Nutrition Information Services
Logo: Western University Canada
Logo: Hospitality at Western University


Is alcohol a drug?

Yes. Alcohol is called a depressant drug because it slows down your brain's ability to think and to make decisions and judgements. Whether the alcohol comes in beer, wine or liquor doesn't matter. It's the amount of alcohol in your drink, not the type of drink, that affects you.

Alcohol's Effects on the Brain:

  • Judgment and reasoning centers are most sensitive to alcohol,. When alcohol flows to the brain, it first sedates the frontal lobe, the reasoning part. As the alcohol molecules diffuse into the cells of these lobes, they interfere with reasoning and judgments.
  • Speech and vision centers are affected next. If the drinker drinks faster than the rate at which the liver can oxidize the alcohol, blood alcohol concentration rise: Speech and vision centers of the brain become sedated.
  • Voluntary muscular control is then affected. At still higher concentrations, the cells in the cerebellum responsible for coordination of voluntary muscles are affected including those used in speech, eye, and limb movements. At this point people under the influence stagger and weave when they try to walk or they may slur their speech.
  • Respiration and heart action are the last to be affected. Finally the conscious brain is completely subdued, and the person passes out. Now the person can drink no more; this is fortunate because higher doses have anaesthetic effect that could reach the deepest brain centers which control breathing and heartbeat, and the person could die.

Getting adequate intakes of folate is especially important for women who may become pregnant. Women of childbearing age or planning to become pregnant should eat plenty of folate-rich foods and take a daily multivitamin or mineral supplement that contains 0.4 mg (400 ug) of folic acid.

Related Links
Stay Connected
News & Events
News & Events at Hospitality Services
Online Contact Us Form