Addiction lives in your brain circuitry, and if you’re addicted, it doesn’t mean you’re weak or bad at willpower.
Addictive substances like alcohol activate pleasure receptors in your brain, and the more often you switch on your pleasure pathways, the less pleasure you feel over time.
So, your brain will crave stronger and stronger stimuli, until your brain grows accustomed to the stimulus after so much repetition. Thus, over time you’re so used to it that you have to have your fix to function.
It’s pretty natural that alcohol probably isn’t the best thing for us, and it’s best to seriously look at the research. Many of these researches report or suggest that drinking in moderation equals 1 drink a day for women and 2 per day for men.
Effects Of Alcohol To Our Mind And Body
When you drink alcohol initially, it triggers the release of endorphins which are chemicals that produce feelings of pleasure. However, alcohol also does other things to you.
- A hangover is caused by several factors like dehydration, coupled with the fact that alcohol upsets your stomach lining and opens up blood vessels which lead to a greater chance of a headache, and less sleep after a night of drinking.
- Dulled senses,
- lack of coordination,
- slurred speech,
- blurry vision,
- poor balance,
- nausea, and
- Bad sleep.
Furthermore, the lowered inhibitions can lead to making dumb decisions such as smoking which is bad for your body as well. You can also do really dumb stuff like driving when you shouldn’t, which puts not only yourself at physical risk but others as well.
Long-term effects of alcohol on your body include:
- stomach ulcers,
- immune system deficiencies,
- nerve damage,
- liver disease,
- damage to the heart muscle,
- vitamin deficiencies and
- Other cardiovascular issues.
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, and when you drink alcohol, you may feel more social and talkative. Yes, it’s true that many people become more vocal and outgoing while drinking alcohol.
The depressive effects of alcohol can be seen when people drink too much and as a result, suffer from slurred speech. The pleasing feeling many people get when they drink alcohol is due to the effect it has on the dopamine site in the brain.
However, this is short-lived, and when someone continues to drink their short-term memory becomes impaired.
Drinking too much may lead to a “blackout” which is not being able to remember what happened. Thus, alcohol’s short-term effects on the mind are short-term memory impairment and blurry thinking.
Alcohol also loosens inhibitions and of course, there could be potential consequences of that.
There are long terms effects of alcohol to the brain, like developing deficits in brain functioning.
Long-term drinking can alter your brain’s hard-wired ability to think, which you may not be able to recover from even if you have stopped drinking.
In other words, it can cause permanent damage to your brain, and the brains of long-term drinkers can also diminish in size.
This is not meant to scare you, and it’s important to remember that not all of the effects of alcohol on the mind, both short-term, and long-term, are known. There are areas that are still being studied.