People often blame their actions on being drunk or high, and it’s become so commonplace that there are phrases like “hold my beer” before attempting a risky or ill-advised stunt. Many people, not only young adults, know that drugs and alcoholic drinks can affect decision-making, causing impulse control once level of alcohol has gone so far. Today, the professionals at Live Free SSL are breaking down exactly how they do so and what are the alcohol effects/alcohol impacts on one’s physical and mental health if they will end up with alcohol misuse/alcohol addiction.
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How Does Alcohol Affect Behavior?
If you’re concerned about your drinking, especially if you’re into heavy drinking or up to binge drinking, you aren’t alone. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that over half of all American adults were current drinkers of alcoholic beverages at the time of the 2015 national survey.
Alcohol consumption, although it’s a depressant, can often start making people more inhibited. It increases the levels of dopamine in the brain, which is the “happy hormone,” or the one responsible for sending pleasure signals. This gives the “buzz” that many drinkers seek. Drinking alcohol also raises levels of GABA, which is a chemical that sends out relaxation messages from the brain. It aids in lowering anxiety and stress and can cause your body temperature to drop and your heart rate and blood pressure to come down.
Alcohol intoxication also increases the levels of norepinephrine in your brain, which acts as a stimulant. Norepinephrine Also increases arousal and excitement, plus increases impulsivity, making it harder to appreciate the consequences of your actions. This particular effect can contribute to risky sexual behavior, too.
Finally, alcohol inhibits the activity of your prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that helps you think rationally and is involved in your decision-making abilities. This is the part of the brain responsible for thinking clearly and rationally, and it’s the part that controls your ability to make good decisions. When you drink, the alcohol in your bloodstream disrupts your ability to choose responsibly, and you’ll act without thinking about the consequences of your actions, especially if you drink too much in a short-term or time that may cause you alcohol poisoning, which is a serious matter as it may sometimes deadly.
How Do Opioids Affect the Brain?
Opioids are primarily used as painkillers, but excessive use of these substances can have a significant effect on your behavior and decision-making. Chronic opiate abuse turns the brain into a chemically imbalanced environment. Opiates act on and might lead to brain damage particularly part of the brain that is known as the “reward system” part. That is, the changes in the brain from opiates end up removing the natural reward center function of the brain, such as completing tasks, achieving goals, and even personal hygiene, and makes the pursuit of and use of the drug as the ultimate, and sometimes only, reward.
How Do Ampehtimines Affect the Brain?
Amphetamines, called “uppers” include stimulant chemicals and methamphetamine, one of the most common addictions among Americans. These particular drugs target the areas of the brain responsible for executive function, aka decision-making. With prolonged amphetamine use, these parts of the brain can atrophy, reducing the ability to restrain impulsivity and control decision making. The subsequent result is the brain targeting the next “high” and use of the drug above any other protocol.
Are You Struggling With Addiction?
If you struggle with addiction to drugs or alcohol use disorder, we can help Live Free SSI is an addiction recovery center that specializes in helping people understand the nature of addiction and, overcome their addiction, and lead a fulfilling life free from addiction including alcohol dependence and other substance abuse. We offer several different levels of healthcare addiction treatment, from inpatient treatment to outpatient therapy and aftercare assistance for substance use. Call us today for a compassionate assessment, and start your journey to healing today!
How does alcohol affect decision making?
Alcohol affects decision-making in several ways, primarily by acting on the central nervous system and altering the functioning of the brain. Here are some of the ways in which alcohol can impact decision-making:
Impaired Judgment: Alcohol affects the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is responsible for decision-making and rational thinking. Under the influence of alcohol even just a small amount of alcohol, individuals are likely to make impulsive and poor decision making without considering the consequences and risk factors of these decisions.
Lowered Inhibitions: Alcohol intake can lower inhibitions, making individuals more likely to engage in risk-taking behavior that they might avoid when sober. This can include reckless driving, unsafe sexual behavior, or engaging in physical altercations which could take a long-term effect on someone’s life.
Altered Perception and Processing of Information: Alcohol can affect how the brain processes information and cognitive function, making it difficult to accurately assess situations. This can lead to poor decisions based on misinterpretation or misunderstanding of the information at hand.
Decreased Ability to Evaluate Risks: Alcohol impairs the ability to evaluate risks and make decisions based on an understanding of potential consequences. Individuals may take risks while under the influence of alcohol that they would not take when sober.
Slowed Reaction Times: Alcohol can slow down reaction times, making it difficult to make quick decisions in response to changing situations. This is particularly dangerous when driving or operating machinery.
Memory Impairment: Alcohol can affect memory, particularly the formation of new memories. This can impact decision-making by making it difficult to remember important information that would normally inform decisions.
Emotional Instability: Alcohol can amplify emotions or cause mood swings, which can, in turn influence decision-making. Someone might make decisions based on their emotional state rather than rational thinking.
Decreased Cognitive Control: Alcohol can decrease cognitive control, which is the ability to control thoughts and actions in accordance with goals or intentions. This can lead to decisions that are inconsistent with an individual’s values or long-term objectives.
Increased Suggestibility: Under the influence of alcohol, individuals may become more susceptible to peer pressure and more likely to be influenced by others in their decision-making.
It’s important to note that the extent to which alcohol affects decision-making can vary depending on several factors including the amount of alcohol consumed, the individual’s tolerance, body weight, and other factors. Responsible drinking and understanding the effects of alcohol on the brain function, other health problems may occur and behavior are crucial for minimizing the negative impact of alcohol on decision-making.
Published on: 2021-08-05
Updated on: 2023-11-20