ETOH – Ethyl Alcohol – Medical Billing & ICD Codes

types of alcohol etoh



ETOH is an acronym for the term ethyl alcohol (EThyl alcOHol). Ethyl alcohol is also referred to as ethanol. It is the type of alcohol found in all alcoholic beverages.

  • It is synonymous with the term ethanol.

It is a clear liquid absorbed into the body normally by simply drinking an alcoholic beverage. It is also known as;

  • grain alcohol
  • ethyl hydroxide
  • ethyl hydrate

Medical Billing Codes

  • ICD codes
  • CDC’s information
  • Additional ICD-10-CM source

From the DSM – 5 catalog. page 461

ICD 10 chart for alcohol

Medical Abbreviation for Ethanol

Ethanol is synonymous with the term ethyl alcohol and alcohol. Chemically speaking, ethanol is a 2-carbon alcohol. The common organic chemistry notation of the ethyl group (C2H5) with Et.

  • The scientific formula for Ethanol is (C2H5OH, ethyl alcohol).

This abbreviation is most commonly used in the medical community, as a way of referring to someone’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). The current ICD 10 for alcohol abuse can be found here  ICD-10-CM. Blood Alcohol Concentration is often abbreviated as BAC.

For medical billing, to accurately use the ICD code for alcohol abuse, patients must exhibit two or more of the following symptoms:

  • Visible hand tremors
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Psychomotor agitation
  • Transient visual, tactile or auditory hallucinations
  • Anxiety/panic
  • Tonic-clonic seizures (grand mal seizures)
  • Impaired consciousness & attention

A process using yeast produces the alcohol in alcoholic beverages. Yeast “eats” sugar, or starch, and turns it into carbon dioxide and alcohol. While making wine, for example, the yeast eats the sugar found in the grape’s juice and converts it into alcohol. In the manufacturing of whiskey, it is a distillation process using yeast and various types of grains.


Blood Alcohol Concentration

Alcohol is absorbed directly through the walls of the stomach and small intestine, goes into the bloodstream, and travels throughout the body and to the brain. Then, it is quickly absorbed and can be measured within 30 to 70 minutes after a person has had a drink. The amount of alcohol in a person’s body is measured by the weight of the alcohol in a certain volume of blood. This is called the blood alcohol concentration, or “BAC.”

  • Quantity of alcohol
  • Body weight
  • Food Intake
  • How quick was it consumed
  • Type of mixer used

As a car fuel ethanol is like the alcohol in whiskey, accept it has been processed to be almost 100% pure. The alcohol content in alcoholic beverages is 40%. Ethanol is a by-product of the metabolic process of yeast. Therefore, ethanol will be present in any yeast.

Ethanol as car fuel is like the alcohol in whiskey, accept it has been processed to be almost 100% pure.  It is a byproduct of the metabolic process of yeast. Therefore, ethanol will be present in any yeast.

Alcohol is a powerful depressant and psychoactive drug. It has a profound effect on the nervous system and brain, impacting behavior, moods and thoughts. Some people tend to become less inhibited, and exercise poor judgment.

Alcohol abuse, also known as misuse, is a treatable condition characterized by the cravings for alcohol, especially after stopping for some period of time. It can be defined as the habit of continuing to drink to the detriment of one’s health, career, relationships and capacity to work.

Nearly 18 million adults in the U.S. meet the criteria for alcohol misuse. This means that their drinking causes distress and harm. It is the continuation of drinking despite the consequences.

Criteria of Alcohol Misuse

  • Cravings
  • Loss of control
  • Physical withdrawal symptoms
  • Increased tolerance

Heavy drinking will increase the risk of certain diseases. It can cause permanent damage to brain, liver, heart and other organs. Drinking during pregnancy may cause fetal alcohol syndrome. Studies have proven using alcohol increases the risk of auto accidents, physical injuries and suicide.


Failure to medically manage alcohol withdrawal syndrome has been known to cause permanent brain damage or even death. The toxic effect of alcohol dependency on the central nervous system during withdrawal necessitates professional intervention. Withdrawal is best done in a hospital setting with emergency services available. Consequently, self-medication or going “cold turkey” to try to beat an addiction to alcohol is not condoned by any medical professional. Seeking treatment at an alcohol rehabilitation center is the best method for dealing with withdrawal and beginning recovery.

Early alcohol withdrawal symptoms generally begin about six to 12 hours after the last drink. These symptoms include headache, excessive perspiration, nausea, body aches and nervousness. Progression into clinical withdrawal depends on the levels and if the liver is still functioning at full capacity. Other factors such as age, health, gender and psychological status also influence how quickly detoxing will take.