Alcohol is a type of drug known as a depressant that slows down the body’s central nervous system. After a person has had a few drinks, it immediately affects the way he or she thinks and acts. Alcohol can make a person feel sleepy, less coordinated, and slow to react to things. And it can cause your brain to feel foggy, and make you think and see differently. After years of drinking, alcohol use can cause stomach and intestinal problems, liver damage, nerve and muscle damage, heart problems, and brain damage. Alcohol is difficult for the brain to process, and can cause everything from blackouts to permanent loss of brain function and memory. Researchers have also linked long-term drinking to cancer of the throat, mouth, liver, esophagus, and larynx. Drinking alcohol can also lead to emotional and psychological problems like sadness, depression, and even hallucinations (seeing and hearing things that are not real). If a pregnant woman drinks too much alcohol, it can seriously injure her unborn baby and lead to birth defects.