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Effects of Alcohol on the Brain

Uploaded by harsh_way on May 15, 2005

Almost everyone has tried alcohol at some stage, and many also use it as a regular basis in parties and other special occasions. When a small amount of alcohol is consumed, it stimulates the appetite and makes it easier for people to produce conversations and it also gives relaxation and good feelings. However excessive drinking can cause serious negative effects. Some of the negative effects are that the individual will start to talk loudly, make inappropriate statements, act aggressively and even pass out. The effect of alcohol on the brain is what causes all these noticeable changes in human behavior. Alcohol has the most noticeable effect on the brain. Alcohol acts like a sedative, which means you feel soothing and relaxing effects. This could make someone feel more relaxed, and end up making fools of themselves and doing things that they later regret. Alcohol blocks the messages going to your brain, and alters your perceptions and emotions, vision, hearing, and coordination.

When an individual consumes alcohol through the mouth, it firstly acts as an irritant and then an anesthetic. The stomach and intestinal lining absorbs the alcohol molecules, which are soluble in blood and carry them to the liver. While the liver metabolizes the alcohol the un-metabolized alcohol travels throughout the body. Since the alcohol molecules are very small, they will reach every cell in the body. Alcohol then depressed the functions of the body cells and the organs. The most sensitive organ to alcohol is the brain.

The psychoactive ingredient in alcohol in ethanol. Like all the other psychoactive ingredients, ethanol affects the neurotransmitters which are chemical messengers that are manufactured in your brain by neurons and that influence your behavior, thoughts, and feelings. Molecules of all psychoactive substances are able to affect our thinking and behavior because they can cross the blood-brain barrier which is a shield of tiny capillaries in the brain that protects brain cells by screening out many potentially harmful substances.

Alcohol affects many different portions of the brain. The first portion is the cerebral cortex. This part is the outermost layer which is responsible for coordinating sensation, perception, speech and judgment. When alcohol affects this portion of the brain the individual experiences slurred speech and misjudgments in thinking.

The second portion of the brain affected by alcohol is the cerebellum, which is located at the back of the skull. This part is responsible for...

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Uploaded by:   harsh_way

Date:   05/15/2005

Category:   Psychology

Length:   4 pages (946 words)

Views:   5148

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