What Are The Long Term Effects of Alcohol on the Brain?

Because it is one of America’s most widely available substances, most folks have consumed alcohol at some point in their lives. While normal alcohol consumption is ok, alcohol abuse can lead to many long-term health effects. There are even many effects from alcohol on the brain that can lead to severe health complications and even death. It’s essential to understand the impact of alcohol on the brain so that you know when it’s time to get someone help for their alcohol abuse and when they may have potentially serious long-term health problems related to alcohol use and misuse. 

Liberty Wellness treats addictions holistically by finding the root cause of the addiction and ensuring that a person develops the coping skills necessary to live a life free of addiction. In this post, we are going to discuss the effects of long-term alcohol abuse, as well as the effects of alcohol on the brain, how to treat alcoholism, and how to find a New Jersey outpatient rehab center

Is Alcohol Addictive? 

As one of the most widely available substances in America, alcohol is consumed by millions of people every day. Just like with drugs, alcohol is incredibly addictive for a variety of reasons. 

One reason alcohol is so addictive is that it is so readily available. The ability to obtain and consume alcohol legally makes it much more likely that people will begin abusing alcohol, which can quickly spiral into an addiction. While drinking alcohol is ok in moderation, the more a person consumes, the more likely they are to experience side effects. Eventually, repeated consumption becomes a difficult habit to break. 

Another reason that alcohol is addictive for so many is that many people enjoy the way it makes them feel. Alcohol produces an effect that slows the body’s responses and lowers inhibitions, making people more social, talkative, and willing to do things they normally would not. Many people consume alcohol to help them relax or destress. While alcohol does indeed help people relax, lowered inhibitions and poor judgment can often lead to many negative consequences. 

Lastly, alcohol is addictive because it chemically alters the body, namely the brain and central nervous system, causing them to become dependent on alcohol to function normally. As a person drinks, the body changes and needs alcohol to function; once this change has reached its peak, a person is fully addicted. 

What Are Long-Term Effects of Alcohol on the Brain? 

Alcohol can have very severe adverse effects on the brain. Most people understand that consuming alcohol reduces a person’s reaction speed, their ability to focus, their judgment, and their balance. What you may not understand is that alcohol influences specific areas of the brain, and long-term drinking can shrink neurons in the brain, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH). These changes can cause permanent impairment. 

Alcohol use by adolescents and young adults can actually alter the development of the brain and cause many harmful effects because the brain has not finished fully developing. 

Additionally, it is possible to overdose on alcohol which occurs when there is too much alcohol in the bloodstream at one time. When a person drinks too much alcohol over some time and overdoses, critical areas of the brain that control respiration, temperature, and heart rate begin to shut down.

How to Treat Alcoholism 

The best way to treat alcoholism is by going to a licensed alcohol addiction treatment facility and beginning the detox process. Detox is the process of getting the alcohol safely out of a person’s system. Once this happens, the person moves on to alcohol addiction treatment while the body tries to recover from the damage that the alcohol has done. 

In some cases, some medications can limit the cravings for alcohol or block the effects alcohol causes on the brain. These can help even severe cases of alcoholism to detox and enter recovery. The important thing is to stop drinking as soon as possible and start treatment so that the body can recover and the addiction can be managed.

Finding an Alcohol Rehab Center in North Jersey

If you or a loved one are struggling with an alcohol addiction, then New Jersey intensive outpatient programs can help.

We offer a full variety of treatment options for those with alcohol addiction, co-occurring disorders, and medical needs that require partial hospitalization. Our goal is a well-rounded approach to addiction treatment that treats the whole addiction and not just the substance or the symptoms. Liberty Wellness is a drug and alcohol rehab center in Berlin, NJ. Contact us today to learn more about our we can help you today.