A man pondering the question, "How does alcohol affect the brain?"

Men and women of all ages use alcohol. Because the heavy consumption of alcohol is so prevalent, it may be difficult to identify an addiction. Additionally, many people develop an addiction because of their genetics. Although you might think alcohol is only causing life struggle, it also affects you cognitively. Therefore, if you’re concerned about alcohol addiction, you should be asking how does alcohol affect the brain.

Learn more about alcohol addiction treatment. Call us today at 866.957.7885.

How Does Alcohol Affect The Brain?

Many people experience regular problems when binge drinking. Ultimately, this leads to memory loss and blackouts. Typically, blackouts occur when people drink excessively in a short period of time. Overall, women are more vulnerable to these forms of memory loss than men.

However, both men and women have difficulty with learning and memory when they’ve been drinking excessively for long periods of time. Various issues that arise during blackout drinking include:

  • No memory of driving while drunk
  • Risky sexual behavior
  • No memory of physical altercations

What Is Wet Brain?

Wernicke-Kosakoff Syndrome, also known as “wet brain”, occurs as a result of a thiamine deficiency from alcoholism. Primarily, wet brain causes confusion and optical nerve paralysis. The symptoms of wet brain can be so severe, some people are unable to find their way out of a room. This is why seeking alcohol detox is so important.

The Young Brain

Young people, especially, are at high risk of slowing brain development. This is because the brain is still maturing during the adolescent years. The part of the brain responsible for logical decision making, impulse control, and empathy is the prefrontal cortex. It slows brain development when young people regularly drink in excess. Additionally, this means young people are more likely to develop an alcohol addiction.

Detox From Alcohol

Over the course of an addiction, chemicals from alcohol cause the brain and body to adapt. At first, the body is unused to the presence of a substance, allowing for quick and potent highs. Over time, however, the body adjusts, and it takes more alcohol more often to achieve the same effects. As the body builds tolerance, the brain drives cravings, which in turn fuels the vicious cycle of addiction.

When a physical dependency is unfulfilled, the affected person undergoes alcohol withdrawal. Withdrawal is particularly severe for heavy users, and for users of alcohol, heroin, and benzos. This severity is dangerous not only to a person's health, but also to their recovery. If a person undergoes withdrawal but has access to their substance of choice, the urge to relapse will be very strong. Alcohol withdrawal is the first, and perhaps the most difficult, roadblock to your recovery.

Since withdrawal is so severe, doctors strongly recommend against going through withdrawal alone, aka "cold turkey." Instead, doctors recommend that patients seek alcohol detox treatment. At San Antonio Recovery Center, we offer detox programs for alcohol and heroin, for both men and women.

Detox starts with withdrawal, lasting anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days. The benefit of detox is that it takes place in a secure, medically monitored environment. Some withdrawal symptoms, like seizures or delirium tremens (for alcoholics), can be fatal if left untreated. Medical professionals monitor detox patients 24/7 to keep them comfortable and safe as their body purges the addictive substance.

Finding The Right Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

If alcoholism facts worry you, it’s time to get help. At San Antonio Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas, we use the 12-step philosophy to help you regain control of your life. No matter how low you think you’ve gone, we’re here to uplift you. Our comprehensive programs include:

Residential Treatment

Residential treatment is a form of intensive care in which an individual lives at a residential facility while undergoing comprehensive treatment for their substance use disorder. It typically involves round-the-clock support from staff and access to medical care, psychiatric services, nutrition counseling, and other resources necessary for recovery.

Men's Program

A men’s program is designed to meet the needs of men suffering from addiction. These programs provide an environment that allows men to focus on recovery without the distractions and influences of their everyday lives. The goal of a men’s program is to help individuals achieve sobriety and develop the skills necessary to maintain long-term recovery.

Women's Program

A women’s program for addiction places an emphasis on meeting the unique needs of female clients. Women’s programs provide a safe and supportive space where women can talk openly about their emotions, experiences, and struggles without judgment or fear. These programs often provide a more holistic approach to recovery that includes discussion of the roles society and media play in creating unrealistic expectations for women, as well as teaching healthy coping skills to combat stress and triggers.


Aftercare includes services and resources that help individuals maintain sobriety and prevent relapse. It typically includes regular meetings with a counselor or therapist, participation in 12-step meetings and other support group activities, community involvement, and educational opportunities.

Contact San Antonio Recovery Center

How does alcohol affect the brain? The answer is alarming. Don’t wait another day to get the necessary help. Contact San Antonio Recovery Center online or call 866.957.7885 to transform your life.

Now is the time to focus on your recovery.


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