ETOH – Ethyl Alcohol – Medical Billing & ICD Codes

ETOH is an acronym for the term ethyl alcohol (EThyl alcOHol). It’s also named ethanol. It is the type of alcohol found in all alcoholic beverages and synonymous with the term ethanol.

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

  • grain alcohol
  • ethyl hydroxide
  • ethyl hydrate

Medical Billing Codes

ICD 10 chart for alcohol

Chemically speaking, ethanol is 2-carbon alcohol—the standard organic chemistry notation of the ethyl group (C2H5) with Et.

  • The scientific formula for Ethanol is C2H5OH.

The medical community uses this abbreviation to refer to someone’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). The current ICD 10 for alcohol abuse is ICD-10-CM.

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 or panic
  • 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. For example, while making wine, 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.

Alcohol is absorbed directly through the stomach walls. The small intestine goes into the bloodstream and travels throughout the body and to the brain. It is then quickly absorbed and detectable within 30 to 70 minutes after a person has had a drink. You can calculate the amount of alcohol in a person’s body by the alcohol’s weight in a specific volume of blood.

  • Car fuel ethanol is like the alcohol in whiskey, except it is almost 100% pure.
  • The alcohol content in alcoholic beverages is 40%.

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 cravings for alcohol, especially after stopping for some time. It is 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. It 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 increases the risk of certain diseases. It can cause permanent damage to the 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 causes permanent brain damage or even death. The toxic effect of alcohol on the central nervous system during withdrawal necessitates professional intervention.

Withdrawal is best in a hospital setting with emergency services available. Consequently, self-medication or going “cold turkey” 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 total capacity. Other factors such as age, health, gender, and psychological status also influence how quickly it takes to detox.