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How Does Alcohol Affect the Central Nervous System?

The central nervous system (CNS) is a vital part of the human body. It controls different crucial bodily functions. The interaction of alcohol and the central nervous system is one that should be monitored closely.

Many different complications can arise as a result of drinking, and the CNS can be highly affected. Alcohol is a depressant. Therefore, the effects of drinking it can lead to the suppression of different functions performed by the CNS. Understanding how alcohol affects the central nervous system can be beneficial when someone is trying to stop drinking. 

Alcohol as a Depressant

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. The CNS is a system in the body that is responsible for vital functions such as motor movements and even breathing. When alcohol is consumed, even in small amounts, it can cause an uptick in neurotransmitters in the brain that are responsible for slowing communication between the neurons in the brain.

This leads to slowed brain activity which can result in slurred speech, impaired vision, slowed motor movements, impaired coordination, decline in memory, and an inability to think clearly or logically. The way that alcohol affects the body will depend on a number of factors including the amount consumed, frequency and speed of consumption, and any underlying health or mental health conditions. 

Can Alcohol Abuse Weaken the Central Nervous System?

Over time, the effects of alcohol and the central nervous system can be severe. Even in the short term, the CNS can be severely affected by alcohol use and abuse. Consuming alcohol too fast or in large enough amounts can lead to slowed breathing, irregular heartbeat, hypothermia (low body temperature), vomiting, a complete inability to breathe, and complete loss of heart functionality.

These short-term effects are more prominent in those who binge drink alcohol. This can include consuming more than 2 to 4 drinks in a 2-hour period. Long-term, alcohol consumption can lead to pain and numbness in the arms, legs, and feet, cramping and muscle weakness, bladder issues, and changes in bowel function. 

The effects of alcohol and the central nervous system can also include coma. Because alcohol can slow brain function, it can lead to slow and shallow breathing. When breathing is slowed and shallow, it can cause a lack of oxygen to the brain leading to severe effects. As a result, alcohol use and abuse can also lead to what is known as CNS shutdown. However, getting quality detox in a professional setting like the services we offer at Enlightened Solutions can help.

Alcohol Abuse and CNS Shut Down

Alcohol abuse can lead to severe impacts to the body, including causing the central nervous system to shut down. This is an extremely dangerous medical condition that requires medical attention. Excessive alcohol consumption leads to the depression of vital body functions controlled by the CNS such as breathing, heart rate, and it can lead to unconsciousness.

As a result, alcohol can cause GABA receptors to become overstimulated leading to sedation and glutamate production to be slowed, leading to impaired responses. This can cause respiratory failure, coma, or death. In order to prevent severe damage to vital organs in the body, medical intervention and respiratory monitoring is crucial. Those struggling with alcohol should seek professional help. This helps as a means of preventing these potentially irreversible effects of alcohol abuse and addiction. 

Detox Can Save Your Life

Struggling with alcohol is a challenge for anyone who is experiencing it. There may have been instances where someone has tried to control their drinking, or stop drinking all together and been unsuccessful. This is where getting the right kind of professional help could be beneficial. Anyone who has attempted to stop drinking on their own after some form of tolerance or dependence has been gained can attest to the difficulties of stopping without professional help.

The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be severely uncomfortable, and the dangers that could arise can lead to severe complications as well as potentially irreversible damage. Professional and medical monitoring can help in these instances. Medically, when someone is trying to detox from alcohol, the body can undergo stresses. Consequently, it can lead to things like high blood pressure and seizures.

This is why it is extremely beneficial to have professional care and monitoring when undergoing this process. Being medically supervised and being able to combat the symptoms associated with alcohol detox can make the process of alcohol withdrawal a lot easier and more comfortable. It can help to prevent severe complications and lead to potentially more successful outcomes. Those struggling with alcohol do not have to go through it alone. There is help available to make the process easier. 

Get the Help You Deserve 

Struggling with alcohol addiction can affect different aspects of a person’s life. More importantly, it can impact health and lead to devastating and fatal results. It can lead to coma and even death. If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol addiction, the struggle doesn’t need to continue. There is help available. At Enlightened Recovery we offer help to those individuals struggling with alcohol to begin a journey into a life of recovery.

Call us today and begin your journey to healing. 

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