Alcoholism is a chronic and severe disease affecting nearly 15 million Americans aged 12 and older yearly.
Whether you’ve been addicted to alcohol for days, months or years, it can affect your entire body, from how you look and feel to how you act and everything in between.
In fact, one of the most impacted parts of your body is your brain.
Although active consumption of alcohol plays a huge role in your brain’s overall functionality, when you stop drinking, your brain changes a lot, too.
If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol addiction, we can help.
Sobriety is one of the best ways to start feeling better and get your brain back to a healthier and more functional state.
Let’s discuss exactly what happens to your brain when you stop drinking alcohol.
HOW DOES ALCOHOL AFFECT THE BRAIN?
Although the physical effects of alcohol use are often boiled down to liver issues, high blood pressure, and changes in mental state and clarity, there are other ways that alcohol can significantly impact your physical and psychological state, including significant changes to the brain.
As you drink, alcohol interferes with how your brain communicates with other parts of your body.
For many, it can even change how your brain looks and works, affecting areas of your life like your thoughts, balance, memory, speech and judgment, often resulting in various adverse outcomes over time.
The good news is that when you decide to quit drinking, your brain experiences just as many, if not more, changes over time.
WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR BRAIN WHEN YOU STOP DRINKING?
Brain functionality is one of the most critical parts of the human body, but alcoholism can be detrimental to it. This is especially true for those who binge drink, consume large amounts of alcohol or drink alcohol regularly for long periods.
After you stop drinking, there are three major changes that your brain experiences over time.
1. Your frontal lobe regenerates.
This area of your brain is responsible for critical aspects of your everyday life, including behavior control, memory, motor function and reasoning. Drinking can hinder these abilities due to direct damage to this area. When you stop drinking, cells in the frontal lobe begin to grow anew, bringing about a renewed sense of clarity and functionality. For some, changes may be noticed quickly, while others may gradually experience them over a more extended period of time.
2. Dopamine levels balance out.
Alcohol causes an imbalance of dopamine in your brain. During active consumption, alcohol use overloads the brain with dopamine and reduces dopamine receptors linking pleasure to alcohol. When you quit, your dopamine levels may dive, leaving you with feelings of sadness. As they begin to level out, negative feelings subside.
3. Serotonin levels increase.
Although short-term alcohol use can lead to stints of serotonin boosts, long-term use can decrease overall serotonin production. After you stop drinking, your serotonin levels slowly begin to increase.
Article source: www.alpinerecoverylodge.com