Effects of Alcohol


Alcohol is one of the worlds most used social lubricants, but also one of the most lethal substances on this planet. I hope to, with this information, show you how alcohol effects the brain (the actual organ), what alcohol is, why it effects you and how to spot an addiction to alcohol, as well as how alcohol effects decision making.

There are a lot of things happen to the actual brain (the organ) when one has a drink of alcohol. What I’ll be writing now is how alcohol effects the brain when it enters the blood stream and as you’ll see, this has a large role in how alcohol effects decision making in the long run. I hope also show you the mental harm (as well as lethal outcomes) that an alcohol addiction can cause.

Now, I want to write on how alcohol effects the brain. The first part of your brain to be effected by alcohol is the frontal lobe. At a .05% alcohol level in your blood, your frontal lobe is effected. The frontal lobe is responsible for judgment and reasoning (which I’ll get to in a little bit). At .1 – .15%, the alcohol travels to your midbrain, where muscle coordination, vision, and speech are controlled. An alcoholic who drinks to this point tends to sway, slur their speech, and has very bad visual coordination (do not drive at all). After this point, the alcohol moves toward your Pons and Medulla Oblongota (two parts in the center part of your brain) where your respiratory system and cardiac system are effected. Hopefully, by this time, your body has shut down and you pass out before the alcohol becomes a lethal poison in your body.

It’s important that you know what you are putting into your body and why alcohol does what it does. Understanding this aids in your knowledge of how alcohol effects decision making, and the amount of alcohol you will allow into your body from this point forward.

Alcohol is a narcotic. A narcotic can be defined as a drug that dulls or depresses the senses. Narcotics such as alcohol can be very prone to addiction, especially if they are legal after a certain age. Like all narcotics, alcohol deadens pain and relieves anxiety. This is another reason it can be an addiction before you even know it. There are many ways you can find out if you have an addiction to alcohol. The best way to find out is by noting if you can cope with problems without the use of alcohol. If you cannot, it is a serious issue, and you might need to seek help before you become a serious alcoholic. Becoming an alcoholic has serious repercussions in how alcohol effects decision making as well as your brain health.

The judgment of an alcoholic is severely distorted by their addiction, as well as the alcohol itself deadening and depressing the nerves inside of the brain. This leads me into my last point, which is how alcohol effects judgment.

So do you want to know how alcohol effects decision making? Take for example those hidden urges that you have to suppress. Every single person has them. What allows you to stop yourself from acting upon these otherwise socially unacceptable, yet natural urges are called “inhibitory nerves.” Since alcohol is a depressant, these nerves are depressed, allowing you to appear more brave, when all you are is acting on urges that are already there. This is not safe when you decide to drive, or your friends dare you to do something. Since alcohol also inhibits the sympathetic nervous system. This nervous system gives you the “fight or flight” sense, which would normally cause you to become more cautious of a situation.

What I have just given you is information on how alcohol effects decision making, mental awareness and reason, as well as what alcohol is as a drug, and how to spot an alcoholic addiction. If you have a chemical in your body that inhibits the nerves that help you suppress the dormant urges that you have, and you begin to lose your judgment because your frontal lobe (where reason lives), do you think that you’re going to make great decisions? I would venture to say “No.” And that is how alcohol effects decision making.