No matter how you slice it, when you abuse alcohol you have to face the inevitable backlash that your body and mind will unleash.
We know what can happen; hangovers, bad behavior and the negative consequences that come with that behavior and not to mention the potential for serious health issues down the road. How can a genre of beverage such as alcohol have the potential to cause such harm?
What happens to you when you get drunk?
Through the wonders of science, we have the answers.
This is Your Body on Alcohol
When you get drunk on alcohol, it travels from the esophagus down your stomach and then to the small intestine. Once it hits the small intestine, this is where things get interesting.
The walls of the small intestine are porous. If the alcohol that has been drunk is not absorbed by any stray food remnants that may be lingering in the intestine or stomach, it will enter the blood stream. Because of the speed in which the circulatory system operates, if you have consumed more than your share of alcohol you will feel the effects pretty quickly.
Because of the dramatic influx of alcohol in your system when get drunk, your liver tries to stem the tide by trying to detoxify the alcohol that is in the bloodstream. While the liver is trying to do a good thing in trying to detoxify and metabolize the alcohol that is in your system, it leaves behind a nasty byproduct called acetaldehyde.
Acetaldehyde is toxic to your liver, stomach and your brain and is the reason that you feel the nasty effects of a hangover which include nausea, vomiting and headaches.
The now detoxed alcohol enters your kidneys and will aid the liver in discharging the bounty of liquid to the bladder. However, it trying to help get rid of the bad stuff, it will discharge other liquids that are present in your system–that is why people who get drunk often have to go pee constantly and it is the reason why people feel dehydrated.
This Is Your Brain on Alcohol
The effects of alcohol when you get drunk also causes significant changes in our brains and how it functions. Alcohol does a number on neurotransmitters that control our actions, thoughts and motor skills.
There are a number of regions of our brain that are significantly affected when we have too much to drink. For example, alcohol effects the cerebellum, which is responsible for our center of balance and movement. When you drink to excess, you will stumble and fall over yourself.
Alcohol also affects the functioning of the cerebral cortex, and when you get drunk you are unable to think clearly, operate with less inhibition and are unable to process incoming information that is coming from your eyes, ears and other sensory points.
When you get drunk, alcohol also suppress the activity in your hypothalamus and pituitary gland which control the release of hormones. Without control, these hormones will run wild and the levels of dopamine running through your brain will spike.
That explains why you like drinking and why you like to get it on with that hot guy or girl after you have tipped back a few. However, since alcohol depresses your motor functions, it is highly unlikely that you would be able to seal the deal.
Whether it is the effect of a night out on the town or over a long period of time, the effects of alcohol on the body when you drink to excess are significant and potentially life-threatening.
They say that knowledge is power, and knowing exactly what alcohol does to your body and brain can make you think twice about your drinking habits, or you may think about getting help. If you are struggling with alcohol dependence of alcoholism, you can turn to Sober Nation for the information, resources and support your need.