What Really Happens to Your Brain When You’re Drunk?

greensboro NC drug and alcohol treatment centerMany people think drinking to the point of being drunk is a great way to relax, forget about their troubles, or to just have a good time. They think alcohol is being used in a way that seems harmless. However, intoxication is dangerous. It can also do damage to various parts of your body. Searching for a Greensboro NC drug and alcohol treatment center you can trust in 2018? Let Legacy help you. Call now.

Would you believe that once alcohol hits your body, it starts to be processed like a drug? Depending on how much you drink and how quickly you do it, there could be numerous effects on your body. Most of the time, drugs actually have precise and typical effects. Alcohol isn't that way.

So what really happens to your body when you get drunk? Alcohol is a depressant for your central nervous system. Brain cells begin to communicate slower than normal. In addition, the limbic system of your brain is affected. This is the part of the brain that controls emotions. This means fear, anxiety, sadness and other emotions are out of control. It's hard to know which emotion will be affected first and if more than one will be.

Because your limbic system is functioning at a lower rate, inhibitions are thrown out the window. Some people become more social and outgoing. Your prefrontal cortex is affected, as well. This is the area of your brain that houses your judgment and reasoning. As you drink, this region works less and less. This can cause poor judgment and impulsive behavior.

According to mercola.com, "At lower doses your body can still function under the influence of alcohol, but as the dose increases, so too do its effects. As you drink more, your behavior and judgment will become increasingly uninhibited, and your cerebellum, which plays a role in muscle activity, will also be impacted. This is why, as you become more inebriated, you may lose your balance, feel dizzy and definitely shouldn't attempt to drive. At high doses, the neurons in your brain that control your heart rate and breathing may slow down their communication to the point that your breathing stops completely, leading to death."

Below, you'll find other ways that alcohol can affect your brain when you're drunk.

  • When alcohol is consumed, it causes adrenaline to be released from the adrenal glands. Through the bloodstream, adrenaline is carried to your brain. Then, because of this process, alcohol acts as a stimulant.
  • The area of your brain that houses dopamine systems becomes compromised upon intoxication. It even does so when a small amount of alcohol is consumed.
  • Your dopamine system is also compromised when other substances are abused, but alcohol directly affects it. Again, it acts like a stimulant.
  • Norepinephrine is increased when alcohol hits your system. This brain chemical is what helps your body perceive it as a stimulant rather than just a depressant.  It is one of the main reasons that your body perceives alcohol as a stimulant instead of just a depressant.
  • When you are drunk, you may have memory issues, slurred speech, the inability to walk straight, and decreased motor skills. This happens because the glutamate system is affected by the excessive consumption of alcohol.
  • Endorphins are released after a rigorous workout. They make people happy. Unfortunately, alcohol affects your endorphins in a way that is similar to using opiates. It acts like a pain reliever. It also gives you the drunk feeling.
  • Your GABA system is affected when alcohol is consumed. This gives you a feeling of drowsiness and relaxation. It is very similar to how you may feel when taking a Valium or other type of sedative-like drug.
  • Though alcohol affects your dopamine system, it doesn't technically increase dopamine directly. It does, however, affect the overall area. Because this is the area of your brain that recognizes reward, alcohol abuse is heightened.

Unfortunately, drinking to the point of drunkenness has become more popular in recent years. It's something that is even causing deaths.

greensboro NC drug and alcohol treatment centerThe Washington Post states that "In recent years, public health experts have focused extensively on overdose deaths from heroin and prescription painkillers, which have risen rapidly since the early 2000s. But in 2014, more people died from alcohol-induced causes (30,722) than from overdoses of prescription painkillers and heroin combined (28,647), according to the CDC."

We hope this information helps you understand how being drunk affects your brain. It's something that can be dangerous and sometimes fatal. Please be sure to share this article with those you might think would benefit from it, as well.

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