How Alcohol Works in Your Brain

By Rajeet Singh: For More Info, Go Here…

I’ve studied how many types of drugs work in the brain; MDMAmagic mushrooms, LSD, nicotine, cocaine, to mention a few.

Alcohol is, by far, the most complex of them all in how it reacts with your neural circuitry. This, given that alcohol is also one of the most simply structured drugs in existence.

Just to be clear, a drug is a substance which, when introduced to the body, has some effect on the chemistry of the body or the brain. We’re talking about ethanol here (the alcohol we can drink), which by definition is a psychoactive drug.

When ingested it has a neural effect which results in a change in the users consciousness — you’ll know if you’ve ever had more than 2 drinks.

It’s the drug of choice for the vast majority of the world, nicotine coming in second. The global alcohol industry is worth $1.4 trillion and there are millions of establishments with it as their focal point (just a fancy way of saying the world is full of bars).

Despite how prevalent it is and the fact alcohol’s been used for at least 9,000 years, its exact mechanism in the brain is still unknown, despite extensive testing. Still, we know roughly what it does between our ears, and if you need any proof, go have a drink after this.

Inhibition — GABA

Alcohols main effect. You’ll be familiar how your inhibitions magically fall away the more you drink. This is because alcohol stimulates the brain’s principle inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric-acid).

GABA is like a teacher who goes around all the classrooms telling everyone to shut-up. The more of it you have swimming in your head the less activity occurs in your brain circuits.

Body and Brain Disconnect — NMDA

Alcohol lessens the effectiveness of a neurotransmitter called glutamate at a receptor called NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate).

Just to refresh, a neurotransmitter is type of chemical in the brain which transmits a message. The brain does this by releasing the chemical from one end of a brain cell, where it activates a receptor in another brain cell (like a lock fitting into a key). The activation of that receptor sends a signal to that cell to either light up or quiet down.

Alcohol blocks the NMDA receptor, preventing its neurotransmitter (glutamate) from activating it. NMDA is responsible for quite a few things, among them being the connection between the brain and the spinal column.

This means that blocking the receptor leads to a decrease in connection between your body and your brain, and this is why speech can become slurred, physical movements impaired and walking difficult when you’re drunk.

It also has a disconnecting affect between your consciousness and your senses, decreasing the sensitivity of your nerves (in that less nerve signals get sent to your brain) which lessens pain and further impairs memory.

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