Does Alcohol Kill Brain Cells?

Alcoholism is a very deadly disease that’s killing tens of thousands of people each year in our country. Due to the massive opioid epidemic, many people are no longer focusing on the dangers of alcoholism. A common question people ask when discussing alcoholism is, “Does alcohol kill brain cells?” And this is a question that neuroscience can help answer.
Can Science Answer – Does Alcohol Kill Brain Cells?
Growing up, you probably heard time and time again never to smoke, drink, or do drugs because it will kill your brain cells. In a technical sense, this is just a myth. But, what we need to understand is that while your brain cells aren’t technically dead, you’re still severely harming your brain.
What the latest studies in neuroscience show us is that alcoholism affects the synapses in the brain. Synapses are the way that brain cells wire together to help us function as people. Long-term alcohol abuse causes specific synapses to change in a way that can cause serious harm. In this case, think of synapses as something that forms your habits and behaviors.
Understanding the Habit Loop
Brains are designed to help you go towards pleasure and try to avert pain whenever possible. A lot of this happens in the limbic system of the brain, which is the home of our reward system. When you begin turning to alcohol as a way to receive pleasure and avoid pain, you develop an addiction. The following is how the brain starts to rewire itself, which is known as the habit loop:
Trigger
Behavior
Reward
For example, if you drink every day after work to alleviate the stress of the day, you’re changing your synapses. The brain sees stress as a trigger and something that you don’t want. The behavior is drinking, and the reward you receive is alleviating some of your anxiety and worry. This cycle changes the wiring of the brain, making you turn to alcohol every time you experience this trigger.
Why you Need Addiction Treatment through Steps to Recovery
Unfortunately, there comes a time where alcohol is no longer alleviating your stress, but it’s creating more. It can also make you anxious, depressed and cause a variety of other problems in your life. Drug and alcohol treatment services Scranton offers can help you to overcome your addiction. Through the treatment process, you’ll learn how to rewire your brain to regain control of your life.
Steps to Recovery provides an addiction treatment program to people in the Scranton and surrounding areas. Our beautiful Levittown, PA location creates a welcoming and peaceful environment for our clients. Removing yourself from the stress and triggers of your daily life allows you to focus on yourself and your recovery.
Some of the therapeutic services we offer include:
Group therapy
DBT
Psychotherapy
So, does alcohol kill brain cells? No. But can it create irreversible damage to the brain? Absolutely. Let Steps to Recovery help you prevent this damage and begin living a healthy, full life. Call us today at 866-488-8684 to learn about our addiction recovery services.
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