How Does Alcohol Affect The Brain And Central Nervous System?
What is the relationship between alcohol and the brain? How does alcohol impact your overall health? Find out here.
Alcohol and the Brain: An Overview
Alcohol acts as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, slowing and inhibiting brain activity. This occurs due to the reduction of neurons in the brain to transmit electrical impulses.
Alcohol also has a structural impact on the brain and can change the brain with progressive intake. This structural effect is most substantial in children and teenagers and can seriously hamper proper functional and structural development in areas of the brain concerned with speech, balance, memory, and judgment.1
Table of Contents
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Scope of Alcohol Misuse
Alcohol and the Brain: The Impact of Alcohol on Your Health
Alcohol and the Brain: Can it Cause Brain Damage?
Heavy alcohol consumption correlates with brain damage. Alcoholic brains are usually atrophied, with loss of neurons and white matter in the cerebral cortex.
A University of Pennsylvania analysis has shown that the relationship between alcohol and the brain is tremendously harmful. Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption was associated with reductions in overall brain volume, and the severity worsens as alcohol intake increases.3
In vitro and in vivo studies done on animal models and human volunteers have shown that alcohol interferes with neural pathways in the brain and affects the brain’s functionality.
Impact of Alcohol on the Brain's Functioning
Alcohol affects various parts of the brain that control emotions, intelligence, movement, reasoning, balance, and memory. Alcohol may lead to severe intoxication in the regions which control respiration, causing respiratory depression. Based on the brain of an alcoholic and the brain of a nondrinker, the parts of the brain affected by alcohol include the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, hypothalamus, medulla oblongata, and hippocampus.
Alcohol in Your Body
How Much is Too Much?
Those Who Drink Occasionally
Those Who Drink Moderately
Heavy or Chronic Drinking
Several Stages of Alcohol Intoxication
Stage 1: Sobriety, or Subclinical Intoxication
Stage 2: Euphoria
Stage 3: Excitement
Stage 4: Confusion
Stage 5: Stupor
Stage 6: Coma
Stage 7: Death
The Serious Effects of Alcohol on the Brain
Short-Term Effects of Alcohol on the Brain
Long-Term Effects of Alcohol on the Brain
Alcohol’s Core Effects
What is the Timeline for Brain Recovery from Alcohol Addiction?
After detoxification and treatment, it takes the brain time to adjust to sobriety. Studies show that use of alcohol and brain damage are quite common, with alcoholic brains showing varying degrees of structural damage and neuronal reduction. There are generally observed signs and symptoms that may occur during different periods of sobriety.
Seven Years and Beyond
How Can I Stop Drinking?
We ensure that our patients receive personalized care to ensure physical and mental health while preventing relapse.
Contact Ripple Ranch for treatment for Alcohol Addiction
At Ripple Ranch, we work to help reverse the effects of drinking and clinical alcoholism on the brain. Our professionals are expertly trained on how to guide you through the process of combating alcohol addiction.
For more information on how to successfully overcome alcoholism and its effects on the brain, please contact us at Ripple Ranch Recovery today. We’re here to help you heal.