How Does Drinking Alcohol Affect Your Brain – By Nick | Last updated: June 30, 2022 | Posted on June 6, 2022 | Alcohol, mental health | 0 comments
Drinking alcohol can cause memory loss over time that is difficult to correct. Chronic drinking can affect the brain in a variety of ways, including memory impairment. While some people forget the details of a night of heavy drinking after blacking out, drinking can cause long-term, permanent memory loss and even affect your ability to remember things you learned years ago.
- 1 How Does Drinking Alcohol Affect Your Brain
- 2 Effects Of Alcohol On The Body
- 3 How Does Alcohol Impact Mental Health?
- 4 Teen Drinking May Cause Irreversible Brain Damage
How Does Drinking Alcohol Affect Your Brain
Alcohol can impair your ability to recall information you learned before drinking. This includes events from yesterday and earlier life, such as your childhood or adolescence. It is not uncommon for people with chronic alcoholism to experience confusion and an inability to remember certain events in their lives.
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Additionally, alcohol can affect your ability to learn new information. When you drink, it can be difficult for you to remember what just happened. However, the damage is not limited to short-term memory, but also affects long-term memory.
One study found that alcoholics have altered brain chemicals that hinder their ability to process certain types of information, including new experiences and facts about themselves.
When it comes to memory loss after alcohol, one night of heavy drinking is not enough to cause permanent damage.
Alcoholics have on average 30% more memory problems than non-drinkers.
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Research shows that people who drink more alcohol are more likely to miss important dates and meetings, forget to pay bills on time, and have trouble remembering important information. Even those who reported healthy drinking limits still had higher rates of memory loss problems than non-drinkers.
Alcohol amnesia syndrome, also known as Korsakoff syndrome, is a form of amnesia caused by thiamine deficiency. This can be caused by alcohol abuse or other chronic conditions that cause malnutrition, such as celiac disease and Crohn’s disease. Symptoms of Korsakoff syndrome include:
Memory loss after alcohol occurs gradually. The first stage is Wernicke’s encephalopathy, a related disorder that sometimes develops into Korsakoff’s syndrome. If left untreated, it can lead to death in up to 20% of cases and the development of Korsakoff syndrome in 85% of survivors.
In the first stage, Wernicke encephalopathy causes abnormal eye movements, lack of coordination, confusion and severe memory problems. At least 25 percent of people with Korsakoff syndrome get better, and about 25 percent stay the same. This means that they will struggle with the symptoms of alcohol-induced memory loss syndrome for years.
Effects Of Alcohol On The Body
When you stop drinking, your overall health will improve over time, and so will your brain health. While we don’t know how long it takes for all the effects of heavy drinking to wear off, research shows that some changes are reversible after a year of not drinking.
The sooner you start taking steps to recover from cognitive impairment, the better your chances of a full recovery.
Research shows that people who stop drinking before they reach the level of chronic alcoholism can almost completely repair their brain’s memory abilities. While some studies have found that alcohol-induced brain damage persists even after a person stops drinking, other analyzes suggest that the damage may be reversible.
Because many factors play a role in the recovery process, including age, gender, biology, and genetics, it can be difficult to say exactly how long or if someone will recover.
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However, the best treatment for alcohol-related memory loss is to begin treatment for thiamine deficiency under the supervision of a health care provider. In addition, it is important to abstain from alcohol and maintain a healthy diet for effective long-term recovery.
Because people with Korsakoff syndrome have a reduced tolerance for alcohol and may be at high risk for other alcohol-related health problems. Most of them require long-term residential care to address comorbidities and disorders associated with alcohol use.
If you are suffering from memory loss due to drinking alcohol, you need to seek treatment as soon as possible. If you suspect that your loved one has memory problems due to drinking, they may need your help in finding treatment. Talk to your primary care provider or addiction specialist to learn more about available treatment options.
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Meet Shannon. Shannon is a certified A.D.T., who has worked in various capacities at several rehabilitation centers in Maryland. Shannon holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Virginia. Shannon spent 18 years as a corporate executive before entering the field of substance abuse and mental health.
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After years of struggling with alcohol and drug addiction, Shannon found purpose in helping and empowering those still suffering from alcohol and drug addiction. Shannon decided to change careers and returned to school in 2022 to earn a degree in addiction counseling and human services certification at Anne Arundel Community College.
With empathy, authenticity, and the ability to connect with people from all walks of life, Shannon strives every day to be a beacon of light and provide “uncompromising great compassion.” Shannon’s experience, strength, and hope inspire those in our programs and prepare them for real-world journeys of recovery. Deeply influenced by the 12-step philosophy and community, Shannon is passionate about teaching clients, especially those new to recovery, a simple model and its transformative approach to building a new life in sobriety.
Erin earned a master’s degree in management from the University of Maryland University College and a bachelor’s degree in special education from Townsend University. Erin worked as a special education teacher for 10 years before entering the field of substance abuse and mental health.
As a person in long-term recovery, Erin wanted to give back and help those struggling with addiction. Erin decided to change careers and went back to school to get certified in addiction counseling. Additionally, Erin is not only a Certified Addiction Counselor, she is also a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) and a Registered Peer Supervisor (RPS).
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Over the past 7 years, Erin has served in many different capacities in the substance abuse and mental health field including: Outreach Specialist, Discharge Coordinator, Peer Counselor, and Addiction Counselor. Prior to joining the Freedom Center, Erin worked as a drug counselor for chronically homeless people in Montgomery County struggling with substance abuse and mental health. Erin’s favorite thing about helping others is seeing the light return to her clients’ eyes and then watching them progress on their journey to recovery.
Over the past several months, Erin has worked with our team to develop a robust clinical program for our residential complex in Buckstown. In addition, she enjoys decorating and creating a safe and comfortable environment for customers and employees. With her passion and drive to bring success to our residential projects, Erin is delighted to have the opportunity to serve as Project Director for the Buckstown team. Erin is delighted to be a part of the dedicated, caring and compassionate team at Liberty Center.
Samantha is a compassionate therapist dedicated to helping individuals cope with mental health issues and find healing and recovery. Samantha is currently pursuing an advanced degree in psychology, and her personal journey of overcoming addiction has fueled her passion for supporting others on their journey to wellness. Samantha’s journey to recovery provided a solid foundation for her therapy services. She approaches her work with empathy, understanding and non-judgement, recognizing that each person’s journey to recovery is unique.
In January 2020, I started working in the field of alcohol and drug addiction treatment, which made sense because helping others has always been my passion. Before entering this field, I worked in construction and needed to make a complete career change because I suffered from drug addiction. I have watched clients walk in the door with a broken heart and still remember the times when I felt hopeless. After learning the necessary coping skills and attending a 12-step fellowship, my life began to change and only get better. Now I enjoy working with others and helping them through the difficult times of early recovery. I myself still do a daily recovery program and also enjoy fitness and health, nature, sports, horror movies, video games, cooking and spending time with family and friends. I have been on both sides of the fence, active addiction and recovery, and I continue to choose recovery every day.
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Melissa is a visionary and empathetic leader in her field
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