Here’s Why Alcohol Turns You Into An Emotional Hot Mess

We’ve all been there: You’ve had one too many tequila shots, and instead of partying with the rest of your friends you’re curled up in a corner, sobbing uncontrollably into a bowl of beer nuts and telling a complete stranger about your balloon phobia and how it destroyed your sex life. Alcohol makes all of us more emotional, but here’s a scientific step-by-step breakdown of what’s happening when a night out turns into a tearful public therapy session.

Some of that first tequila shot gets absorbed by your stomach lining, but the rest of it passes through your small intestine and slingshots straight into your bloodstream. The water in your bloodstream carries the alcohol across the blood-brain barrier and directly into your cerebral cortex, where it disrupts the flow of neurotransmitters across the cortex’s synaptic connections. That’s when the fun starts.

First, the alcohol pooling in your brain works to lower your inhibitions, leaving you with the warm fuzzy feeling that everyone around you is your very best friend.

Next, the alcohol begins to soak into your limbic system, otherwise known as the six structures that form the emotional center of your brain. Once your limbic system is affected, congratulations! You’re officially drunk.

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