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How Alcohol Addiction Can Affect Your Memory

Frequent alcohol abuse can inflict massive damage on the user’s body including liver disease, heart problems and even cancer but another major damage that it can have on an individual is alcohol can have a serious effect on a person’s memory causing them to lose memory.


Most people in their life will experience a blackout even after one night of heavy drinking causing them to lose complete memory of what happened the night before now imagine what an extended period of time would do to the brain. Alcohol addiction is a serious disease that can affect anyone from any walk of life regardless of their gender, social status and economic status. Due to its legal nature, alcohol addiction can often be overlooked but extended misuse of alcohol can have serious damage to a person’s body or mind.


Doctors have researched and studied leading them to discover several ways that alcohol abuse can affect the brain and memory. People who binge drink or suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder or also known as short may start to experience short or long-term memory loss. We’ve put together this article to help you understand more about the dangers of alcohol addiction and the ways it can affect your memory.


Here at AnorMed, we help people find tailored rehabilitation for their addiction so they can get back to the best and healthiest version of themselves – if you are suffering from an alcohol addiction or know a loved one who is don’t wait till it’s too late. Get in touch today.

Different Ways Alcohol Addiction Can Affect Memory

Alcohol addiction can be of the most addictions to quit, many people who suffer from alcohol addiction will have tried to quit but failed for a number of reasons whether it’d be due to the pain from withdrawal symptoms or falling back into bad habits. Regardless, there is always hope for you to recover. 


Doctors have found there are several different ways alcohol misuse can affect a person’s memory which include:

Short-Term Memory Loss

Some people after a heavy night of drinking will often experience what doctors call a ‘blackout’ where a person will consume a large amount of alcohol and forget key details of what happened during the night. 


The situations in question can range from something as small as forgetting where they placed a debit card or forgetting completely what happened during the night. It has been found that people will start suffering from memory loss after a night out when they have consumed five or more alcoholic drinks.


The reason that alcohol is able to affect your short-term memory is by slowing down nerves that communicate with each other in the part of the brain called the hippocampus. If you have never heard of the hippocampus, it plays a huge role in helping people form and remember certain details about their life. An example would be if a person tastes a meal that they often had as a child then they will get the feeling of their childhood.


When your brain’s normal nerve activity starts to slow down then you will start to experience short-term memory loss.

Long-Term Memory Loss

Constant large abuse of alcoholic substances will not only slow down your hippocampus but it can damage it. Alcohol abuse can destroy your nerve cells leading to a person’s memory being affected in the short term and long term. 


Plus people with alcohol addiction are often deficient in vitamin B-1 or thiamine. This can also affect your memory as vitamin B-1 is important in providing energy to your brain and nerve cells. Alcohol abuse can also affect how your body uses thiamine in ways such as people who have alcohol addiction will often not have a healthy diet meaning that they miss out on key nutrients. 


Drinking a large amount of alcohol on a daily basis can also affect how your stomach absorbs the nutrition lining through irritation. Heavy alcohol abuse can cause sickness leading to vomiting which will keep the stomach and intestines from absorbing nutrients. 


It has been found that individuals who suffer from thiamine deficiency are more at risk of developing dementia which is progressive and can cause permanent memory loss.

Signs & Symptoms Of Alcohol Memory Loss

The effects that alcohol can have on your memory are oftentimes apparent such as forgetting how you got home from a night out or forgetting where you placed something when you got back to your home or in some cases forgetting 90% of the night altogether which can lead to serious anxiety.


Some of the signs & symptoms of alcohol memory loss can be a lot more subtle that can be brushed aside but over time can become serious. If you or notice a loved one displaying these signs & symptoms quite regularly then you could be suffering from short-term memory loss from alcohol:

Those suffering from long-term memory loss from alcohol addiction will display signs & symptoms such as:

It can be hard to admit that you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol addiction but alcohol addiction can seriously damage a person’s health when left untreated. Do not wait for the worse to happen and get in touch today to start the road to recovery.

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