How many people truly understand the role of alcohol and the brain? Many individuals have heard the jokes told to drinkers about how many brain cells they are killing with that shot of vodka or that martini or simply the famous beer, but when it comes to alcohol and the brain, what most people fail to grasp or understand clearly can affect their life. Alcohol and the brain is an important topic to discuss, especially if you or someone you know who drinks is beginning to have, or has been dealing with, problems in other aspects of their life.
Alcohol and the brain: cause and effect
It’s no secret that alcohol can be addictive. The drug itself alters the chemical composition in the brain and given enough time, the brain begins to rely on it. What most people aren’t aware of, however, when it comes to alcohol and the brain, is that whenever the brain alters some aspect of its function, it can lead to a number of other problems and challenges in life.
People can become depressed, morose, and have trouble dealing with some of the ordinary functions of everyday life due to the combination of alcohol and the brain. When the brain makes adjustments, and these adjustments can be short-lived or long-term, depending on the situation, then minute alterations in the brain can change a person’s mood.
This is due to an influx or reduction in a particular chemical in certain regions of the brain. If you have ever felt utter depression or the sensation that your life isn’t working for you, though you rationalized that there’s no reason to feel that way, then something was likely going on in your brain that set the chemical balance askew. This certainly doesn’t mean that the effects are permanent or dangerous, but if they persist over the long-term, if they begin to infiltrate and affect your life on a regular and consistent basis, then it is something that should be dealt with professionally.
Many people, when dealing with stress, anxiety, or other difficult challenges in life turn to alcohol as a way to escape. This can make life appear to be more manageable, but what is really occurring is that the alcohol in the brain is subduing certain chemical reactions, killing neurons and muting other areas of the brain. The alcohol is creating a false emotional framework, and while the person who is drinking to escape or to celebrate or to merely pass the time isn’t concerned with tomorrow, and isn’t considering the act as being long-term, the brain is doing precisely that.
How alcohol and the brain combine
The brain is a working, living organ that is processing information. Our thoughts can be about the past, the present, or the future, or about things that don’t exist. To the brain, any though we have is as real as the air we breathe. The brain doesn’t differentiate between what is real, imagined, or a memory. At the same token, it doesn’t understand that what is being introduced –this new, foreign stimuli- is only intended to be short-term. It processes the event as it would anything else and attempts to reconcile this new intrusion, if you will.
For those who study the effects of alcohol and the brain, the research has indicated that lifelong alcoholics have drastically different brain structures and processes than those who have either never taken a drink or only drink occasionally, socially. A person who drinks alcohol and does so habitually for a long period of time may exhibit different moods, shorter temper, or other behavior that is not indicative of the person that they were before they began drinking.
This isn’t even when they are drinking, but during their sober moments. The brain in these individuals has changed its pathways, it processes, and the chemicals it uses to conduct its daily activities. When a brain cell is killed by alcohol, it won’t regenerate, as cells in other parts of the body do. The damage is permanent.
There are alternatives
This doesn’t mean that a person who has damaged his or her brain by drinking excessive amounts of alcohol over time can’t get their life back to the way it was before, or to function efficiently and well. The brain is such a remarkable machine that it can be reprogrammed through a series of distinct efforts on the part of the individual.
Dr. Fleming has been working with clients for many years to help them overcome addiction as well as deal with the effects that it left behind on the brain, brining these individuals the peace, prosperity, and happiness they long for.
Dr. Fleming’s solution:
Dr. Fleming has long been working on studying how the brain works and through his efforts, has unlocked a number of incredible keys to overcoming any number of challenges. His customized one-on-one approach has helped thousands of clients from around the world improve their lives, overcome addictions, and become better people.
Dr. Fleming’s vast experience also includes:
- PhD trained with experience in not only addiction and clinical arenas but also corporate and executive development arenas.
- All one-on-one intensive arrangements customized and feature brain-retraining interventions and in depth, comprehensive assessment technologies.
- Come to the client and work “in their world” real time (no in patient stay overs that make a professional lose touch w/their busy life and work commitments).
- Versed in neuroscience and brain-based solutions that break the barriers around effectively changing a human being’s patterns of choices/behaviors.
- Coached hundreds of executives and professionals on 5 continents
- Over 95 percent “highly satisfied w/outcomes.”
- Been featured expert in The New York Times and Christian Science Monitor, and in featured interviews alongside gurus such as Marshall Goldsmith.
- A former shrink who knows under the radar barriers of human nature but doesn’t act like a shrink—a down to earth change agent who speaks it like it is.
- Former Hollywood high end clients come from his work as a recording artist as well as private coach for “derailed notables.”
- Former big name clients have trusted him: from a former White House Cabinet member to NFL athletes to professional musicians to Fortune 500 C-levels.