Humans have enjoyed drinking alcohol ever since we learned to ferment grains, fruits and root crops to make drinks. Wine has been made for thousands of years and beer is one of the most popular drinks in the world next to water and wine. Scotch, vodka, sake, tuba, lambanog and other alcoholic beverages will always be there at parties and celebrations.

This article does not promote alcoholism, but alcoholic beverages have been a part of human life for thousands of years. Let’s take a look at some of the facts!

Some people only drink occasionally and rarely to the point of intoxication, but why do others like to get hammered and wasted? Alcohol is also known as liquid courage. It lowers a person’s inhibitions and in moderation it can make a good time with friends even better.

The Science Of Getting Drunk

Ethanol is the active ingredient of all alcoholic beverages. It is a toxin that has an effect on the human body that can be good or really bad depending on how much you ingest. Let’s try to find out with a bit of science what happens to your body when you drink alcohol.

It starts with ethanol. Ethanol is absorbed into the bloodstream by way of your stomach and intestines and then spreads all over the body in your blood stream, making its way toward your brain. Ethanol decreases the effects of glutamate, which makes your brain sharp and attentive. Glutamate is also responsible for your alertness, reaction time and memory. When ethanol kicks glutamate in the gut, it will have the reverse effect on the human body. Slurred speech, slow reaction, subdued coordination and a general woozy feeling. It can also impair decision making abilities which is one reason you might think it’s a good idea to order another round.

As mentioned earlier, moderate consumption is fine because it can make you relax and even helps digestion. These are the positive effects of ethanol, but if you have one too many, it will go from good, to bad, to ugly in just a few hours.

Now the effects of ethanol go further as you ingest more of this liquid courage. As your cognitive abilities slow down and the pleasure-seeking parts of your brain become even more aware you are likely to be laughing a lot and tripping over things. This is where the munchies will also come in. Because you have so much alcohol in your system, your bodily response is to eat something heavy and greasy.

If you’ve had too much to drink, ethanol has already made its way to the memory cells of your brain. It’s likely you won’t have any recollection of what happened, especially when you wake up in the morning. You will feel really thirsty because dehydration had set in together with low sugar levels and vitamin B12 deficiency. Your head spins, your mouth is dry, you can’t eat and you can’t remember anything. You, my friend, are having a massive hangover.

The 10 Stages Of Being Drunk

The explanation above has given a vague idea of how the body reacts to ethanol consumption. It also gave you some idea of the stages of getting drunk. Let’s see them in detail:

1. The First Sip Is Like Velvet

You’re not really planning on getting wasted and you’ve just taken a sip or two of your scotch or martini. You’re still sober but beginning to relax. Maybe you feel a little classy and sophisticated but at the back of your brain the delicious taste of alcohol has taken your mind and body to another place. You decide to get a beer next; it’ll taste good after having your first shot. Now your body is electrified with a pleasurable sensation, you’re feeling wired and thinking another round would not hurt.

2. The Refill

After an hour or so it’s time for another round for you and your friends. Your speech become looser, the music sounds right and you feel very relaxed.

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3. Becoming Friends With Everyone

You begin to become friends with everyone around you. Conversations will be at peak volume. You will also begin to feel content and are beginning to be unaware of what’s going on around you. You don’t mind that much because deep inside you feel very comforted.

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4. The Buzz Hits You

You will break into a song and dance number when you hear your favourite song play. You grab the mic or hit the dance floor with your drink in hand and scream the lyrics or throw your arms in the air. You feel you’re buzzed but it will turn into a brief moment of self-denial. The slight dizziness is just the effect of second hand cigarettes, but your singing and dancing doesn’t cease until someone catches your attention.

5. Showing Affection

Everyone in the bar is just beautiful, but you have found your target. Drunken pick-up lines probably won’t work, but you’re too intoxicated to care. You might also just become “touchy feely” with your best friends, giving everyone hugs and showing your affection.

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6. Full Party Mode

Everything is loud and merry and you’re in full party mode. You don’t care if you have work tomorrow or your friend has to be at the airport early in the morning, the only thing you’re concerned with is making this the best night ever. You order more shots and yell “I’m the party animaaaaaaaaaaaal!” Or you may be drunk texting your ex.

7. The Munchies

The bar or nightclub shenanigans are over. You’re feeling famished after downing all that alcohol. Tacos, burgers, fries, pizza, fish and chips or any establishment that sells greasy and carb-laden food sounds awesome. Still drunk texting your ex…

8. Sleepy Head

After the munchies you will suddenly feel sleepy and it takes all your strength and will power to fight shutting your eyes. You’re able to open your eyes long enough to walk or call a cab for you to get home.

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9. The Journey Home

You’re definitely in a food coma. Tired, sleepy and ready to crash. The cabbie wakes you up and you stumble getting out of the cab, you fumble with your keys and it takes a long time for you to find the right key to open the door. You open the door, kick your shoes off, stumble on the stairs and crash into your bed after destroying everything in your path. The toilet will be your best friend for a few hours.

10. The Hangover

You open your eyes the next morning. Your head feels like it is being crushed by an elephant, nothing makes sense and you can’t remember much of last night. Drink lots of water and take some aspirin. Eat breakfast and rest.

Your hangover will pass and you will be free to party another day.

Remember to drink responsibly.

About Author

Jon specialises in research and content creation for content marketing campaigns. He’s worked on campaigns for some of Australia's largest brands including across Technology, Cloud Computing, Renewable energy and Corporate event management. He’s an avid scooterist and musician.