What Blackout Drinking Means For Your Brain

Brain Damage From Alcohol | Just Believe Recovery PA

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Monday: wake up, work all day, go to sleep. Tuesday: wake up, work all day, go to sleep. Wednesday: wake up…etc. This is the average schematic for the workweek of your typical American. 9 to 5 day in and day out; the feeling of apprehensive exhaustion militates. Though just when all hope seems lost for most of us, Friday comes around as the weekend arrives just in the knick of time. This means we finally get a little bit of personal relaxation time without the anxiety of work the next day.  

Some take this time to sit at home and quietly read a book all weekend. Some adventure out to put a few notches on their travel belt. Some of us even attend ping-pong tournaments in the muggy basements of back alleyway store fronts. Then there are those that are ready to get their swerve on. Ready to bathe in their escapism as they wash their shames and sorrows of the week away. These are the individuals that just want to toss back a few sips. Hooch, sauce, liquid bread, devil’s juice, booze, alcohol- it doesn’t matter what you call it. It’s the humbling liquid courage we crave that makes all our problems disappear (seemingly and temporarily that is). Yet it’s a problem and a solution all in the same gulp depending who you are.

 

Brittle Brain Blackout

It’s one thing to imbibe a little, it’s legal for a reason and there’s nothing wrong with that, but then it’s a whole other story when we drink to lose all control of reality. Drinking to the point of losing control and/or blacking out might seem fun, but it can actually do a good bit more harm than most are privy to. That harm instills even more so for those that drink excessively excessively, as those with alcoholism tend to do.

Alcoholics generally love to do anything in excess; anything that attempts to overflow the void they so desperately wish to understand. This void is a never ending hole inside that has to always be filled but feels like it never can be. So we search aimlessly through night after night of blackout drinking, convincing ourselves is enough of a band aid but never feeling satisfied.

As the cliche goes,”one is too many and a thousand is never enough). This unsatisfiable desire is the emptiness of the disease of alcoholic thinking. That’s sadly just how it works. Because of this, alcoholics are the most experienced with blackout drinking due to the cat and mouse nature of the disease. In fact, blackout drinking and alcoholism are kind of synonymous. When these neurological shutdowns become familiar territory, it might be wise to take an assessment of one’s life.

 

Brain Brain, Go Away

When we end up disappearing from consciousness like a blackout causes, many aspects of our brains are affected from this excessive drinking. Usually this is due to the alcohol blocking certain receptors in our brains, disrupting all sorts of communication between different parts of the mind(specifically the hippo campus). The specific neurons beings transmitted to and from the hippo campus help to create something called long-term potentiality. LTP, as it’s called for short, takes a key role in developing memory. So basically while being non present from blackout drinking, the brain loses the ability to learn and/or store information almost. The receptors being blocked help to prevent the brain from creating new memories of any sort. This is why when we finally sober up a little we have no recollection of anything.

However, when somebody gets to the point of blacking out, they are usually extremely intoxicated. A lot of the time alcohol poisoning and blackout drinking will coincide with each other. A person will lose all cognitive and rational thought as they habitually down more of the liquid. Blacking out can be extremely dangerous due to impaired motor function and horrible judgment. But not to be fooled, this is not something that only happens to alcoholics. Yes we are more prone to going through it, but this can happen to anybody with a low tolerance or even just a knack for binge drinking.

 

Blackout Drinking=Blackout Thinking  

The idea behind alcohol blackouts isn’t so much about how much alcohol was consumed, but more so about how quickly it was ingested in such a small period of time. Your brain, it’s receptors, and the rest of your organs are becoming flooded from the alcohol going into your bloodstream not being processed quick enough. Due to this fact, it deprives the brain of oxygen, drowns it in toxic over saturation, and prevents necessary blood flow to the vital organ pumping betwixt our ears. Notwithstanding all that detriment, still that is only above the neck. Alcohol also enjoys shutting other organs down that try to process the liquid death waterboarding our insides. A few of the other casualties that often succumb to blackout drinking/alcohol abuse besides the brain are:

  • Kidneys
  • Liver
  • Heart
  • Pancreas

Studies have shown that such a state of intoxication not only results in this harm to self, but it also usually shows up as some form of harm to others too. Research has shown that individuals are more likely to fight, drive drunk, or engage in regrettable sexual conduct than if they were at a point of complete consciousness or had not blacked out. You’re there, but you’re not there. These dangers alone should be enough to stray unrestrained drinking, but coupled with what it does to your brain, there shouldn’t be any question of the harmful possibilities that the blacked out crystal ball might show.       

Just Believe Recovery is a fully licensed, Joint Commission accredited, comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment center located in Carbondale, Pennsylvania

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