The Science Of Getting Drunk
We asked a doctor to explain how alcohol affects the body when people get drunk. We plan to test his explanation for accuracy.
By Matt Christensen
You probably rarely wonder how alcohol affects the body or your brain — especially when you’re boozing. And that’s because when you’re drinking you’re most likely concentrating on the important things in life, like your next drink and convincing yourself that terrible decisions are actually incredibly enlightened decisions.
However, it turns out that as fun as getting drunk might be for
most some of us, it’s also a legitimate chemical assault on your body — specifically your brain, liver and bloodstream.
We spoke to Harold C. Urschel III, MD, MMA – Chief Medical Strategist at Enterhealth to learn exactly what happens from the moment that first drop of Grandpa’s cough medicine hits your lips, to the last gag of your hangover.
STEP #1 — THE FIRST SIP
Alcohol, believe it or not, numbs everything it touches inside your body. “When you take the first sip of alcohol your taste buds typically begin to get numb,” explains Dr. Urschel. “This sets of a damaging chain reaction of events in the body. Alcohol has antiseptic qualities. It numbs the esophagus, which can lead to acid reflux and, once in the stomach, alcohol will break down the lining. That can lead to ulcers.”