The World Around Us

Medicine and Drugs

Why does drinking alcohol make people loopy?

Alcohol, specifically ethanol (CH3CH2OH), is a mild depressant that affects your central nervous system. The specific biological effects are pretty complicated—some systems are enhanced by ethanol, others are inhibited. This combination of effects is why drinking can relax your muscles but also make you more animated. It may seem that alcohol lowers your inhibitions, but some experiments suggest this is a psychological effect and not a chemical one.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Chemistry Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App