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What Is Alcohol Dementia?

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What Is Alcohol Dementia?

a person swirls a wine glass while considering alcohol induced dementia

What is alcohol dementia? It is estimated that one in four adults over the age of 65 who are dependent on alcohol develop some form of dementia. The risk increases with age as the brain becomes more vulnerable to damage from alcohol-related toxins. Alcohol-induced dementia is progressive, meaning that symptoms get worse over time if drinking continues. Alcohol dementia, also known as alcohol-related dementia (ARD), is a type of brain damage caused by long-term and heavy drinking. Alcohol dementia symptoms can include memory loss, difficulty with problem-solving, decision-making, and planning, as well as poor concentration, confusion, and personality changes.

The best defense against the adverse effects of long-term alcohol abuse, including alcohol dementia, is early intervention. Contact Red Oak Recovery® online or call 828.382.9699 today to learn how our alcohol addiction treatment center can help you overcome alcohol abuse and improve your health and quality of life.

How Does Alcohol Abuse Harm the Brain?

Chronic alcohol abuse can have several detrimental effects on the brain. It can lead to the death of neurons, a form of brain cell damage known as neurodegeneration. This can result in issues with learning and memory, as well as an increased risk for stroke and dementia. Chronic alcohol abuse also leads to changes in the chemical messengers in the brain, which can affect our behavior, mood, coordination, and decision-making abilities. In addition, chronic alcohol abuse has been linked to an increase in inflammation within the brain, which is associated with many neurological disorders, such as:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Dementia

Ultimately, chronic alcohol abuse can cause lasting damage to both brain structure and function. With long-term heavy drinking comes an increased risk for cognitive impairment, permanent brain damage, and even death. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse, it’s essential to seek professional help as soon as possible to prevent further harm.

What Is Alcohol Dementia?

Alcohol-induced dementia is a type of dementia that results from heavy and prolonged alcohol abuse. It is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by brain damage caused by excessive alcohol consumption over a long period. ARD can cause memory loss, difficulty making decisions, impaired speech and language skills, disorientation, agitation, and personality changes. It can lead to cognitive decline, impairing one’s ability to think clearly and make sound judgments.

Unfortunately, for many individuals who struggle with alcohol addiction, recognizing the signs of ARD may be difficult until it’s too late. Some of the earliest alcohol-induced dementia symptoms include:

  • Difficulty concentrating or finding words
  • Forgetfulness
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation in unfamiliar places
  • Personality changes
  • Clumsiness
  • Difficulty performing everyday tasks
  • Impaired judgment

While ARD is a severe and life-altering condition, it’s important to remember that there is hope for recovery with the proper treatment and support.

Benefits of Early Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Getting treatment for alcohol abuse is essential to avoid any long-term adverse effects associated with excessive alcohol consumption. Therapy can help an individual in many ways, such as:

  • Achieving and maintaining sobriety
  • Replacing substance use with healthier activities
  • Learning how to cope with stress, cravings, and triggers that lead to drinking
  • Connecting individuals to a supportive community of people who understand their struggles
  • Enhancing overall mental health and well-being by recognizing the root causes of alcohol abuse and addressing them appropriately

Getting treatment for alcohol abuse can be life-changing as it helps individuals cope more effectively with relapse triggers and offers lasting solutions for sustainable recovery. With proper support, therapy can help individuals overcome their dependence and take steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

Enroll in Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Red Oak Recovery® in Asheville, NC

Red Oak Recovery® understands that alcohol addiction can be a challenging experience to overcome, and it’s even more complicated if you don’t have the support you need. With our help, you can learn to recognize and manage the underlying causes of addiction, develop healthier coping strategies for dealing with stress, and gain the skills necessary to lead a healthy life. Contact Red Oak Recovery® online or call 828.382.9699 to learn more about our addiction treatment programs today.