Alcohol causes damage to the brain. It’s that simple. In any drinking episode, especially a heavy or binge drinking episode, the brain is immediately impacted. The evidence is in the side effects and symptoms of alcohol intoxication. For example, alcohol consumption of any level interferes with cognitive functioning. As alcohol intoxication increases, people find themselves getting more confused, slurring their speech, having poor judgment, suffering from short term memory loss, and more. They cannot walk straight, their motor functions are deteriorating, and the might go unconscious. Without considering the long term effects of these symptoms, it is easy to think: it’s just alcohol. It is “just alcohol”, but “just alcohol” can cause a lot of problems.
Heart disease, liver disease, and a compromise immune system can all result from alcohol abuse at any level. Brain damage can end up being severe in a condition called “wet brain” in which someone is unable to cognitively recover from alcoholism. You might find you don’t perform as well or have the same mental abilities you used to.
There is a simple philosophy when it comes to alcohol abuse and alcoholism. If you’ve found yourself wondering maybe I have a drinking problem the chances are you are drinking problematically. Problem drinking, binge drinking, and alcoholism are all a bit different. Ultimately, alcoholism, which is a chemical dependency upon alcohol, can occur. First, you have to evaluate what your perception of a “drinking problem” means. There are governmental standards on what is defined as binge drinking. Additionally, there are psychiatric standards, like those listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders for what is defined as alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder. You might find that your idea of really bad and not so bad are completely different from what official science suggests those scales truly mean. Even if all signs point towards problematic drinking, unless you meet the DSM criteria for alcohol use disorder, it does not mean you have a full chemical dependency on alcohol. Alcoholism is marked by one significant point: you do not have the capacity to stop drinking.
If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol abuse and need an evaluation or treatment, call Aurora Recovery Centre today. From detox to treatment, or programs are focused on helping members heal in mind, body, and spirit. Call 844-515-STOP today for more information.