether you can drive or not really depends on how big the glass of wine is or whether you were drinking craft beer with high ABV.
The thing with grain alcohol is that even drinking just one serving of Everclear can seriously affect your mental faculties. If you decide to drive a vehicle, this could result in motor vehicle accidents, which will not only endanger yourself but also other people around you.
Keep in mind that grain alcohol is much, much stronger than the common hard drinks like vodka and tequila which normally have only 40% alcohol by volume or 80-proof. Do the math. Everclear has 95% ABV so that’s twice more than those two drinks.
What this means is that one shot of Everclear or grain alcohol is equivalent to approximately 2.5 servings of most hard liquors. This amount of alcohol places extreme strain on the liver and can lead to serious liver disease.
Drinking Everclear can lead to brain damage because it is a central nervous system depressant. Grain alcohol is also considered as a neurotoxin, meaning it is a toxin that can damage or destroy the nerve tissues.
Alcohol Poisoning / Death
Drinking grain alcohol can rapidly result in alcohol poisoning. This is because many people drinking grain alcohol are unaware that even just a small quantity of the drink can quickly raise blood alcohol levels. If not addressed immediately, alcohol poisoning could lead to death.
Due to its toxicity, the 190-proof version of grain alcohol is considered illegal in many U.S states including California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Washington.
To put it simply, drinking shots of Everclear can kill you. So, NO, it is not a good idea to use this as a tequila alternative when doing body shots or mixing cocktails. If you still want to wake up the next morning, steer away from grain alcohol.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, help is available.
Contact Anaheim Lighthouse today.