So many people enjoy a glass of something fizzy at the end of a long and busy week, and yet not many people consider the ramifications that ‘just one drink’ every night could have. 

Some people know the dangers of alcohol but it becomes a thing where they never think those negative things will happen to them. Some of the dangers of alcohol are very well known and they are obvious but others aren’t so obvious and that can create issues over time. 

Alcohol abuse can lead to several adverse health effects and one of those risks is the risk of a stroke. There is evidence out there – both old and emerging – that confirms that alcohol can contribute towards a higher stroke risk and some people continue to drink while knowing the risks of alcohol consumption. 

Some people even continue to drink after the negative consequences become apparent, and that is where there is a huge concern and addiction could be a worry.

What Is a Stroke?

A stroke – also known as a cerebrovascular event – is something that occurs when both the brain and the cardiovascular systems are affected. There are two different types of strokes and both occur with an unwanted and unexpected reaction between the brain and the surrounding blood vessels. 

Ischemic stroke 

Ischemic Stroke is the most common type of stroke to consider, and it’s where a clot or a blockage prevents blood from getting to the brain on time. The brain needs blood to survive and the cells will quickly die if there is no blood in the brain.

Hemorrhagic Stroke

The second type of stroke is a hemorrhagic stroke and it’s because a vessel has ruptured and leakage into the brain occurs. These are less common, and some of the symptoms of a stroke include:

  • Muscle weakness is experienced, usually down just one side of the body

  • Issues with speech begin, slurring and stumbling occur

  • Problems with vision occur in one or both eyes

  • A loss of balance or difficulties with coordination

  • Sudden, severe headaches

Alcohol and Strokes

You might have heard that moderate consumption of alcohol is actually good for the heart and yet much evidence out there shows us that there is an increased risk of heart issues as a result of too much alcohol. Studies show us that moderation with alcohol will slightly reduce the risk of an ischemic stroke. 

However, we also know that heavy drinking can increase both types of stroke – which is not the evidence that most people want to hear. The increase in hemorrhagic strokes is higher than ischemic strokes, and this is due to the broken blood vessels in the brain.

Another of the dangers with alcohol where strokes are concerned is the reduced immune system response. If you are a heavy drinker and you quit drinking, you need to be sure that you understand what’s going on so that you can get help immediately. 

Withdrawals place a very heavy load on the body and when this happens, the effect can carry over into the health outcomes of someone who has been through a stroke. As the body tries to recover from the damage that alcohol has done to it, you need it to be easy and withdrawals won’t help. 

Withdrawals worsen almost every outcome that stroke victims deal with. They spend more money, have more complications, stay in the hospital longer, and are more likely to die. 

Should You Drink Alcohol after a Stroke?

If you know that alcohol can increase your risk of having a stroke, then it’s not likely to be a smart decision to drink AFTER a stroke has occurred. Your chances of another stroke increase, and alcohol can make some aspects of recovery much more difficult and recovery much more complex. 

Alcohol can make the recovery from a stroke much harder, too, due to the complex effect it has on the brain. There are bigger difficulties with speaking, thinking, and overall coordination with alcohol use. 

Get Help with Us

There are many different downsides to being unable to stop drinking and if you have had a stroke before or you are at an increased risk of stroke, you are at even higher risk with the consumption of alcohol. 
It’s these people we are here to help. Impact Outpatient Program is a one-of-a-kind outpatient drug & alcohol treatment center that offers a path to lasting, sustainable recovery. Take the time to figure out the best recovery program for you and you’ll be on top of it in no time at all. Start your journey toward successful recovery with our caring professionals.

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