Alcohol is one of the most widely used drugs worldwide, but some scientists rank it as one of the most dangerous.
It has a number of toxic effects on the body that can damage health in the long-term, and its short-term effects on the brain are striking.
So what exactly does alcohol do to our brains?
Within five minutes of drinking the ethanol slows down the signals between nerve cells, acting as a sedative or depressant.
"It relaxes me..."
"I feel so much more relaxed..."
"It makes me mellow."
It slows down reaction times and affects motor control, producing a range of side effects.
Poor balance and muscle control
Alcohol also targets two different chemicals in the brain - dopamine and serotonin.
These are linked to moods, and can produce feelings of pleasure.
"It used to make me buzz."
"I feel daring..."
With excessive consumption, at some point it begins to turn on the same brain systems as more powerful drugs like heroin.
"It makes you feel very excited like, it makes you feel, it makes you feel everything's possible."
"Because you think you can take on the world... I think that's, that's what it is..."
In some people this can lead to alcohol addiction, destructive behaviors and dependency.
Alcohol also acts as an anesthetic on the brain, shutting parts of it down. At too high a dose this can even stop you breathing.
An injection of just 29 milliliters of pure alcohol would kill you.
But even in much smaller quantities, alcohol kills brain cells and causes memory loss.
It's thought alcohol has a particularly striking effect on the teenage brain.
Dr Linda Spear, State University of New York, USA - "The adolescent brain is a, is a composite of areas that are more sensitive to alcohol and less sensitive to alcohol than adults. And amongst the things that, that portions of the brain that seem to be very sensitive to alcohol are regions that are very important for learning and memory. Adolescents are very sensitive to alcohol-induced memory impairments."
So teenagers may be able to drink more without feeling or showing the obvious intoxicating effects of alcohol, whilst being even more sensitive to brain damage than adults.