How Does Alcohol Affect the Brain?

Topics: Cerebrum, Alcoholism, Alcoholic beverage Pages: 4 (1173 words) Published: March 3, 2008
"How Does Alcohol Affect the Brain?"
Alcoholism is characterized by the addiction to alcohol that is out of the drinker's control. Not being able to stop using alcohol can cause severe physical, mental, emotional and spiritual consequences. Alcoholism is a chronic progressive disease that can be fatal if left untreated. In reality people drink for many reasons such as; it helps them relax, gives them confidence, helps them sleep, helps reduce anxiety, stops them from worrying about things, deal with stress, deal with panic attacks, because they are depressed, because they are dependant on it, even to counter-act withdrawal symptoms. With these reasons people use alcohol to self medicate, but what they don't know is that in reality it makes all of the symptoms worse. In the short term effect it may increase confidence, be relaxing and reduce anxiety or worries, but in the long term alcohol actually has the opposite effect by having people who drink heavily for a period of time usually experiencing an increase in anxiety and may also get panic attacks. A study conducted in the Netherlands among 15 to 25 year-olds found these as the common answers to why people drink alcohol"… Sociability (71%)

Like the taste (51%)
Feel at ease (12%)
Get intoxicated (6%)
Get drunk (2%)
Because everybody does it (6%)
To forget problems (0%)

It is common knowledge that after a few alcoholic drinks someone may become unstable on their feet, they may begin to slur their speech, and we know it's unsafe to drive a car in such a condition. But what really goes on inside our brain when we consume alcohol that causes such effects? Once alcohol has reached the brain it can have quite a significant effect on how the brain functions. The more alcohol consumed, the further it goes into the brain, causing worse effects. A study examining thirteen (13) areas of the brain (frontal lobe, parietal lobe, temporal lobe, occipital lobe, basal ganglia, thalamus, limbic system,...
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