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The Effects of Alcoholism on the Brain

Alcohol abuse can result in both short term and long term negative effects in the brain of the user. Knowing the symptoms of brain impairment can help you understand what’s going on in the body, and how the continued abuse of this substance can damage such a vital, complex organ over time.

Short-Term Effects

A known effect related to brain impairment are the gaps in memory that may begin to occur; this is a result of disruptions in neurotransmitters. These are recognizable characteristics that friends or family can easily notice. Additional effects can include decreased coordination, slower reflexes, slurred speech and a lack of concentration. Again, these qualities may seem obvious to someone observing from the outside, but the person abusing the substance may not be aware of anything wrong.

Long-Term Effects

After long-term abuse of alcohol, the damage done becomes more serious. Because alcohol releases dopamine that makes you feel good at that moment, as soon as it wears off, there can be intense cravings to revive that feeling again. This perpetuates the abuse which eventually disrupts the person’s lifestyle. Prolonged use eventually leads to reduced grey and white matter in the brain.

Though the effect of alcohol abuse can continue to become more serious when unaddressed, with proper rehabilitation, the brain structure functions can be restored. However, years of alcoholism may not allow for a full recovery, but with a healthy diet and a remove of alcohol and proper medical treatment,