Alcohol Addiction and the Brain

Much has been written about the effect of alcohol abuse and the brain, but damage to the brain can come from as little as a drink a day. The amount of alcohol consumption you need to do damage to the brain can be very little–it doesn’t need to be binge drinking and alcohol poisoning. It can be in small amounts, at the wrong times, and for prolonged periods.

Alcohol and the Brain: The Immediate Effects

When someone drinks, their brain immediately begins to become impaired, even if they don’t feel it. The most common reactions to alcohol are difficulty walking, blurred vision, slurred speech, and memory problems. This can happen with even moderate alcohol consumption.

Often these effects are played down, probably due to the fact that they are so common. When you drink and are around other people who drink, you become used to the fact that drunkenness has these results so you think that this is normal.

The truth is: It’s not. Alcohol is a drug, and although it is legal, it can have lasting effects on the body and brain.

How Does Alcohol Affect the Brain and Central Nervous System?

Those who drink persistently over extended periods of time are very susceptible to changes in their brain function, though even light drinking will damage brain cells. Alcohol’s effects on the brain are perhaps most noticeable in blackouts and memory lapses. These should always be taken seriously, even if they happen only once.

Aside from the biological effects of alcohol dependence and alcohol use disorders that lead to blackouts and memory lapses, studies have shown how alcohol affects the brain and behavior. Those who have exhibited these symptoms have engaged in dangerous activities during these periods, including vandalism, unprotected sex, and drunk driving.

Alcohol Kills Brain Cells

While it is most often a point that is driven home with young people, whose brains are still developing, brain cell death is a very real thing that happens to anyone engaging in moderate to heavy drinking. The long term effects of alcohol will lead to brain problems, mental health problems, and even alcohol-related dementia.

Studies have shown that the overall brain volumes of heavy drinkers are substantially smaller than the brain volumes of those who do not drink or who stop drinking.

Getting Help for Alcohol-Related Brain Issues

Alcohol-related brain dysfunction does not need to be a part of your life, and you can get help to overcome alcoholism and even moderate or social drinking. This can not only help your quality of life but can extend your life by years or even decades.

Below is a list of additional medical services we provide.

Start Treatment

Share this post