Have you ever wondered why people say that alcohol, as a drug, is technically a depressant? Maybe it seems like just the opposite to you; people who have been drinking appear happy, expressive and talkative.
The reason is that alcohol depresses your nerve cells, slowing down your central nervous system. It may not make you actually feel depressed. The definition refers not to your emotions, but to nerve function.
In fact, when you start drinking, the areas of your brain that first see an impact are those related to inhibitions. That’s why you may suddenly feel relaxed and talkative when you were more reserved before. The cells in these areas are still being “depressed” or slowed down, no matter how you feel.
As the impact spreads to other parts of your brain, it can then lead to:
- Difficulty thinking clearly
- Slurred speech
- Reduced reaction times
- Trouble seeing clearly
- Reduced hearing
- Problems with short-term memory
- Less muscle control
It all depends on which part of your central nervous system is getting slowed down by the alcohol. The more you drink, the greater the impact on your body, and the more signs and symptoms you are going to see.
This helps to show you why alcohol leads to drunk driving accidents. You may feel optimistic about your ability to drive — since your inhibitions are lowered — but the physical impact can make you a very dangerous driver. You can’t see as well, you have less control over the car and you can’t react quickly.
Even if you stay sober when you drive, you could get hit by another driver who had too much to drink. Make sure you know how to seek compensation for your injuries.