Alcohol is classified as a depressant because it slows down the release of neurochemicals that inhibit certain behaviors. The subjective feelings associated with alcohol intoxication are due to its effects on the brain and central nervous system but that system also controls our behaviors. The depression of certain neurotransmitters often reduces reflex time and reduces general inhibitions.
The digestive system is also strongly affected by alcohol consumption. Alcohol is absorbed almost entirely by the small intestine, from where the alcohol seeps into the blood. The liver is strongly affected by the absorption of alcohol and is in fact the main organ responsible for metabolizing alcohol. When too much alcohol is consumed, the liver becomes overtaxed and cannot filter the toxins from the body as fast as it normally can. Over the long-term, the liver can become permanently damaged from too much alcohol consumption.
The heart and circulatory system are also affected by alcohol consumption.
Moderate consumption of alcohol can actually be good for the heart over time, reducing plaque buildup in the arteries and also preventing blood clots, thereby reducing the possibility for stroke (Boggan). However, too much alcohol can cause high blood pressure and other heart problems.
The kidney is responsible for electrolyte balances and fluid processing and so it is also affected by alcohol consumption, which can lead to dehydration. Finally, the endocrine system and the bodys hormonal balance is affected by alcohol.
4. I do not believe I am at risk for alcoholism because I always drink responsibly. When I drink, I rarely get drunk and the times I do get drunk are unpleasant enough to prevent me from overdoing it in the future.
Alcohol Absorption, Distribution, and Elimination.” California DUI Help. Retrieved Feb 23, 2008 at http://www.californiaduihelp.com/dui_investigation/alcohol.asp
Boggan, Bill. “Alcohol Chemistry and You.” Kennesaw State University, 2003..