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What heavy drinking does to your brain

Some minutes after you’ve gulped several shots of alcohol, your brain starts playing tricks on you. After having passed through the liver, the alcohol starts circulating in your blood stream and one of the first organs to be affected is the brain. The alcohol basically acts as a sedative, but some parts of the brain seem more susceptible than others and this explains the characteristic changes seen in drinkers.


The first part of the brain to be affected is the frontal lobe - the part that controls our social behavior and suppresses our more primitive instincts. When the frontal lobes shut down, a change in personality is seen. We become less shy become more outgoing after a few drinks.


As more alcohol is consumed, the alcohol attacks the central part of the brain, the part that is responsible for speech, vision, posture and movement. Speeches now become slurry, vision shaky and movements clumsy. By now, your weight shifts to and fro, back and forth even as you sit at your table. Judgment is also seriously impaired and this, combined with the disinhibition, is why driving, after even small amounts of alcohol, is dangerous.  


If consumption is not discontinued, more basic functions are affected. Higher alcohol levels can render the drinker unconscious and cause difficulty in breathing. A serious overdose of alcohol can be, and often is, fatal. Alcohol abuse, over many years can lead to significant brain damage and loss of intellectual capability.


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