Alcohol’s effect on the brain


Amber Wahab, Staff Writer

Because of recent events at our school, we have been reminded of the dangers due to drinking and driving. Alcohol, though it may seem like a great idea for those who want to get a little buzzed, have a little fun, or simply to escape the harsh winds of reality, is a dangerous substance. Yet, rarely do we know what we’re getting ourselves into when we consume this sweet poison. Do we ever stop to think what the next bottle of beer is going to do to our brains before we chug it down? Why we can’t seem to walk straight, see clearly, or speak properly? There’s no doubt that alcohol picks at our brain like a miner picking away in a minefield.

According to, studies show that alcohol has the capability of shrinking one’s brain. This causes the production of new memories, mental illnesses, and healthy cognition to worsen over time. In fact, the same studies show that some mental illnesses are directly caused by the over-consumption of alcohol, which can alter the brain’s natural chemistry. Ironically, for those who drink alcohol to run away from their anxiety or depression are unfortunately met with the exact opposite effect. Yes, while we are heavily intoxicated we feel untouchable as if our demons have bowed down to us while surrendering their weapons that were once used to torment us. However, when we begin to come back down from those deceiving clouds made by our most loyal friend [alcohol] we are at more risk of social isolation and reduced neurotransmitters. This can lead to intensified depression and initiate depressive cycles in those who suffer from bipolar disorder.

I know how easy it can be to stray away from proper help and fall into the arms of a toxic friend. How easy it can be to fall into the pressures of our peers or reach for the bottle just to pour ourselves another glass. But at the end of the day, this is our body, our temple, our choice. All I ask is that we be aware of what we put into our systems so that we not only know the outcome but also to know when to stop.


Work cited:

“The Effects of Alcohol Use: Short & Long-Term Physical & Psychological.”,

“Here’s What Really Happens to Your Brain When You Drink Too Much Alcohol.”,