EtOH is a scientific way to reference alcohol. The abbreviation comes from the intoxicating ingredient in alcoholic beverages called ethanol.
Ethanol is found in beer, wine and liquor. (It’s also used in industrial chemicals like paint and car gasoline).
“Et” refers to the ethyl group and “OH” refers to the hydroxyl at the end. (Pretty fancy stuff).
What does EtOH stand for in medical terms?
The word “alcohol” can be substituted for EtOH when used in medical terminology, like on a hospital bill.
Here are a few examples:
- Etoh withdrawal: Alcohol withdrawal is symptoms that occur when someone stops alcohol after a period of heavy drinking.
- Etoh use: Alcohol use means a person has or does drink alcohol. It does not necessarily mean problem drinking.
- Etoh intoxication: Alcohol intoxication is a disturbance in behavior or mental function during or after drinking alcohol.
- Etoh cirrhosis: Alcoholic cirrhosis is an advanced stage of alcoholic liver disease where the liver is stiff, swollen and barely able to do its job.
- Etoh abuse: Alcohol abuse is a chronic disease characterized by uncontrolled drinking and preoccupation with alcohol.
- Etoh test: Determines if alcohol was consumed by looking for ethanol in the breath, urine, blood, saliva or hair.
What is ethanol abuse?
Ethanol in this case just means alcohol. So, ethanol abuse means struggling with problem drinking.
Is ethyl alcohol the same as ethanol?
Ethyl alcohol, Ethanol, EtOH and grain alcohol all mean alcohol. Chemists use these words interchangeably to mean drinking alcohol (as opposed to toxic alcohols like rubbing alcohol).
Ethanol is also used as a fuel and chemical additive. Manufacturers use a process called denaturing to make ethanol undrinkable.
Is ethanol toxic?
Yes. Drinking too much alcohol or even drinking a small amount of pure alcohol can lead directly to coma and death. More commonly, the toxicity of chronic alcohol drinking causes permanent damage to the body like liver diseases.
Sadly, alcohol-related deaths are increasing in the U.S., but I am living proof you can get your health (and your life) back on track.
JourneyPure.com doctors follow rigorous sourcing guidelines and cite only trustworthy sources of information, including peer-reviewed journals, count records, academic organizations, highly regarded nonprofit organizations, government reports and their own expertise with decades in the fields and their own personal recovery.
Aaron White, PhD, I-Jen P. Castle, PhD, Ralph Hingson, ScD, Patricia Powell, PhD. Using death certificates to explore changes in alcohol-related mortality in the United States, 1999–2017 Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Published online January 8, 2020.
LaHood AJ, Kok SJ. Ethanol Toxicity. [Updated 2020 Apr 17]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557381/
National Center for Biotechnology Information (2021). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 702, Ethanol. Retrieved April 28, 2021 from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Ethanol.
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