Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Tobacco Policy: Appendix E



Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. Low to moderate doses also increase the incidence of aggressive acts, such as spouse and child abuse. Moderate to high doses impair higher mental functions, severely altering the ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses of alcohol can be fatal.

Repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence. Alcohol withdrawal can result in severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions which may be life-threatening. Long-term consumption of large quantities of alcohol, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and liver.

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy may result in fetal alcohol syndrome which causes irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation at birth.

Research indicates that children of alcoholic parents have a greater risk of becoming alcoholics themselves.


The medical uses and health effect of covered by the Federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) are summarized here. The CSA classified controlled substances into five schedules (Roman numeral I – V). based on substance’s potential for abuse, medical use, and risk of dependence. Schedule I and II drugs have the highest potential for abuse, and schedule V drugs have the lowest potential for abuse.