How does alcohol affect your brain?

Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.

(Photo by Angie Garrett/Wikimedia Commons)
  • Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
  • Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
  • Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
Keep reading Show less
Mind & Brain

New drug capsule may allow weekly HIV treatment

This new pill could make it easier for people to stick to the treatment. 

Indian social activists and children release ribbons and balloons during an event to mark World AIDS Day in Kolkata on December 1, 2014. (Photo credit: DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Replacing daily pills with a weekly regimen could help patients stick to their dosing schedule.

Keep reading Show less
Surprising Science

Can Giving Ayahuasca to Prisoners Reduce Recidivism?

The Brazilian government has been trying to answer this very question in its ever-growing prison population, which has doubled since the year 2000. 

The Brazilian prison population has doubled since 2000. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Keep reading Show less
Surprising Science

What drug-addicted soldiers can teach us about addiction and recovery

19% of American soldiers returned from Vietnam addicted to heroin. 95% of them recovered without relapse. How?

Of all war films that offer a sense of actual combat, the documentary Restrepo is arguably closest to representing the tedium and boredom that sets in on a day to day basis—and this in one of the most contentious regions on the planet. For soldiers in the Vietnam War, weeks were filled with not much at all, making it easy for heroin to infiltrate the barracks. 

Keep reading Show less
Mind & Brain

Columbia Professor: The War on Drugs Is a War on Race

Personifying certain drugs as evil while calling opioid users “victims” points a glaring spotlight on drug policies that aren't really about public health.

Every 25 seconds in the US, someone is arrested for drug possession. In Manhattan, black people—just 15% of the population—are 11 times more likely to be arrested on drug possession that white people.

Keep reading Show less
Politics & Current Affairs