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What Happens To The Brain With Alcoholism

Jan 24, 2008
Alcohol is one of the most addictive drugs available, regardless of its legal status. The preliminary effects of alcohol on the brain can be seen in the slurred speech, motor difficulty, impaired memory and other effects commonly associated with intoxication. Research continues on the exact impact of alcohol, but it is commonly accepted that heavy drinking carries with it the potential for extensive and in some cases, permanent effects on the brain.

These can range from memory gaps to permanent conditions, and it has been shown that even moderate drinking leads to short term impairment. A number of factors determine the potentiality and severity of the effect of alcohol on the brain.

How much and how frequently a person drinks is one of the principle factors, with the age of the person is question and the length of their experiences with alcohol coming in a close second.

The issues of education, gender, family history of alcoholism, and genetic background also come into play when determining the affects of alcohol on an individual.

Regardless of individual background, alcohol produces detectable memory impairments after only a few drinks are consumed, and this impairment increases rapidly in proportion to the amount of alcohol taken in. Large quantities produce blackouts, dangerous periods of time when the person is unable to remember details of events that have taken place.

Research has suggested that women may be particularly vulnerable to blackouts and memory impairment, and it has been statistically shown as well that women are more prone to developing cirrhosis of the liver, i.e. alcohol induced damage, as well as alcohol induced damage of the heart muscle and nerve damage. It should be noted, however, that these and other harmful effects of alcohol abuse negatively impact addicts of both genders.

Alcohol affects the brain in a myriad of negative ways, and alcoholism in its most advanced form is a disease that is most effectively treated within an alcohol and drug rehabilitation setting, with encouragement, support, and a carefully planned and tailored treatment program. Addiction of any kind is a very serious issue, and one that should be dealt with both expediently and correctly, by trained and caring professionals.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an alcohol or substance abuse addiction, the time to act and seek help is sooner rather than later. Interventions, though painful, are often necessary steps towards helping yourself or someone else overcome alcohol or drug addiction.
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