Clearing the Fog: Tips for Recovery from Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse, alcoholism, binge drinking, and alcohol use disorder are all terms used to describe excessive drinking. While the specifics of each type of drinking vary in terms of quantity, duration and frequency, there are commonalities with regard to effects on the brain and the body. Alcohol affects the brain and body in specific ways and habitual excessive drinking leads to areas of damage.
Effects of Long-Term Alcohol Abuse
With technology advances, scientists are able to effectively study and measure brain changes in persons who use alcohol. Persons identified as “chronic alcoholics” show significantly decreased white matter in the brain than their non-alcoholic counterparts. However, even with persons engaging in heavy drinking or binge drinking, the brain suffers losses. Further, body systems involved in processing alcohol are adversely affected. Long-term alcohol abuse or habitual binge drinking can result in any combination of the following:
- Decrease in white matter in the brain
- Memory impairment
- Problem-solving deficits
- Motor control issues
- High blood pressure
- Liver disease
- Social skills deficits
- Relationship dysfunction
- Emotional disturbances
You can avoid these long-term effects by getting treatment help today.
Get help today at 800-481-6965 (Who Answers?) .
Ingested in large quantities, alcohol is a toxin. The body systems must work harder to process the toxin effectively to remove it from the system. For persons seeking sobriety, detoxification is necessary to withdrawal if physical dependence upon alcohol is present. Even if a physical addiction is not noted, alcohol affects the filtration systems of the body and weakens the body. Eating a healthy diet, taking vitamin supplements and engaging in moderate exercise are all good ways to clear the body and restore health.
Alcohol abusers who are working to get sober must also clear away the mental fog that has ensued from regular alcohol misuse. Even with intermittent binge drinking, memory, motor function and problem-solving abilities are affected. Scientists are learning that neural pathways and white matter do have regenerative properties; however, long-term sobriety is required to fully restore mental clarity.
Problem drinkers are often drinking to manage emotions. Whether seeking to ease social anxiety or drinking to kill the pain of deeper emotional issues, most alcoholics lack emotional clarity. Learning to identify feelings and respond appropriately is a new skill for persons seeking sobriety. Counseling can help those seeking long term emotional sobriety of uncover new methods of coping.
For most unhappy drinkers, a spiritual or religious life is neglected. Because excessive alcohol consumption generally leads to questionable decision-making and erratic behavior, some alcoholics care a deep sense of shame and remorse. Alcoholics Anonymous can provide support and help for those seeking to restore this facet of their lives. Spiritual intervention can bring meaning to aid in recovery.
To find an AA meeting in your area, get help today at 800-481-6965 (Who Answers?) .
Practices to Develop Clarity
Early in sobriety, developing new habits and healthy practices is important. Recovery does not happen overnight. Alcohol abuses the body, mind and spirit. The following practices can enhance ongoing recovery efforts:
- Daily exercise
- Good diet and vitamin supplements
- Consulting with medical professionals
- Engaging in a new hobby
- Finding a support group
- Talking to a sponsor or mentor
- Prayer and meditation
Staying the Course
Excessive, habitual drinking damages every aspect of a person. In order to recover, steady ongoing commitment is required. Positive actions will contribute to health bit by bit and day by day. Even though the process may be difficult, staying on the path will ultimately lead to a healthy destination.
For more recovery advice, get help today at 800-481-6965 (Who Answers?) .
Alcoholics Anonymous (2016). Welcome to Alcoholics Anonymous. Retrieved on January 7, 2017 from: http://www.aa.org/
Courtney, K. & Polich, J. (2009). Binge drinking in young adults: Data, definitions and determinants. Psychological Bulletin 135(1): 142-156. Retrieved on January 7, 2017 from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2748736/
NIH (N.D.) Alcohol’s effects on the body. National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Retrieved on January 7, 2017 from: https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/alcohols-effects-body
NIH (2004). Alcohol alert. National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Retrieved on January 7, 2017 from: https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa63/aa63.htm
Siglow, J. (1999). Alcohol and its effects on the alcoholic as well as the family. The Review: A Journal of Undergraduate Student Research. 2(13): 64-69. Retrieved on January 7, 2017 from: http://fisherpub.sjfc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1115&context=ur
Sullivan, E., Harris, A. & Pfefferbaum, A. (2010). Alcohol’s effects on brain and behavior. Alcohol Research and Health. 33 (1-2): 127-143. Retrieved on January 7, 2017 from: https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh40/127-143.pdf