Even though alcohol use is considered socially acceptable in society, heavy alcohol use can be detrimental to your physical and mental health. Long-term alcohol use and addiction can permanently damage the brain and cause or exacerbate mental health conditions. Here are some ways an alcohol addiction can affect the brain.
The brain is a very delicate and complex organ. It functions by maintaining a careful balance of chemicals also called neurotransmitters. This balance must be maintained for a person to function properly and “normally”. When you become intoxicated from alcohol, the brain’s equilibrium is thrown off. This is easily repaired if the alcohol use is occasional. But long-term use and addiction can change how the brain works on an everyday basis.
An Addicted Brain
When we talk about alcohol addiction, we are referring to the brain being addicted to the substance. When you drink alcohol regularly, your brain begins to rely on it and changes the entire way it works because of it. When alcohol is not in your system, your brain will put your body in physical distress and cause you to crave it until it gets what it wants.
Depression and Anxiety
Besides the physical effects that an alcohol addiction has on the body, such as liver and heart disease, it also has physical effects on the brain. Alcoholics are prone to depression, anxiety and other mental health problems caused by the physical changes in the brain. Alcohol addiction also affects the production of the hormone essential for sleep and appetite, so addicts tend to have weight issues and sleep disorders as well.
Alcohol addiction is a serious health concern. Please reach out to us at the Atlantic Recovery Center to see what kind of alcohol addiction recovery programs we have that will work for you. You do not have to handle this on your own. We are here to help.