How does alcohol affect the brain? The human brain is perhaps the most complex part of the body. Alcohol abuse can adversely affect its performance. While these effects aren’t usually seen after just one drink, binge drinking can have an immediate effect.
If you’ve seen someone drinking large amounts of alcohol, you’ve probably seen how it affects a person. Slurred speech, stumbling, and poor judgment are all signs of alcohol interfering with the brain’s processes. Below is an in-depth look at how alcohol affects different areas of your brain.
How Does Alcohol Affect the Brain After Heavy Drinking?
Alcohol affects the neurotransmitters in your brain. These transmitters are responsible for sending chemical signals throughout your body. Those signals are what control emotions and motor skills.
Illicit substances typically have one or two effects on your brain. They either speed up signal transmissions or slow them down. Without a doubt, alcohol slows that process down, which accounts for the sluggish movements and delayed reaction time. This is very different from the effects of stimulants, which speed up signals.
How Does Alcohol Affect the Brain: The Cerebral Cortex
The cerebral cortex processes thoughts and consciousness. Alcohol slows down this area of the brain, making a person feel less inhibited. It also slows down the processing of information to your mouth, eyes, and ears. When alcohol affects this area of the brain, it makes it difficult to think clearly.
How Does Alcohol Affect the Brain: The Cerebellum
The cerebellum processes balance and movement. When alcohol starts to affect the cerebellum, you begin to stagger. It’s not uncommon for people to fall over after losing their balance. This is where the term “falling down drunk” comes from.
How Does Alcohol Affect the Brain: The Medulla
The medulla handles consciousness, body temperature, and breathing. Drinking too much causes signals from the medulla to slow down, resulting in slower breathing. When alcohol affects this area of the brain, people typically become sleepy. In some cases, however, alcohol’s effects on the medulla are life-threatening.
How Does Alcohol Affect the Brain: The Hypothalamus
The hypothalamus is responsible for hormone release. This is why people often become more emotional while drinking, and why it sometimes causes an increase in sexual urges. Pair this with not being able to think clearly, and it’s easy to see why alcohol abuse puts people in bad situations.
The Hills Treatment Center Can Help You or a Loved One With Alcoholism
Alcoholism can cause numerous long-term physical and mental health problems. At The Hills Treatment Center in Los Angeles, California, we put our clients’ needs first. We offer a number of treatment programs, including alcohol abuse treatment. We pride ourselves on creating unique plans that promote life-long sobriety.
Some of the features that make The Hills Treatment Center stand out from other facilities include:
- Our beautiful, centralized location
- Nutritious snacks
- Random and regular drug testing
- Private and semi-private rooms
- Weekly house meetings
- Satellite TV
- Wireless Internet
Don’t let an alcohol addiction run your life anymore. Get the help that you deserve at The Hills Treatment Center. Contact us today for more information at 866-323-4665.