The Relationship Between Alcohol Use and Brain Injury

Are Alcohol Use and Brain Damage Closely Related?

According to studies on alcohol use and brain damage in the United States, two-thirds of people with brain damage have been found to have alcohol abuse or risky drinking. About 30-50% of all brain injuries occurred while intoxicated and about one-third under the influence of other substances.

About half of those who have had a brain injury reduce or completely cut out alcohol consumption after the injury. On the other hand, some patients continue to consume too much alcohol after brain injury and face the negative consequences of this.

You May Be Interested In: “ Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury ”

Alcohol Use After Brain Injury

People who have suffered a brain injury become more susceptible to alcohol use. Alcohol use after brain injury;

  • It increases the risk of re-injury.
  • It exacerbates cognitive problems.
  • It prepares the ground for psychological problems such as depression.
  • It negatively affects the recovery of the brain.

Because of all these effects , people with brain damage are strongly advised to stay away from alcohol. The recovery process of the brain after brain injury can take a very long time. In severe damage, this process can continue for years. Alcohol slows or stops the brain’s healing process. Alcohol should be avoided to provide the best conditions for brain recovery.

Read More  Memory Loss After Head Injury

How Do Alcohol Use and Brain Injury Healing Relate?

1. Alcohol Use Increases the Risk of Developing Epilepsy

The risk of developing epilepsy (seizure) increases after brain damage . Alcohol can lower the seizure threshold and trigger seizures. Therefore, drinking alcohol increases the likelihood of developing seizures.

2. Exacerbates Mental Problems

Brain damage has negative effects on mental skills such as memory and thinking. Consumption of alcohol also causes similar negative effects. Alcohol use can exacerbate mental problems caused by brain damage. The negative effects of alcohol may continue for days and weeks after alcohol cessation.

3. Alcohol Use Triggers Depression

In the first year after brain injury, the incidence of depression increases 8 times compared to the general population. Alcohol can trigger or exacerbate depression. In addition, it can reduce the effect of antidepressant drugs. People taking antidepressant medication should not drink alcohol.

4. It Affects Sexual Life Negatively

Alcohol use also has a negative effect on sexuality. Alcohol reduces testosterone production and sexual desire in men. It causes erection and ejaculation problems in men. It reduces sexual satisfaction in both men and women.

Is There a “Safe” Amount of Alcohol?

After brain injury, the brain becomes more sensitive to alcohol use . This means that even a drink or two may not be safe.

People with brain damage experience balance and coordination disorders. Patients do special exercises to improve balance and coordination in their treatment programs. During these exercises, the person should give all his attention and the brain should be open to learning. But alcohol disrupts this whole process. In short, there is no dose of alcohol that can be considered safe for a person who has had a brain injury.

Read More  Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms

Alcohol can interact with a variety of medications a person is taking For example, while reducing the effect of some drugs, it can increase the effect of other drugs and lead to fatal results. This is one of the most negative things to experience in addition to alcohol use and brain damage.

Many of the negative features we mentioned in this regard are also valid for illegal drugs or stimulants such as marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine. People who have had brain damage are much more susceptible to the negative effects of these substances and should not use these substances.

Precautions for Those Who Can’t Quit Alcohol

Those who do not want to quit alcohol can take some measures to reduce the harmful effects of alcohol.

  1. Not drinking faster than one unit of drink per hour and not exceeding 2 drinks a day can reduce the harmful effects.
  2. The person can set alcohol-free days or weeks for himself.
  3. Beer can be preferred instead of drinks with a high alcohol content, or hard drinks can be mixed with water.
  4. Eating and drinking water before consuming alcohol can prevent a sudden increase in blood alcohol levels.
  5. Taking B1, B12, and folate supplements may reduce the risk of alcohol-related brain damage.
  6. In order to avoid drunk driving, transportation can be planned in advance, a taxi can be used, or a driver who will not drink alcohol can be determined if a group of friends is in question.

However, a person who has had a brain injury should aim to quit alcohol completely to maximize their chances of recovery.

Read More  Physical Therapy in Multiple Sclerosis

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.