An alcoholic drink (or alcoholic beverage) is a drink that contains ethanol, a type of alcohol produced by fermentation of grains, fruits, or other sources of sugar. Drinking alcohol plays an important social role in many cultures. Most countries have laws regulating the production, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Some countries ban such activities entirely, but alcoholic drinks are legal in most parts of the world. The global alcoholic drink industry exceeded $1 trillion in 2014. Alcohol is a depressant which in low doses causes euphoria, reduced anxiety, and sociability and in higher doses causes drunkenness, stupor, unconsciousness, or death. Long-term use can lead to alcohol abuse, physical dependence, and alcoholism. Alcohol is one of the most widely used recreational drugs in the world. For instance, in 2015, among Americans, 89% of adults had consumed alcohol at some point, 70% had drunk it in the last year, and 56% in the last month. Alcoholic drinks are typically divided into three classes—beers, wines, and spirits—and typically contain between 3% and 50% of alcohol content.
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