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Why Do People Get Drunk?


Why Do People Get Drunk?

Source of pictures: pixabay.com

On the last day of the National Holiday, the sun had already risen in the sky. Daniel was lying on the bed and counting candies in the gift box from yesterday's wedding. His mother took him to her colleague's wedding yesterday. It was lively. Many male guests drank a lot. Their faces blushed and were redder than the crabs on the table. They spoke loudly and made exaggerated gestures. Some of them even sang and danced on the stage happily. Mom said they were drunk. Daniel had never seen his father drunk like that, so he felt a little curious.

At this time, Mom entered the room and saw Daniel was counting candies, she said to him, "Don't eat them all at one blow, or you will have bad teeth."

Daniel curled his lips and said, "I'm just counting. I haven't had one yet”

"By the way, Mom, what does dad look like after getting drunk?" Daniel jumped out of bed and asked his mother curiously.

Mom gave it a thought and said, "Your dad? I don't know."

Daniel was up to make a mischief and he boldly made a suggestion to Mom, "How about making him get drunk one day?"

His eyes are full of excitement. Mom looked at him and said, "Your father can drink a lot. It's not easy to make him drunk. Your grandfather was no match for him on one family dinner party during the Spring Festival."

Daniel agreed with her after thinking for a while. His grandfather was an alcoholic. He had to drink a glass or two for each meal. He never thought his father could drink more than his grandfather. Some people get drunk easily, while others can drink a lot before getting tipsy. Daniel asked his mother why it happens. Mom replied, "Appetite varies, so does the capacity for metabolizing alcohol. People have different stomach capacities as well as the ability to metabolize alcohol. Most of the liquor is made up of ethanol. When we drink, ethanol will firstly enter our livers for catabolism. Ethanol will turn into acetaldehyde with the help of alcohol dehydrogenase, and end up as acetic acid with the aid of acetaldehyde dehydrogenase. This process is similar to food digestion: transforming what we eat into something that cells can use. Acetic acid is a useful substance for cells. It has no harms to the body. Moreover, acetic acid will break down into carbon dioxide and water. This is the metabolic process of ethanol in our body. The amount of two enzymes varies from person to person. Some people are short of enzymes, so their ability to metabolize ethanol is very weak. Therefore, their ability for alcohol is weak. "

Daniel thought he may not lack these two enzymes.

Mom continued, "Liver's ability to catabolize ethanol is limited. Drinking too much alcohol at a time will leave the liver in an extreme busy situation. The excess ethanol will wander around in the body and then reach the brain. We generally call the nerve cells in the brain as the neuron. Neurons do not contact with each other directly. There are gaps between them and we call the gap as Synapse. The neuron secretes the 'ambassador' to transmit information among different neurons. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of 'ambassadors'. One is excitatory, like a cheerleader, and it strengthens the activity of the next neuron. The other is inhibitory and it calms the next neuron. After the ethanol molecule enters the brain, it not only enhances the activity of the inhibitory 'ambassador' and also inhibits the activity of the excitatory 'ambassador'. The activity of nerve in the brain will be inhibited, so alcohol can sometimes act as a sedative. That's why people are often unconscious after getting drunk."

Daniel never thought the alcohol had this kind of function. He was curious about alcohol. He asked his mother spontaneously, "Mom, can I drink a little when I am in a bad mood?"

Mom said seriously, "Children can't drink alcohol. Too much alcohol in the blood will poison you. Your brain is not fully developed. Alcohol is harmful to the brain."

Daniel bowed his head and said, "Oh, there are so many things that children can't do."

Author: Huang Jing

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