NMDA receptors start to become unresponsive, slowing areas of the brain for which they are responsible.

Contributing to this effect is the activity that alcohol induces in the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system.

However, tolerance varies considerably between individuals, as does individual response to a given dosage; the effects of alcohol differ widely between people.

Ethanol inhibits the ability of glutamate to open the cation channel associated with the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) subtype of glutamate receptors.

Stimulated areas include the cortex, hippocampus and nucleus accumbens, which are responsible for thinking and pleasure seeking.

As a consequence, one's kidneys are no longer able to reabsorb as much water as they should be absorbing, leading to creation of excessive volumes of urine and the subsequent overall dehydration.

Acute alcohol intoxication through excessive doses in general causes short- or long-term health effects.

The GABA system is known to inhibit activity in the brain.

GABA could also be responsible for the memory impairment that many people experience.When alcohol is consumed at a rapid rate, the point at which most healthy people's long-term memory creation starts to fail usually occurs at approximately 0.20% BAC, but can be reached as low as 0.14% BAC for inexperienced drinkers.Another classic finding of alcohol intoxication is ataxia, in its appendicular, gait, and truncal forms.Appendicular ataxia results in jerky, uncoordinated movements of the limbs, as though each muscle were working independently from the others.Truncal ataxia results in postural instability; gait instability is manifested as a disorderly, wide-based gait with inconsistent foot positioning.Some studies have suggested that intoxicated people have much greater control over their behavior than is generally recognized, though they have a reduced ability to evaluate the consequences of their behavior.