This article from addictionblog.org, called “Negative brain effects from prolonged alcohol abuse,” defines what constitutes alcohol abuse and explains the serious effects that alcohol has on brain function.
Heavy drinking for extended periods of time can affect behavior, psyche, the nervous system, and more. The brain’s response to alcohol abuse can result in problems with a person’s job, health, and personal life, although sometimes it can be difficult to tell if a person’s drinking is typical or damaging.
What constitutes a drinking problem?
A normal amount of drinking is 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men, and alcohol abuse is 2-3 drinks per day for women and 3-4 drinks per day for men. The difference between moderate drinking and alcohol abuse is only a drink or two per day, which shows that it doesn’t take much to cross the line into misuse. Heavy drinking happens when a woman has 8 or more drinks per week and when a man drinks 15 or more per week.
What does alcohol do to the brain?
It’s common to hear that alcohol lowers inhibitions and produces calm and confident feelings. However, long-term use changes the brain’s chemistry, so instead of being relaxing, alcohol begins to cause anger, anxiety, and depression.
“Alcohol is a depressant and affects the chemicals that transmit signals from one neuron of the brain to another, also called neurotransmitters.” — Addiction Blog
Alcohol dependency can lead to a deficiency in Vitamin B1, also called Thiamine, and a severe deficiency of this vitamin will result in the death of brain cells. Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, or “wet brain,” occurs from the death of too many of these cells. Symptoms include loss of memory, lack of coordination, inability to learn new things, and having memories that never occurred.
Long-term, heavy alcohol consumption seriously affects the liver, eventually causing toxicity if left untreated. These toxins can cause hepatic encephalopathy, which damages the brain and leads to symptoms including fatigue and major changes in behavior, and can even result in a coma.
There are many other conditions and negative health effects that can happen from abusing alcohol. The Hayver platform provides an excellent way for people to help their friends and loved ones stay clean and sober, and essentially improves the success of addiction treatment programs by providing a strong after-care component for the continuous management of a person’s recovery.
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