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How Does Alcohol Affect the Brain?

The brain is a fragile part of the human body. How alcohol affects the brain can lead to long term and permanent changes that cannot be reversed. Those struggling with alcohol can attest to the hold that drinking has on them and this is partially due to changes in the brain.

The fragility of the brain can be severely impacted when alcohol begins to take over someone’s life. Recovery from this can be a struggle, especially if the beginning stages are not properly professionally monitored.  

How Alcohol Changes the Brain’s Composition 

Anyone who has consumed alcohol can verify the way that it affects a person’s motor function and other vital components. Slurred speech, slowed movements and delayed reactions are all results of drinking alcohol. Consuming alcohol can severely impact the brain’s composition and functionality.

How alcohol affects the brain is by disrupting neurotransmitters. Alcohol also reduces the size of the brain. This usually affects the areas of the brain responsible for memory, learning, and executive functionality, affecting decision-making and cognitive function. Neurotoxicity can also occur as a result of alcohol. When alcohol metabolizes, it creates toxic byproducts that can damage brain cells. 

Alcohol Abuse and GABA Function 

How alcohol affects the brain and GABA or gamma-aminobutyric acid function can severely impact a person’s daily life. Gamma-aminobutyric acid is crucial for relaxation. Alcohol affects the brain and GABA function by enhancing the receptors, increasing GABA activity. When this goes on long term, the brain becomes dependent upon the substance to produce the effects of GABA at that rate.

The way alcohol affects GABA is what creates the generalized effects of alcohol on a person. Because GABA production has been increased, the feelings of relaxation and sedation become more prevalent when consuming alcohol. When alcohol consumption is abruptly stopped, it can lead to overactive receptors resulting in withdrawal symptoms that can be uncomfortable and dangerous. 

Alcohol Abuse and the Central Nervous System 

The central nervous system is vital to many different systems in the body. It is made up of the brain and spinal cord, and is crucial to processing and sending messages throughout the body. Alcohol affects the production of dopamine. Dopamine is the brain’s pleasure and reward chemical. When alcohol affects the production of this chemical it can affect the way the brain perceives good feelings.

It can link the pleasure system to alcohol consumption, and make it hard to regulate pleasure and reward without consuming alcohol. Knowing how alcohol affects the brain can make a difference in the lives of those struggling It can also help them to receive proper care to prevent permanent damage to the brain and its functionality.

Alcohol Abuse and Mood and Mental Health 

Alcohol abuse can affect a person’s mental health and mood. When someone is struggling with mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, consuming alcohol can seemingly make it feel like the symptoms associated with mental health are alleviated. However, alcohol is a depressant. Knowing how alcohol affects the brain and mental health can be crucial to receiving proper care and regaining control of life back.

Mental health conditions can become more prevalent when alcohol abuse is also a factor. While it may seem to temporarily alleviate symptoms, alcohol actually tends to make the symptoms worse in the long run. Depression can become more prevalent, especially when alcohol is not available. Anxiety can worsen as a result of alcohol abuse.

Those struggling with alcohol abuse and mental health conditions can receive proper care and begin treating the mental health symptoms in order to maintain a sober lifestyle. It is vital to address both the mental health and alcohol abuse in these situations.

Alcohol Withdrawal and the Brain 

When the brain becomes dependent on a substance it can be extremely difficult to end using it. Alcohol is no different. How alcohol affects the brain can severely impact the way a person experiences alcohol withdrawal. Cravings can be prevalent, and often lead people back to drinking alcohol. When deciding to go through alcohol withdrawal, it is highly suggested to do so under the supervision of medical professionals. This can help to avoid any severe results.

Reverting the brain back to normal requires proper care. This can include therapies like CBT and DBT. These therapies can help to heal the brain and thinking processes that lead to drinking and alcohol addiction. Proper care when going through alcohol withdrawal can make all the difference in preventing complications, or worsening mental health conditions. Professional help is available to those who are struggling, and can help create a place of healing in those that are struggling.

Recover with Empowered Recovery

Struggling with alcohol can be life changing. It can affect all aspects of an individual’s life. Addiction to alcohol can wreak havoc on a person’s interpersonal relationships, health, and overall well being. If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol, there is hope. Help is available to assist in beginning a new life. At Empowered Recovery Center we offer a comprehensive plan to help those struggling with alcohol to regain control of their life back.

Call us today and begin a journey to a new life in recovery from alcohol addiction.

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    3651 Canton Road,
    Marietta, GA 30066

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