Beer Info FAQ

Can You Get Drunk from Stearyl Alcohol?

Stearyl alcohol is a type of fatty alcohol that is commonly used in various industries, including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and even in some food products. However, when it comes to its potential for causing intoxication or drunkenness, there are some important factors to consider.

Overview of Stearyl Alcohol

Stearyl alcohol, also known as octadecyl alcohol, is a waxy substance that is derived from natural sources such as coconut oil or palm oil. It is classified as a fatty alcohol due to its chemical structure, which consists of a long carbon chain with a hydroxyl group (-OH) at one end.

In the context of alcohol, it's important to note that stearyl alcohol is not the same as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, or spirits. The alcohol in these beverages is ethyl alcohol or ethanol, which has psychoactive properties and can cause intoxication when consumed in large quantities.

Stearyl Alcohol and Intoxication

Unlike ethyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol does not possess psychoactive properties and does not have the potential to cause intoxication or drunkenness. This is because stearyl alcohol is not metabolized by the body in the same way as ethyl alcohol.

When consumed, ethyl alcohol is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and affects the central nervous system, leading to the characteristic effects of intoxication. Stearyl alcohol, on the other hand, is primarily used as an emollient or thickening agent in cosmetic and personal care products and is not intended for consumption.


In conclusion, stearyl alcohol does not have the ability to cause intoxication or drunkenness. It is a non-psychoactive substance commonly used in various industries for its emollient and thickening properties. It is important to differentiate between stearyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol, as they have distinct chemical compositions and effects on the body.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can stearyl alcohol be found in alcoholic beverages? A: No, stearyl alcohol is not typically found in alcoholic beverages. Ethyl alcohol or ethanol is the type of alcohol present in alcoholic drinks.

Q: Are there any side effects of consuming stearyl alcohol? A: Stearyl alcohol is generally considered safe for external use in cosmetic and personal care products. However, consuming large quantities of stearyl alcohol is not recommended and may cause digestive discomfort.

Q: Can stearyl alcohol be used as a substitute for ethyl alcohol in recipes? A: No, stearyl alcohol should not be used as a substitute for ethyl alcohol in recipes that require alcoholic beverages. They have different properties and purposes.

Q: Is stearyl alcohol addictive? A: No, stearyl alcohol is not addictive. It does not have the psychoactive properties that can lead to addiction, unlike ethyl alcohol.

Q: Can stearyl alcohol be harmful if ingested accidentally? A: While accidental ingestion of small amounts of stearyl alcohol is unlikely to cause harm, it is always advisable to seek medical attention if any adverse symptoms occur.