Do you like to indulge in a glass of wine occasionally? Most adults report drinking alcohol at least occasionally. Alcohol consumption has risen in recent years. Having a drink from time to time is unlikely to cause health problems, but moderate or heavy drinking can impact the brain. Alcohol abuse can have an impact on your brain, which is why Grand Falls Recovery offers alcohol recovery.
What Parts Of The Brain Does Alcohol Affect?
The brain controls our thoughts, emotions, memory, motor functions, temperature, senses, organs, and autonomic activities like breathing. Alcohol can have an adverse health impact on all of these important brain functions.
- The cerebral cortex is the thinking center of our consciousness. This is where we process information and formulate judgments and decisions. Alcohol depresses this function, slowing the input of information, clouding the thought process, and reducing inhibitions. Long-term use of alcohol can permanently damage the cerebral cortex.
- The Cerebellum is the center of movement, coordination, equilibrium, and balance. Alcohol impairs this part of the brain, affecting balance, causing drinkers to be unsteady, stagger, and possibly fall. It may also cause the hands to shake.
- The Hypothalamus and the Pituitary work together to link the nervous system to the endocrine system. This part of the brain stimulates and inhibits important hormonal processes in order to maintain the body’s internal balance. Alcohol depresses and disrupts this balance, as well as having an impact on sexual desire and performance. Sexual desire could intensify, but the ability to perform may be impaired.
- The Medulla controls automatic functions like breathing, consciousness, and body temperature. Alcohol depresses these essential functions, causing sleepiness, slowing breathing, lowering body temperature, and even coma. This can be life-threatening.
- The Hippocampus controls memory. Alcohol affects this area, causing blackouts, and memory loss, and impacting the ability to learn. Long-term use of alcohol can permanently affect the memory and could even contribute to dementia.
- The Central Nervous System is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Alcohol slows down the transmission of messages to and from these areas, slowing movement, thinking, and speech.
Recovery From Alcohol Abuse
Recovery can be a very challenging process, but research does show that a focus on sobriety and other healthy life choices can give you a framework for better brain health. The brain is very adaptable and, with the right care and support, can begin to heal from chronic alcohol use in many cases.
When you are looking for a recovery partner, it’s important to select a treatment provider who understands how alcohol use disorder impacts the brain and provides the right treatment. Don’t be afraid to ask treatment providers directly what level of experience they have with alcohol addiction and how they will bring brain-focused care into their treatment plans.
At Grand Falls Recovery, we understand the connection between alcohol addiction and the brain. This is why we begin our treatment for alcohol addiction with a focus on healing the brain through a combination of innovative, specialized treatment and evidence-based clinical therapy.