In our society, alcohol is a popular “substance”. If you don’t drink then you know someone that does. You might have a beer or two after a long day at the office, or a couple drinks during a night out with friends on the weekend. Alcohol can be a great addition to a fun evening. But, what happens when alcohol stops just being fun and starts being a necessity? For a large part of the population, unfortunately, that is a sad reality. For some, alcohol isn’t a way to relax, it’s a way to be able to function. That’s because the chemical balance of the brain grows dependant on the substance, the same way it would with something like cocaine or heroin. Let’s take a look at some ways that alcohol affects the brain, which could lead to the need for alcohol addiction treatment.
Inability To Think Clearly
Now for those that don’t have an alcohol dependency, the fact that a couple drinks can help get your mind off the day you just had might be a great thing. But, think about what it would be like if that’s how you felt when you didn’t have alcohol in your system. For those that have become alcohol dependent, their brain can’t function normally without some amount of alcohol in their system. In addition, because of the amount of alcohol it typically takes to get that person feeling “normal”, they are inebriated to the point where they can’t think clearly anymore. This can cause a major problem when it comes to performing something as simple as daily tasks. Needing to get so drunk in order to perform simple tasks is not only scary, but it can also be quite dangerous. Many people with alcohol dependence drink alcohol first thing in the morning and feel they can’t function at work without a few shots in their system. For others, it means steadily drinking a little bit all day. They may be keeping alcohol hidden at work or around the house. While this may make it feel easier to function, the truth is that it is holding you back from using your mind to its fullest. Our body feels better, but we are actually slowing down the function of the brain which can hurt or career, family lives, and long-term mental health.
If you have drunk at all in your life, chances are you have had that night where you “blacked out”. For most of us, it happens in college. Typically when you “blackout” there becomes a point in the night where you don’t remember anything. Believe it or not, that is actually a form of memory loss. For most people, it only happens on rare occasions and doesn’t do significant damage to your overall memory. However, for those that are alcohol dependent, getting “blackout” drunk can be a daily occurrence. When that happens, it can cause major damage to your short and long-term memory, making something as simple as remembering what day of the week it is a chore. The immediate problem is not remembering the choices you made the night before. You may have hurt a loved one, said hurtful things, or just plain embarrassed yourself. Over the long term, alcohol abuse affects your normal memory, even if you aren’t drinking. As you age your ability to recall both short term and long term memories becomes more and more difficult.
Not only can alcohol relax us, it can also affect our judgment. Think back to a time in your life where you might have done something and thought after, “man, that was really stupid!” Had you been drinking before doing that? Chances are the answer is yes. Unfortunately, when mixed with the brain, large amounts of alcohol can impair our judgment and blur the lines between what we know is right and wrong. Most of the time we don’t act on what our brain is telling us to do because we are able to remain in control. For people that are alcohol dependent, many times they are not able to stay in control. When that happens, there is nothing stopping them from doing something that could be very dangerous, like drinking and driving. This not only puts that person in danger, but it also puts people that are around them in danger too. Many drinkers justify their behavior and drinking with the phrase “I know my limits”. Unfortunately, it is scientifically impossible to make the same rationale, smart decisions while your drunk that you would when you’re sober. Alcohol itself is a drug that impairs judgment from the very first drink. Even if you are an experienced drinker, the alcohol will lull you into a sense of confidence and self-awareness, when the truth is you are very far from your rational self.
The Need For More
This is the biggest reason that people end up addicted to alcohol. Just like with drugs, when you drink, the alcohol triggers the pleasure receptors in your brain. It tells your brain that this is good and that you feel good on it. The problem is though, is that once your brain realizes that it like it, it wants more of it in order to keep the good feeling going. Many people think that this is just building up your alcohol tolerance. Being able to drink more before getting drunk in many social circles is a good thing. For your brain, though it can be a very bad thing. Your pleasure receptors might become too dependent on the alcohol to the point where it needs large amounts of it to just make you feel normal. This can result in the chemical balance of your brain being thrown off, which can lead to major brain issues. Having a high tolerance is very bad for the body as you are pumping it full of alcohol and hurting other areas of your body just to get your brain to a place where you start to feel buzzed. Your liver and other organs suffer immediately.
How Do I Get Help?
If you are suffering from alcohol addiction or abuse, it is not too late to get help. In many instances, when addressed early enough, you can even avoid permanent brain damage. The first step in the recovery process is medical detox. A medical detox facility is a safe place for you to become physically separated from alcohol. After the medical detox, multiple levels of care are available through treatment that will equip you with the tools you need to not only not drink again, but not let it control your life. It is a brave task to go through alcohol addiction treatment, and move forward from your addiction. This choice will prevent future medical issues and additional damage to your brain or body. You will also be able to mend the areas of your life that have been negatively affected by your drinking. A life of recovery can be yours and you can break free from the chains that alcohol had you securely placed in.
Seeking treatment for alcohol abuse can be a difficult step to take. Since alcohol is so socially acceptable, and since it has been a part of your life for so long, it can be very hard to imagine life without it. However, when you realize how detrimental your drinking is to your health, your life, your career, your family relationships, and overall well being, the choice is simple. You need to reach out for health.
Are You In Need of an Alcohol Addiction Treatment?
At FHE Health, we will help you overcome your addiction and guide you to a fulfilling life of recovery. Our staff is trained to guide you in the right direction and help you move forward from your painful past. Do not face this alone. Call us today (866) 534-3586.