Why Does Alcohol Make Us Drunk?


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Anyone who is in college, whether they are of age or underage, has experienced it. It being the the feeling of intoxication. How many times have we all said "I'll only have one or two drinks tonight". And then by the end of the night we are saying "why did I drink so much tonight?" Whether its just a light buzz or a full on black out from alcohol, truth is alcohol makes us drunk, and in some instances makes us do some stupid and regrettable things. But why does this happen to us? 

drunk2.jpg




As we should all know, there are many different kinds of alcohol in this world, some that if we drank them would kill us. But the kind us humans like to drink is the alcohol ethanol (image of molecule above) which is made up of oxygen, hydrogen and carbon. This particular kind of alcohol is a water soluble, which means it enters the blood stream right away and is carried to the liver and the brain, affecting how we feel physically and mentally. But with that it is also a fat soluble, which means it can access of types of cell membranes that are usually off limits. 


Why do we get things like impaired vision, and slurred speech? Well that answer is still uncertain, but there are several theories as to why. One that seems to be most consistent is that the ethanol molecule attaches its self to the glutamate receptors, which slows down the the transfers of information from the brain to the other body parts. So instead of getting the chemical signals from other parts of the brain, the glutamate receives the ethanol. Along with this the ethanol receptors also combine with the GABA receptors which are used to slow down brain function. Once these are combined it increases the power of the GABA receptors and slows down brain function even more. 


So now even tho I know this, and to all the people who read this, it is interesting to know why we get drunk. Whether it stops us from drinking or not is entirely a different question. 

2 Comments

I really thing the effect on alcohol in people is a very interesting topic to talk about. It important to know how it affects your body and why it is so hard to stop the drinking once you started.
I did some research about it and I also found out that drinking alcohol makes us indulge food. Some researchers have found out that because of the alcohol, food looks more appealing. All of these indulges are caused because alcohol seems to activate the organ that controls our appetite, The Hypothalamus.

This was definitely an interesting topic to research. Its good you picked a topic that connects to your audience. I thought it was really cool to see how alcohol affects people. I was surprised that they still don't know what slurs speech or impairs vision though.

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