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How Does Alcohol Misuse Affect Health?

By on Mar 19, 2023 in Alcoholism, Blog

Having a drink seems like a simple enough activity until you find yourself unable to stop and completely overwhelmed by how drinking is affecting your health, relationships, and work. Alcohol misuse impacts the brain in multiple ways, compromising not only your ability to make decisions but also to control your actions.

How Does Alcohol Change the Brain?

Alcohol triggers the pleasure center of the brain. This is the part of your brain wired to seek out things that are good and healthy for you, like eating healthy food and exercising. This is the part of your brain that helps you to make healthy decisions. The damage caused by drinking, though, changes the brain so that it no longer finds pleasure in anything other than alcohol. Your ability to make good decisions, like deciding to stop drinking, is compromised.

Alcohol can damage the prefrontal cortex so much that it causes problems with emotional dysregulation, depression, and anxiety. For some, it can damage the connections between neurons as well, causing early-onset dementia.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Consistent Alcohol Use?

It may seem like it’s just a drink, but consistent alcohol use or binge drinking can cause long-term health effects. These can include:

  • Changes to your motor skills
  • Desires to engage in more reckless behavior
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Long-term memory loss
  • Onset of depression
  • Intensifying anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Damage to the immune system
  • Inflammation of the pancreas and liver
  • Cancer onset

There are also social ramifications of long-term alcohol use. A person with a dependency isn’t able to prioritize anything outside of their next drink. This means that school, work, friendships, and even family become secondary, even if you don’t want that to be the case. 

Can You Reverse Alcohol’s Damage?

There’s no cure for alcohol use disorder, but there are very effective treatments that can significantly reduce symptoms and prevent worsening damage to the brain and body. Some of the cells impacted by alcohol can be restored, and, with time and work, you can go on to live a healthy life if you stop using alcohol.

To achieve this, though, you must first stop drinking, and that’s the hardest step. Your brain is now hardwired to seek out alcohol, and you think that you need it to relieve anxiety, calm your mind, and focus.

What Does It Take to Get Treatment for Alcohol Addiction?

If you find drinking is overtaking your thoughts and abilities to make wise decisions, take action now by reaching out to a drug and alcohol treatment center like Victory Addiction Recovery Center. Here’s what you can expect.

  • Education about treatment programs that can help you to stop drinking for good.
  • About 3-7 days in detox if you have a moderate to severe level of alcohol addiction. Detox helps to break the dependence your brain and body have on alcohol, giving you the ability to make better decisions over time.
  • Up to 30 days in residential treatment. This type of program provides constant care and support via therapy and holistic treatments as you work to rewire your brain. You’ll be in a safe, drug- and alcohol-free environment with ample support.
  • Family therapy to help restore relationships and set you up for success in your home environment. 
  • New skills and confidence to stay sober and achieve the life goals you set for yourself.

Let Victory Addiction Recovery Center Help You

The sooner you take the step to get help, the sooner change can occur. Allow our alcohol treatment center in Lafayette, LA, to help you get on the right path to restoring your health.

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Looking for co-occurring disorder treatment in Lafayette? To learn more about our programs at Victory Addiction Recovery Center, please contact us anytime at (337) 456.9111.

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