An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol,
commonly known as alcohol. Ethanol is a psychoactive drug, with a
depressant effect. Significant blood alcohol content may be
considered legal drunkenness as it reduces attention and slows
reaction speed. Ethanol being a psychoactive drug, with a
depressant effect, many societies regulate or restrict its sale and
Alcohol has been widely consumed since prehistoric times by
people around the world, as a component of the standard diet, for
hygienic or medical reasons, for its relaxant and euphoric effects, for
recreational purposes, for artistic inspiration, as aphrodisiacs, and for
other reasons. Some drinks have been invested with symbolic or
religious significance suggesting the mystical use of alcohol.
However Alcoholic beverages can be addictive and the state of
addiction to ethanol is known as alcoholism.