Ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, is an intoxicating ingredient found in beer, wine, and liquor. Alcohol is produced by the fermentation of yeast, sugars, and starches. It is a central nervous system depressant, absorbed from the stomach and small intestine into the bloodstream. A standard drink equals 0.6 ounces of pure ethanol, or 12 ounces of beer. A standard drink also equals 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine. or 1.5 ounces (a "shot") of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor (e.g., gin, rum, vodka, or whiskey).
Alcohol remains the most troublesome drug of abuse in Iowa. Alcohol consumption, treatment admissions, and involvement with the criminal justice system are all increasing.