Alcohol and memory loss sometimes go hand in hand. Heavy drinking can lead to blacking out, which means losing memories of events that occurred while under the influence. This can happen even with just one instance of excessive drinking. Blacking out drunk can also increase the likelihood of dangerous or risky behavior because the person may not remember the consequences of their actions. In addition to causing short-term memory loss, chronic alcohol abuse can also lead to longer-term memory impairment and damage to the brain. This damage may be irreversible and can affect one’s ability to learn and retain new information.
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol and memory loss, BoardPrep Recovery Center®’s alcohol addiction treatment in Tampa can help. Contact us at 866.796.4720 to learn more about our treatment options and how we can support you on the path to recovery.
Alcohol and Memory
The connection between alcohol and memory loss has been well-researched. Heavy drinking can lead to blacking out, which means losing memories of events that occurred while under the influence.
Alcohol interferes with the brain’s ability to encode memories, leading to gaps in memory or complete loss of memory for a period of time. In some cases, these memories may never be retrieved.
Binge drinking, or consuming a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time, can increase the likelihood of blacking out. However, even moderate or occasional heavy drinking can result in memory loss.
Risks of Blacking Out Drunk
Blackout out drunk occurs when the body’s blood alcohol level reaches 0.15 or higher. In addition to memory loss, risks of blacking out include:
- Increased likelihood of dangerous or risky behavior
- Inability to make sound decisions
- Greater risk for alcohol poisoning
- Increased risk for accidents or injury Long-
Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse on Memory
Chronic alcohol abuse can lead to longer-term memory problems and brain damage. This damage can affect the brain’s ability to form new memories, retain information, and make decisions. Memory loss and cognitive impairment may be irreversible.
Long-term possible effects include:
- Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, also known as wet brain, is a serious condition caused by thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency, often seen in people with alcoholism
- Korsakoff’s psychosis, which is characterized by severe memory loss and confabulation (making up memories to fill in gaps)
- Permanent damage to parts of the brain, including the hippocampus
Is My Memory at Risk?
You may be wondering if your drinking is putting your memory at risk. A good indicator is if you have blacked out while drinking. If this has happened once or multiple times, it’s important to consider the potential long-term effects and seek help if needed.
Other symptoms of an addiction to alcohol include the following:
- Feeling a strong urge or compulsion to drink, Increasing tolerance, needing more alcohol to feel the effects
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not drinking
- Neglecting responsibilities or relationships in favor of drinking
- Continuing to drink despite negative consequences
Getting Help for Alcohol Addiction and Memory Loss
If alcohol is impacting your memory and daily functioning, it is important to seek help. Addiction treatment can address both the physical and psychological aspects of alcohol use disorder to support long-term recovery. At BoardPrep Recovery Center®, our alcohol addiction treatment in Tampa includes evidence-based therapies, holistic approaches, and family education and support.
Find Help for Your Alcohol Use at BoardPrep Recovery Center®
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol, it’s important to seek professional help. At BoardPrep Recovery Center®, we can provide the support and resources necessary for healing and long-term sobriety. Contact us today by using our online form or by calling us at 866.796.4720 for more information about our treatment options. Take the first step towards recovery today.