Why Does Alcohol Make You Drunk? What Science Says

Why Does Alcohol Make You Drunk

Alcohol is a solution of various molecules that can easily be dissolved in the fats, water, and cells of one’s body. The type of alcohol that we drink is specifically known as ethyl alcohol or ethanol. The process through which ethyl alcohol or ethanol gets manufactured or is formed is called the process of fermentation.

Fermentation is generally a process in which yeast is used to convert the molecules of sugar into alcohol, usually called ethyl alcohol. Likewise, the fermented sugar present in the grapes is aided in forming wine. Similarly, the sugar present in the potatoes is used to make vodka. 

Ethanol: the Main Player

Why Does Alcohol Make You Drunk

Alcoholic drinks all over the world contain ethanol or ethyl alcohol. The one chemical which causes drunkenness is also ethanol. It is basically a colorless and clear liquid that is said to be a byproduct of plant fermentation.

A byproduct is basically a substance, a molecule, a liquid, etc., which cannot be produced on its own and requires a specific process to be formed. The alcohol we drink is ethanol, as mentioned above, and it is used as an antidepressant, but once you start to drink, it will start to stimulate various effects.

Soon after its consumption, it starts to make you feel drunk pretty much. The effects become more noticeable once the alcohol starts to pass through or travel inside your body.

Alcohol’s Processing in Our Bodies

In our bodies, the best metabolizing and processing of alcohol is done by the liver. There are various other parts of the body that can also aid in the processing of alcohol. They include; Pancreas, Stomach, Brain, and Small Intestine. All these organs possess special enzymes that are used to break down the molecules of alcohol present in our bodies and get rid of them as soon as possible. 

The molecules of alcohol release acetaldehyde in the body. Acetaldehyde is basically a substance or chemical that can be harmful or fatal for the cells and tissues of our body. Due to this, it is said that alcohol can bring various harms to the body and can lead to numerous health diseases and disorders.

The risk of getting more harm increases with the uptake or intake of alcohol. Acetaldehyde is broken by the enzymes present in the brain, small intestine, pancreas, and stomach and is then easily eliminated from one’s body.

Alcohol’s Movement in the Body

It is known by the experts that alcohol is a small molecule. This means that it can easily fit anywhere and can easily move from the tiniest outer holes of the body toward the inner ones. So, this gives it an allowance towards moving around or entering the body and form changes.

The fat and water also make it possible for the alcohol to get dissolved. The fat is present in the outermost layer, so the entrance is allowed to alcohol. The body is 60% water, this helps alcohol to travel to various parts of the body easily. 

What Really Happens?

Why Does Alcohol Make You Drunk

Soon after drinking a drink of alcohol, the first place where the alcohol enters is your stomach. The absorption of alcohol is all dependent upon the amount of food present in the stomach. If your stomach is full and contains food, the acid of the stomach that digests food will also start to break the alcoholic molecules.

Through this, the absorbed alcohol will travel to the main bloodstream. But if you have drunk alcohol with an empty stomach, the molecules will travel to your small intestine. The surface area of the small intestine is much larger as compared to the stomach.

So, the absorption of alcohol becomes faster there as compared to that in the stomach. For this reason, you will feel drunk more when you’ll consume alcohol on an empty stomach.

Effects on the Bloodstream

The bloodstream is the place where the residence of alcohol makes things get more fussy and intense. The quick response of alcohol after getting inside the body is due to its movement in the bloodstream. It can be very effective for the body unless your liver is able to break its molecules down.

The blood vessels get widen upon the entrance of alcohol into the bloodstream. A person can easily notice the expansion of blood vessels by the symptoms that play as a sign. The symptoms include flushing of your skin, sudden temporary feelings of warmth, a quick downfall of the overall temperature of the body, and a decrease in blood pressure of the body.

Effects on the Nervous System

One can see clear effects of alcohol soon after drinking because it has the ability to hit the body’s nervous system very fast. Within 5 minutes of drinking, it can reach the brain, and within 10 minutes of drinking, you can start to feel the symptoms.

With the increase in the concentration of alcohol in the bloodstream, a person might start to feel good, happier, confident, lesser inhibited, and more social due to the serotonin and dopamine release in the body. These are referred to as the “feel good” hormones of the body.

More drinks can make you feel more symptoms physically. The central nervous system, by that time, has been depressed by the alcohol, and the interference reaches the brain’s communicational pathways, and then the alcohol kicks the brain out of the driver’s seat to handle and control the information and processes of the brain. You will form slurry speeches, coordination loss, blurriness of vision, and dizziness.


It has been proved that people feel drunk soon after the process of drinking, due to the reason that the molecules of alcohol are tiny and soluble in water and fats. This allows the alcohol to travel inside the body and reach the bloodstream and then interfere with the brain’s processes. The brain is the head of the body, so if it gets controlled by any liquid like alcohol, one would obviously feel drunk and lost.

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