Effects of Alcohol on the Body and the Brain

Daily alcohol use affects various internal organs and systems, causing painful symptoms that could lead to long-term consequences. Because alcohol can cause such problems, the citizens and government leaders in the United States decided that kids shouldn’t be allowed to buy or use alcohol. By setting the drinking age at 21, they hope older people will be able to make good decisions about alcohol. For instance, they don’t want people to drink alcohol and drive cars because that’s how many accidents occur. When people drink too much, they might do or say things they don’t mean. They might hurt themselves or other people, especially if they drive a car.

Some of the most serious effects on the body of drinking alcoholic drinks are caused by damage done to the liver by alcohol. If alcohol effects of alcohol on the body is frequently in the blood in large amounts, it causes the liver cells to die and prevents the liver from working efficiently.


Drinking can increase your desire for intercourse, as well as the confidence that you have in your sexual partners. Another classic finding of alcohol intoxication is ataxia, in its https://ecosoberhouse.com/ appendicular, gait, and truncal forms. Appendicular ataxia results in jerky, uncoordinated movements of the limbs, as if each muscle were working independently from the others.

The parietal lobe, which processes sensory information, is also affected. You may have a loss of fine motor skills and a slower reaction time. This stage is often marked by mood swings, impaired judgment, and even nausea or vomiting. As the body adapts to the presence of the drug, dependency and addiction can result. If consumption stops suddenly, the person may experience withdrawal symptoms. Over time, the brain will start requiring higher levels of alcohol to reach the same level of intoxication; this typically leads to even more drinking. Chemical changes will begin to take place in the brain as it starts becoming more and more reliant on alcohol to get the neurotransmitters going.

Myths About Drinking

In the case of a generally healthy person, if alcohol is taken infrequently or only in moderate amounts, any damaged liver tissue has time to repair itself. Low doses of alcohol (one 360 mL (13 imp fl oz; 12 US fl oz) beer) appear to increase total sleep time and reduce awakening during the night. The sleep-promoting benefits of alcohol dissipate at moderate and higher doses of alcohol. Previous experience with alcohol also influences the extent to which alcohol positively or negatively affects sleep. Under free-choice conditions, in which subjects chose between drinking alcohol or water, inexperienced drinkers were sedated while experienced drinkers were stimulated following alcohol consumption. In insomniacs, moderate doses of alcohol improve sleep maintenance.

Why does being drunk feel good?

When the concentration of alcohol begins to increase in your bloodstream, you'll start to feel good. You might feel happy, more social and confident, and less inhibited. This is because alcohol stimulates the release of dopamine and serotonin, which are rightfully referred to as your “feel good” hormones.

When individuals binge drink, the liver can’t process the toxins quick enough and the excess alcohol enters the bloodstream, causing users to feel intoxicated. Repeated heavy drinking can damage the organ and result in cirrhosis, which is scarring of the liver. Alcohol also affects the communication between the brain and the eyes. As a result, this can cause double vision, a condition where the brain slows down the rate at which its visual system synchronizes information from the two eyes. The problem of double vision and delayed adjustment to changes in light make it extremely dangerous to drive while intoxicated. Moreover, excessive alcohol abuse can weaken eye muscles, alter peripheral vision, and the ability to distinguish between colors. In rarer cases, alcoholism can cause blindness brought on by optic nerve damage.

Alcohol-induced mental health conditions

The pancreas helps regulate how your body uses insulin and responds to glucose. If your pancreas and liver don’t function properly due to pancreatitis or liver disease, you could experience low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. Past guidance around alcohol use generally suggests a daily drink poses little risk of negative health effects — and might even offer a few health benefits. Many people assume the occasional beer or glass of wine at mealtimes or special occasions doesn’t pose much cause for concern. But drinking any amount of alcohol can potentially lead to unwanted health consequences.

  • The first is that, because alcohol is a liquid, its consumption increases the ratio of fluid to particles inside your body.
  • Inflammation is the process the body uses to recruit cells from the bloodstream to heal damage, whether it be mechanical or infective.
  • Heavy drinkers are at risk of harmful, potentially life-threatening liver problems.
  • If these figures are extrapolated it shows that the estimated number of patients with alcohol related injuries are over 7,000 during the year at this emergency department alone.
  • The immediate effect of alcohol depends on the drinker’s blood alcohol concentration .