Booze Alcohol, one of the most commonly used and abused drugs in the world comes in a variety of forms and does one thing quickly and well. It changes the way you feel But to what do we owe these feelings of release and freedom? How could ingestion of one simple substance so drastically change not only your actions but thoughts and perception. As alcohol enters the body and makes it’s way to your brain, it begins to interact with your neurons or brain cells. In our previous video on marijuana which you can click here we explain the actions of neurons and their chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. But there are two main types of neurotransmitters that these neurons use to communicate, or send electrical signals. Excitatory neurons use glutamate, well inhibitory neurons use GABA. The yin and yang if you will. Much like the zeroes and ones of a computer, these two messengers have contrasting roles. Glutamate begins a wave of excitation while GABA not only inhibits this flow, but helps to organize and differentiate the results in your brain. And just like a computer, these signals can be combined in enormous complexity to form actions and thoughts. So how does alcohol affect these two signals? Turns out it suppresses glutamate transmission and enhances GABA transmission, so you get less excitation and more inhibition. And because glutamate sites become less effective, information flow becomes slow, and only the largest signals can make it through. This means you feel less, percieve less, notice less, and remember less. In conjunction the increased GABA hushes the excessive background noise of activity fine tuning and clarifying your thoughts, but to an excessive degree. This is why you may have heard that alcohol is a depressant. But inhibition of your neurons is not the same as social inhibition. Instead, it simply cleans up and removes extraneous activity by removing less significant excitation. Without normal GABA transmission the excessive excitatory action, would resemble a epileptic seizure There’d be no clarity of thought. While drunk, your GABA channels are wide opened. Combined with the lack of glutamate, you begin to think very little but with great clarity. It’s what causes the momentums attitude of a drunk, often repeating the same idea or proclamation over and over. Thinking clearly about almost nothing. Hmm Got a burning question you want answered? Ask it in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter. And subscribe for more weekly science videos. Subtitles written by the YouTube community.