A person does not have to drink every day to develop problems with alcohol. Alcoholism is not defined by how often you drink but is more about the reasons you drink. A person who does not stop drinking, even when they face negative consequences, can have problems with alcohol.
When a person drinks beyond his or her limit, they can experience vomiting, blackouts, overdose, or death. Not having the ability to control how much is consumed can be very harmful to a person’s physical and mental health. Excessive drinking can cause brain damage and can impair a person’s memory. When a person drinks more than they should, he or she puts themselves at risk for serious health issues.
Excessive drinking can lead to alcoholism. When alcohol is consumed, the brain’s neurotransmitters release high amounts of dopamine, which give the person a pleasurable feeling. Over time, an individual must drink more and more of the alcohol to achieve the same euphoric effects. The brain becomes controlled by the alcohol and affects a person’s speech, vision, motor skills, critical thinking, judgment, and decisions. A person who is intoxicated can act on impulse and not think about consequences of his or her actions.
When an individual blacks out, he or she drinks so much that they do not remember a portion of the time they were drunk. Regular blackouts are a major sign of alcohol use disorder. The person cannot control his or her compulsion to drink and cannot limit their intake. When a person drinks too much alcohol and blacks out, his or her brain’s memory function is interrupted causing the person to not remember anything during that time.
According to an article on alcohol-induced blackouts for BBC by Melissa Hogenboom (2018), “It’s believed that the hippocampus is momentarily impaired – this is the structure of the brain important for weaving together incoming information to create our memories of everyday events. People with severe damage to this area cannot create new memories.”
Even if you do not drink every day, you can still have a problem drinking and develop alcoholism. Many factors contribute to a person having an alcohol addiction such as genetics, environment, mental health, and history of alcohol abuse.
If you or a loved one live has an alcohol addiction or substance use disorder, get help immediately. Saying, “I need help,” can be difficult. There is hope for recovery, and no one should feel they need to fight addiction or substance use disorder alone.
Cypress Lakes Lodge offers treatment for addiction in a peaceful, remote, oxygen-rich environment. The program encompasses holistic addiction therapy for the mind, body, and soul. The focus is on physical, mental, and emotional well-being by generating the balance of life-enriching treatment, wellness, and healthy, sober, sustainable relationships. Call us to get started: 409-331-2204