A group of college teens drank grain alcohol and are now passed out

A 2015 survey found that approximately 86.4% of people over the age of 18 in the United States reported as having used alcohol at least once in their lives.

Approximately 15.1 million of these people were reported as having an alcohol use disorder (AUD) as well, showing the grave impact alcohol has on our society. (1)

Here we take a look at one particularly dangerous form of alcohol- grain alcohol.

What is grain alcohol?

Grain alcohol is a form of ethanol (also known as ethyl) alcohol that has been produced by A woman attempts to take a drink of Everclear grain alcoholfermenting sugars from grain.

Over the years, however, the term grain alcohol has been used to refer to purified and high proof forms of alcohol distilled from grain.

Grain alcohol is typically about 95% pure alcohol or 190-proof. (2)

Is grain alcohol legal?

Grain alcohol is illegal in 14 different states in the United States due to the inherent dangers of consuming it.

The states that currently have outlawed grain alcohol include California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Iowa, Michigan, New York, Nevada, Ohio, Washington, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Minnesota.

In states where grain alcohol is legal, Everclear is typically the most popular brand of the alcohol sold. (3)

What makes grain alcohol dangerous?

Grain alcohol has been shown to be incredibly dangerous. It is a odorless, tasteless, and colorless liquid, and therefore when mixed into drinks can be very hard to distinguish from normal proofed alcohol.

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Grain alcohol is particularly common on college campuses, where binge drinking is particularly dangerous. Alcohol poisoning, a serious medical emergency, is much easier to achieve when grain alcohol is consumed. (4)

What are the signs of alcohol poisoning?

Alcohol poisoning is a serious medical condition that can even be fatal at times. Due to the high purity of grain alcohol, alcohol poisoning is much more likely to occur amongst those drinking it.

The following are typical symptoms of alcohol poisoning (5):

  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Slow breathing
  • Irregular breathing
  • Pale or blue-tinged skin
  • Passing out
  • Low body temperature

Final Note

This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.


  1. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-facts-and-statistics
  2. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-grain-alcohol-3987580
  3. https://badgerherald.com/news/2013/11/26/wis-see-ban-everclear-high-proof-alcohol-sales/
  4. https://hub.jhu.edu/2014/02/06/maryland-grain-alcohol-ban/
  5. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alcohol-poisoning/symptoms-causes/syc-20354386