When you are drunk, your speech may slur, have clumsy movements, energized or sulken attitude. This is because alcohol may go down to your stomach but the euphoric effects go to your brain. It is important to know how alcohol impacts your brain so that you are aware of the dangers and get help as soon as possible.

Alcohol affects the brain chemistry by changing your neurotransmitters which are chemical messengers that move signals through the body that control your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. Your glutamine levels are affected as well which increase brain activity and energy levels. GABA reduces energy levels and calms you down. Alcohol increases those GABA levels, making you sedated and slowing down your thoughts, movements, and speech. Dopamine levels are released which is the reward center of the brain that affects pleasurable activity like being with people you care about. When your dopamine levels are raised, you think you are feeling great and you will do whatever it takes to continue feeling that way, making you drink more and more. What you do not realize is that your brain chemicals are being altered at the same time which enhances depression. You want this dopamine release but you are not really getting it.

Alcohol affects different parts of the brain. One part is the cerebral cortex which controls your thoughts, consciousness, and depresses your inhibitory center. Your information processes slow down and influences your five senses and makes it hard to think clearly. Your cerebellum controls your movement and how you balance which is why your movements tend to look clumsy when you have had too much to drink. Your hypothalamus and pituitary control your automatic brain function and hormone releases. Alcohol depresses the nerve centers in the hypothalamus that control sexual arousal and performance. Your sexual urge may be increased but your performance will be decreased. The medulla is also influenced by alcohol which handles automatic functions like your breathing and body temperature.

The long-term effects of alcohol on the brain is anterograde amnesia where you cannot create memories and retrograde amnesia where you lose recent memories. One of the best parts about living is creating new memories that you can look back on and remember for the rest of your life. By going into treatment, you will learn to remember the harmful effects of alcoholism so that you will not repeat those same mistakes.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.