You hit the bar, say hi to all your friends, and order a drink.
It’s cool, refreshing, and gone before you know it so you order another then settle in for your evening.
That alcohol is now traveling through your body, headed toward a very porous small intestine. If you haven’t eaten yet, things are going to get interesting quite fast. Without some kind of barrier, that alcohol is now going straight into your bloodstream, and thanks to the speed of the circulatory system, you can prepare to be buzzed . . . or worse.
When you’re drunk, the liver tries to control the influx of alcohol hitting your system by attempting to detox what’s in the bloodstream. The down side to your liver trying to detoxify and metabolize the alcohol in your system is the byproduct it leaves behind called acetaldehyde. This byproduct is toxic to not only your liver but your stomach and brain as well, and is also what you can blame for all the joys a hangover bring—nausea, vomiting, and headaches.
Moving on from your liver, the detoxed alcohol enters your kidneys. At this stage, your body is still trying to remove impurities and discard excess liquid. Guess what, the bad stuff isn’t all that goes … other liquids present in your system also get discharged which is why drunk people often have to go pee constantly. Dehydration starts to set in.
Having fun yet? How about when your hormones get in on the drunk game? Alcohol suppresses the activity in your hypothalamus and pituitary glands, leaving unchecked hormones to result in spiked levels of dopamine running through your brain. Here’s where you hit that “high” and the party really begins.
Not that you’re likely to remember too much past this point.
Alcohol consumption affects the neurotransmitters which control our thoughts, actions, and fine motor skills. Inebriation becomes clear when you start stumbling, a result of your cerebellum reacting to the booze. Thinking clearly, and making sound decisions, is harder to do when your cerebral cortex becomes affected and you’re unable to process the information trying to come from your senses.
Blurry vision. Garbled speech. Whooshing sounds in your ears.
Like any abused substance, there are short term and long term repercussions. Some minor, some life-threatening. Educate yourself. Understand that alcohol breaks down the body from the inside out. Not to mention what it can do to the relationships in your life. If you are struggling with alcohol dependence or alcoholism, you can call on The Last Resort for the information and support you need.