How Alcoholism Effects Cognitive Function

by AdamS on September 28, 2012

Research is very clear that prolonged abuse of alcohol can severely damage the brain. The most obvious and immediate effects include slurred speech, and inebriation of reaction and memory. Among other negative consequences, it is important for those that have been addicted to grasp what they lost while being addicted to alcohol from a cognitive standpoint. It’s also helpful for family outreach so that loved ones know how to react to these ailments that have been brought on by addiction.

Alcoholism Effects Memory

Memory can be severely affected if the individual is a binge drinker or if they drink continuously over a period of time. An example of the kind of drinking that effects memory is like the stories we hear about college aged individuals that might binge drink and have episodes of ‘blackouts’ when they don’t remember what happened after a certain point. This type of drinking that is typically followed by withdrawal symptoms has been known to have the most considerable impact on memory. These types of withdrawal can be as severe as seizures or as seemingly harmless as nausea or shakiness after a night of binge drinking.

Alcoholism Effects The Ability To Learn

Memory not only is affected by the forgetting of circumstances or events from the past, but also in the context of being able to learn in prospective or comprehensive memory. Drinking can impair the ability to remember simple things that someone told them, as well as any complex information. Even when an alcoholic stops abusing alcohol, they will have a difficult time learning new information depending upon how intricate the information is.

How The 12-Steps Can Help

The 12-Step program has helped thousands of people learn new strategies in coping with their impaired memory. In the most simple context, alcoholics learn how to tell stories about things that have happened in the past. Alcoholics are more likely to forget memories because they are not accustom to having to recall them. The way that Alcoholics Anonymous works is that it is a process of individual organized steps. Members learn how to piece their lives together in a chronological manner which will help them understand what to do next. If they are having a difficult time remembering something then they can be taught how to deal with that discrepancy in a way that they can grasp logically.


Amongst the several negative consequences of alcohol consumption and alcohol withdrawal are memory and learning problems. Twelve-Step recovery can help balance these deficits by reminding alcoholics what they have lost because of the disease and the steps they need to take on a daily basis to hold onto their sobriety. If you are addicted to alcohol and are ready to get help, there is quality Florida alcohol treatment; go to for more information.

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