Alcohol is classified as a depressant, but it doesn't always fit that mold. When your blood alcohol content is increasing, it actually acts somewhat as a stimulant, increasing your excitement by lowering your inhibitions. It's only when your blood-alcohol content is falling that its depressant effects kick in, which is why you're ready to crash as soon as the party's over.
Alcohol has a dramatic effect on the neurotransmitter GABA, which is the amino acid that basically keeps you from being an uncoordinated spaz. Drinking results in having less control over your muscles and balance which, compounded with a tendency to jump around and do zany thing while drunk, often ends with you falling down.
We've all been there. You're out throwing back some of grandpa's old cough medicine when you decide to text someone you shouldn't because it's 3am and why not? A recent study, shows that drunk texting is not only due to our lowered inhibitions but also a YOLO attitude derived from alcohol. You're aware of what you're doing, you just don't care very much. Try telling that to sober you in 12 hours.
Until recently, scientists speculated that it was merely the loosening of inhibitions which set us on Taco Bell runs after drinking, but recent research suggests that alcohol actually effects the hypothalamus, which is the part of our brain that regulates appetite. Your appetite control is inhibited by alcohol, which tricks it into thinking that food looks even more appealing than usual.
As mentioned before, alcohol lowers your inhibitions, but that's not all. Alcohol is also known to increase the release of endorphins in the pleasure centers of the brain. Essentially, when you're already feelin' it thanks to the alcohol and you've discarded your fears and trepidations, you bust a move.
Alcohol tends to cloud your long-term thinking in favor of short term stuff. So you're not really focused on the consequences of your actions and as such, you don't care about the money you're spending, so much as you care about totally being the hero of this party by purchasing a round of shots.
Very simply, alcohol blocks pain receptors from receiving transmissions from your nerves, just like local anesthetics. You may not feel the pain, but you definitely hurt yourself and will feel it in the morning.
Standard drinking operating procedure dictates that you're not really supposed to mix liquors unless a professional is doing it for you, and you're also not supposed to mix any of it with beer. The New York Times, says it actually doesn't make any difference, but what does is the amount of alcohol you've consumed. Basically, people assume liquor made them sick because by the time they got to drinking it, they'd already had too much alcohol. And for those who don't drink beer, the fine line between sick and not sick can be very tough to judge, particularly when you're having fun, leading to happiness one moment and sickness the next.
Alcohol deactivates the rational decision making parts of your mind, but leaves the parts of it that control sexual urges completely intact and functioning. This is a bad combination and leads to you being less discriminatory in your tastes in favor of simply indulging in your instincts.
Alcohol dulls your senses, which we normally use to navigate the world around us. The last of these senses to go are the eyes, and the traditional drunk stare is a result of our brains desperately putting all of their power into our eyes in the hope of compensating for the other failing senses.
By lowering your defenses, alcohol tends to make you think of things differently. Namely, you think of things in simplistic terms without weighing the pros, cons, possibilities, and complexities of events. This may have you coming to a "mind-blowing" revelation while drinking, but it only seems mind-blowing to you when it happens, because you're already drunk and thus more open to accepting your simplistic thoughts instead of dismissing them.
This one goes back to the fact that alcohol turns off the "caring what other people think" meter. You don't see the consequences in your actions and act impulsively, so when feelings creep up and are amplified by alcohol, you don't think twice and just let those thoughts fly.
In this case, alcohol actually goes along with how you're feeling in that moment. If you want to tell someone the truth, you likely will and the same goes for lying to them. Your impulse control is virtually nonexistent, so you just go and do whatever it is you want to do.
It's a common belief that alcohol is liquid courage in a bottle. People often take a shot or drink before important things to calm their nerves. Studies suggest that this has no neurological basis in fact, but is actually does have a placebo effect. You've convinced yourself that a bit of alcohol will loosen you up and it does. This makes you feel more confident and combined with the aforementioned impact alcohol has on your sex-drive, suddenly turns you into God's gift to men and women.
Your defenses are lowered, you're having a good time chatting up people, the pleasure centers in your brain are firing, you're tearing up the dance floor, becoming more confident, and feeling temporarily invincible. Throw all that together, along with a lack of long-term thought, and it's no wonder you want to have one more drink. Just make sure it's not the tipping point into hangover-ville.