How Does Alcohol Affect My Mental Health?
Alcohol is one of the most used drugs in America, possibly because it is legal, it is socially acceptable, and it is available practically everywhere. It is also an addictive substance that can cause severe physical and mental health issues that can become chronic if untreated.
Not only does alcohol abuse and addiction damage the liver, but alcohol misuse is also detrimental to the brain and your overall mental health. Because the brain is a delicate organ with a fine balance of chemicals and neurons, cognition and memory are affected if you regularly drink, and pre-existing mental health conditions can be made worse as the brain is forced to adapt to a change to compensate for the changes made by alcohol.
Short Term Effects of Alcohol on Mental Health
When you drink alcohol, you become intoxicated. This happens because the chemicals in alcohol react with your central nervous system. Alcohol changes the ways your brain communicates with the rest of your body. You may show signs of cognitive and physical impairment after only a couple of drinks, like motor coordination issues, slowed reaction times, confusion, and a decline in the ability to make decisions.
Excessive alcohol consumption can result in an alcohol overdose, sometimes known as alcohol poisoning, a potentially deadly condition that includes:
- Losing consciousness
- Slow heart rate
- Suppressed breathing
- Permanent brain damage
Long Term Effects of Alcohol on Mental Health
Drinking alcohol consistently, especially binge drinking or heavy drinking, may result in developing a substance use disorder (addiction). This occurs as the body becomes dependent on having alcohol in your system to function normally, and you will experience withdrawal symptoms if you do not drink. Over time, drinking becomes a compulsion, and alcohol takes over your life. Alcoholism (or alcohol use disorder) is a brain disease that cannot be cured but can be managed.
Long-term drinking can also cause:
- serious problems with your heart, liver, digestive system, immune system, sleep patterns
- the development or exacerbation of mental health issues like depression and anxiety
- serious disruptions in mood and sociability
- shrinking of the hippocampus region of the brain, which is responsible for learning and memory, causing long-term learning problems and even dementia
- thiamine deficiency that can cause “wet brain”, Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, with persisting mental confusion, difficulty with coordination, learning and memory problems, and eye movement disturbances
When To Seek Alcohol Treatment
If you find that you are drinking compulsively, or that your pattern of drinking is becoming problematic or causing negative consequences to your life, you may want to consider entering rehab. Some other signs of alcohol addiction include:
- Developing a tolerance to alcohol (needing to drink more to achieve the same level of intoxication)
- Being unable to cut down or stop drinking due to withdrawal symptoms
- Being unable to get through the day without drinking, feeling obsessed with drinking or craving alcohol, and planning your day around when you can have your next drink
- Continuing to drink even when it causes family, financial, health, or work problems
Serenity Oaks Alcohol Rehab in Fort Lauderdale
At Serenity Oaks alcohol and drug treatment center, we can help you quit drinking in a safe and effective manner and move forward in your life on a positive trajectory, without alcohol dependence. Our continuum of care includes medical detox, inpatient rehab, and outpatient rehab, including partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient programs, and alumni programs.
Through customized rehab programs that include treatments like:
- Medication-assisted detox (due to the health risks involved with severe withdrawal symptoms you should not suddenly stop drinking on your own)
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Multi-dimensional family therapy
- Individual and group therapy
- Alternative treatments like yoga, meditation, and acupuncture
- 12-step and SMART recovery group integration
- Motivational interviewing
- Life skills training, physical health, and nutrition classes
- Aftercare groups, a supportive alumni community, and sober living home referrals
We provide dual diagnosis treatments for those with addiction to alcohol and mental health concerns like schizophrenia, generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
You will not only learn strategies to refrain from drinking and prevent relapse, but you will also heal the underlying causes of addiction like trauma and emotional pain while regaining your physical strength and spiritual wellness through our integrated levels of care. There will never be a time when you are alone in your recovery. With Serenity Oaks, you will be able to stop your substance abuse for good, meet your recovery goals, and move forward in life stronger, happier, and healthier.
Learn about the short and long term effects of alcohol on mental health and call the experts at Serenity Oaks Wellness Center for top rated addiction treatment! #serenityoakswellness #fortlauderdale #mentalhealthawareness #addictionandmentalhealthhttps://t.co/wraRFmzbQn
— Serenity Oaks (@Serenity_Oaks_) May 20, 2022