View Full Version : What makes you drunk?

05-27-1999, 05:27 PM
When you consume alcohol, what causes the drunkness.
A. The alcohol being utilized by a body's cells as food source.
B. The alcohol hindering the body's normal chemical reactions until it's out of your blood.
C. Reverse osmosis in your brain cells, thus depriving them of water.
D. Something else.

05-27-1999, 05:41 PM
Some suggest that what actually happens is:
The blood's capability to carry oxygen lessens, thus less oxygen gets to the brain.
The result of this is that surtain areas of the brain get "blacked out" starting with you losing your sense of equilibrium. From there goes your speach, hearing gets much worse, you lose focus and at last you lose concioseness.

Have a nice drink.



05-27-1999, 06:01 PM
Are you implying that there might not be a definative answer to this? That all these learned people can't come up with the absolete unequivical irresputable process that causes drunkeness. This is The Straight Dope!

As Gildner Radner would have put it on Saturday Night Live "Oh! never mind."

Thank's for the input.

05-27-1999, 06:08 PM
You see my dear Phobia. That is what they tought me in scool.
But since I don't drink anymore and have no special intrest in knowing more than I do I'm not gonna take responsebility off telling the straight dope on this.

But I guess the teachers weren't lying to me so this is more or less right!

05-27-1999, 07:41 PM
When someone drinks a lot, you can actually see changes in
him or her. Why? In your brain lies the cerebral cortex,
which controls your use of reason and judgment. The nerves
in these parts of the brain talk to each other by using
impulses that travel through neurotransmitters. One of the
most common neurotransmitters, gamma-aminobutyl acid
(GABA) is inhibited when someone drinks alcohol. What this
really means is that your brain cannot think as fast. And if
this happens, someone could do things that they normally do
not do because the alcohol affects the brain's logical

Alcohol acts like a sedative, which means you feel soothing
and relaxing effects. This could make someone feel more
relaxed, and end up making fools of themselves and doing
things that they later regret.

Alcohol blocks the messages going to your brain, and alters
your perceptions and emotions, vision, hearing, and

Visit the virtual Ireland Pub. www.vip.ie where you can talk to 40 or so chaps having a drink and see what stage they are in.

05-27-1999, 10:53 PM
I'd say it's just a symptom of the early stages of being poisoned. Doesn't the liver go into overdrive trying to filter alcohol out of the blood, eventually causing the scarring of cirrocis? Where's a doctor...

05-27-1999, 10:55 PM
Um, cirrhosis. You know what I meant.

05-28-1999, 01:11 AM
Alcohol in small quantities is a stimulant, in large quantities, a depressant. Alcohol absorbs thiamine (vitamin B1). By doing so, alcohol affects the nervous system biochemically. Thiamine is essential for the nervous system to function properly.Inadequate levels of thiamine can lead to mental confusion and loss of coordination.

05-28-1999, 04:44 AM
Wouldn't taking a large dose of Thiamine prevent drunkeness, if the vitamin theory was correct? I do appreciate everyone's input so far.

05-28-1999, 05:30 AM
Already been thought of...Trouble is that you would have to take a huge concentrate of it to prevent the alcohol. (seen revenge of the nerds?-tricycle race) Unfortunately, its also considered a controlled substance-or so I am told.

05-28-1999, 06:29 AM
I always thought drunkenness was caused by the lack of oxygen. Alcohol stays in the blood and pushes the oxygen out. And its the reason why drunk people tend to breathe heavily.

I also heard somewhere that in high altitudes where there is a lack of oxygen, people tend to have characteristics of being drunk.

But don't take my word for it, I only drink the stuff. I'm the farthest thing from a doctor.

救 崇, 林 悼 老

05-28-1999, 10:28 AM
There is a much simpler wy to aviod drunkiness without taking massive doses of Thiamine : )

05-28-1999, 10:50 AM
What makes me drunk? Geez, I thought it was too many Alabama Slammers. Silly me.

Carpe Diem!

05-28-1999, 12:19 PM
Lips of a beautiful women make me far more drunketh than wine.

05-29-1999, 01:26 AM
Thiamine is vitamin B1, which is not a controlled substance. I'm pretty sure that taking massive doses of it would mess you up worse than a few beers though.

05-29-1999, 10:11 PM
Short answer is B.

Alcohol in small quantities is a stimulant, in large quantities, a depressant. -- sly
Technically, it is only a depressant. Subjectively, it can appear to have a stimulating effect at low doses, but I think this is probably due to a loss of inhibition, and perhaps in part due to vasodilation (expansion of blood vessels).
I always thought drunkenness was caused by the lack of oxygen. -- Beeruser
Newp. Try breathing into a paper bag for a minute. It won't feel much like being drunk.

Alcohol has a complicated effect on the brain. Its primary effect is on the neurotransmitter GABA, as handy said, however it increases the action of GABA rather than inhibiting it. An increase in GABA action results in an inhibition of most neurotransmitters.

05-30-1999, 09:30 AM
GABA neurotransmitter? Well, it sounds like good news to me. I just hope I'm not choking my brain cells to death every night.

救 崇, 林 悼 老

05-30-1999, 09:32 AM
But then again, the less brain cells the better, I think...

救 崇, 林 悼 老

05-30-1999, 05:47 PM
Heck, no problem. You just hafta worry about liver disease, dementia, a depressed immune system, increased risk for cancer, and stomach and pancreas problems. ;)

06-01-1999, 11:27 AM
I remember reading in OMNI a long time ago that the reason drinking alcohol makes you dizzy is that it enters the fluid in your inner ear but doesn't combine with it, creating whorls of the less dense alcohol that brush the cilia in your cochlea and make your brain think the room is spinning. This conclusion was based on research with cats, whose vestibular systems closely parallel humans'. These scientists got some poor kitties drunk and then clamped their heads to immobilize them, then tracked the cats' eye movements. (sounds like something a bunch of frat boys would do on a boring night.)

Based on the way the cat's eyes tracked, the scientists concluded that not only does it really feel like the room is spinning when you're blotto, but the room spins in the same direction for everyone.

They then injected the cats with deuterium oxide ("heavy water"), which is heavier than vestibular fluid, and lo and behold, the cats' eyes tracked in the other direction. This leads me to wonder: if you kept your intake of alcohol and heavy water equal, would your sense of equilibrium be maintained? Hmmmmmm...clearly more research is needed.

Live a Lush Life
Da Chef

06-01-1999, 11:35 AM
OMNI. Now there's a good scientific ref. ;)

10-25-2011, 08:34 PM
I guess nothing since I dont drink i wish I could but last time I did I threw up half my stomach

Little Nemo
10-25-2011, 08:42 PM
Hi TrueYears, welcome to the board. I just wanted to point out that the posts you were responding to were written back in 1999, in case you hadn't noticed. Nothing wrong with that but we refer to these as zombie posts, so expect comments to that effect.

10-25-2011, 08:44 PM
Alcohol is an allosteric gaba agonist.

It works on the frontal lobe and cerebellar vermis first. Hence the disinhibition (thinking you can do stuff you can't) and truncal ataxia (loss of coordination) commonly known as "being drunk."

Alcohol does NOT absorb thiamine. People who drink a lot tend to not eat enough thiamine. Also, alcohol causes changes in your digestive tract which impair absorption of thiamine. Over time (5+ years) this causes you to become deficient and develop wernicke-korsakoff syndrome because thiamine is needed by neurons to properly metabolize glucose. That is why they always give thiamine before giving glucose to alcoholics. Giving glucose alone can kill a long standing alcoholic.

Edit: Whoops, I guess I'm a necromancer for halloween.

Digital is the new Analog
10-25-2011, 09:15 PM
This might be the oldest thread I've seen. There aren't even names associated with the posts!
(I assume that's a sign of old age..)

On topic: In my experience, it's the alcohol.


10-25-2011, 09:15 PM
Idiots, you can just find it on Wikipedia. Or wait, that doesn't exist yet.

Find a youtube video that explains it. Oh wait.

Google it. Wait.

Never mind. Just get a beer and forget about it. :)

10-25-2011, 09:32 PM
Idiots, you can just find it on Wikipedia. Or wait, that doesn't exist yet.

Find a youtube video that explains it. Oh wait.

Google it. Wait.You can always do a search on AOL. Better if you can pick up a 56K modem. ;)

10-25-2011, 10:37 PM
Of course I can pick up a 56K modem. They're only what, two, three pounds? I'm not that weak.

Gary Robson
10-25-2011, 10:57 PM
Since the original participants are nowhere to be seen, and there's no new information being added (aside from heavyarms553's post), I'm going to put this zombie back in the ground.