Excessive drinking turns you into someone your loved ones don’t recognize, changing your normal behaviors and decision-making. This is due to the changes that occur in the brain when you drink. Alcohol floods your brain with norepinephrine and lowers your brain’s inhibitory centers. When you’re more excitable and unable to control your inhibitions, you’re more likely to take dangerous risks, say things you don’t mean and act in ways that can put your life and the lives of others in jeopardy.
If you’re struggling with alcohol abuse, knowing how alcohol negatively affects your behaviors may be the motivation you need to seek treatment.
How Alcohol Addiction Affects Your Behaviors
Your brain works day in and day out to process emotions and make rational decisions that inform your behaviors. Unfortunately, alcohol abuse disrupts this entire process. Alcohol actively lowers your inhibitions, making you incapable of thinking through all the potential consequences of your actions. This increases the likelihood of making poor or risky decisions that can impact your personal and professional life.
One of the reasons why alcohol abuse leads to riskier behaviors is because of the way it impacts your physical abilities. Alcohol abuse impairs your coordination, reflexes and balance. This can be a dangerous combination with the way alcohol lowers your inhibitions.
The classic example of this is driving while intoxicated. Drinking prevents you from thinking about the consequence of getting behind the wheel. Once you start driving, you may be unable to stay in your lane, hit the break at a stop sign and avoid hitting other cars.
Increased Risk of Trying Other Drugs
Regular alcohol abuse can make you more open to trying other illicit drugs. When sober, you’re able to acknowledge the risks of doing other drugs. When you’re intoxicated, though, all those dangers no longer seem like an issue. Mixing alcohol with other illicit drugs not only puts your health in jeopardy, it also puts you at greater risk of a life-threatening overdose.
Social Isolation and Depression
While it might not seem like it after that first drink, alcohol actually depresses the brain and can leave you feeling worse than you did before. Alcohol addiction is an insidious disease, making you crave that temporary high that isolates you from loved ones and all the activities you used to enjoy. When the high wears off, though, you’re left with depression that convinces you being alone and relying on alcohol is the best strategy to cope.
In some cases, alcohol abuse can actually trigger a major depressive disorder that affects your behaviors even more. Severe depression can make you more withdrawn from friends and family, increase your alcohol consumption and leave you trapped in this cycle of addiction. This requires dual diagnosis treatment from a treatment center like The Raleigh House to help you overcome your isolation, depression and substance abuse.
Find Support for Lasting Recovery at The Raleigh House
At The Raleigh House, we have over 10 years of experience helping people just like you reclaim their life from alcohol abuse. Using an east to west approach, we include both evidence-based treatments and experiential therapies meant to help you detox from alcohol, get to the bottom of why you started drinking and develop healthy ways to manage your cravings in the future.
If you want to break free from the hold that alcohol has over your life, make The Raleigh House your first call. Contact our admissions team today to get started.