n. a substance formed naturally or synthetically by the fermentation of glucose and found in beverages such as beers, wines, and distilled liquors. It is the most frequently used and abused CNS depressant in many cultures. When consumed, it primarily affects the central nervous system, mood, and cognitive functions. In small doses, it can produce feelings of warmth, well-being, and confidence. As more is consumed, there is a gradual loss of self-control, and speech and control of limbs become difficult; at high consumption levels, nausea and vomiting, loss of consciousness, and even fatal respiratory arrest may occur. Ethanol has been mistakenly identified as a stimulant, since its stimulating effect derives from an associated loss of cortical inhibition. Also called ethyl alcohol. See also alcohol.