Alcohol consumption can cause changes in the architecture and function of the growing brain, which continues to develop into an individual's mid 20s, and it may have repercussions reaching far beyond teenage years.
In adolescence, brain development is characterized by remarkable modifications to the brain's architecture, neural connections ("electrical wiring"), and physiology. These transformations in the brain affect everything from developing sexuality to emotionality and cognitive ability.
Not all parts of the adolescent brain mature at the same time, which may put an adolescent at a disadvantage in specific circumstances. The limbic regions of the brain develop sooner than the frontal lobes.
Ways Alcohol Disturbs the Human Brain Alcohol disturbs a juvenile's brain development in many ways. The consequences of adolescent alcohol consumption on specific brain activities are discussed below. Alcohol is a central nervous system sedative drug. Alcohol can appear to be a stimulant because, before anything else, it suppresses the portion of the human brain that governs inhibitions.
CORTEX-- Alcohol slows down the cerebral cortex as it processes information from a person's senses.
CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM-- When a person thinks of something he desires his body to undertake, the central nervous system-- the brain and the spinal cord-- sends out a signal to that portion of the physical body. Alcohol slows down the central nervous system, making the individual think, converse, and move more slowly.
FRONTAL LOBES -- The human brain's frontal lobes are very important for organizing, forming ideas, decision making, and using self-control.
When alcohol impairs the frontal lobes of the human brain, a person may find it tough to control his/her emotions and impulses. The individual may act without thinking or may even become violent. Consuming alcohol over an extended period of time can damage the frontal lobes forever.
HIPPOCAMPUS-- The hippocampus is the portion of the brain where memories are created. When alcohol reaches the hippocampus, a person may have trouble recollecting something she or he just learned, like a person's name or a telephone number. This can happen after just a couple of alcoholic beverages. drinking a great deal of alcohol rapidly can cause a blackout-- not being able to remember whole occurrences, such as what she or he did the night before. If alcohol injures the hippocampus, a person might find it hard to learn and to hold on to knowledge.
CEREBELLUM-- The cerebellum is essential for coordination, ideas, and attention. An individual might have trouble with these abilities when alcohol gets in the cerebellum. After drinking alcohol, an individual's hands may be so shaky that they cannot touch or get hold of things normally, and they might fail to keep their equilibrium and tumble.
HYPOTHALAMUS-- The hypothalamus is a little part of the brain that does a fantastic variety of the body's housekeeping chores. Alcohol upsets the work of the hypothalamus. After an individual consumes alcohol, blood pressure, hunger, thirst, and the impulse to urinate intensify while body temperature and heart rate decline.
MEDULLA-- The medulla manages the body's unconscious actions, such as an individual's heart beat. It also keeps the body at the best temperature level. Alcohol in fact cools down the physical body. Drinking a lot of alcohol outdoors in chilly weather can trigger a person's physical body temperature level to drop below normal. This harmful situation is termed hypothermia.
A person may have trouble with these skills once alcohol gets in the cerebellum. After consuming alcohol, a person's hands may be so tremulous that they cannot touch or grab things normally, and they may lose their equilibrium and fall.
After an individual drinks alcohol, blood pressure, hunger, thirst, and the desire to urinate increase while body temperature levels and heart rate decrease.
Alcohol actually cools down the physical body. Drinking a lot of alcohol outdoors in cold weather can trigger an individual's physical body temperature level to fall below normal.
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