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Does Drinking Alcohol Kill Brain Cells?

A business man appears confused on his computer in his office.
We all know alcohol can be bad for our health, but can it also hurt our ability to think clearly?


The claim that alcohol kills brain cells has been around forever, but is there any truth to it?

The short answer is NO. Alcohol does not kill brain cells. It can, however, impair the communication between brain cells.

Let’s dig into that a little deeper.

About 50% of Alcoholics Experience Impairment in Thinking or Memory

According to an article published in Psychology Today, about 50 percent of alcoholics show some problems in thinking or memory. The ability to plan ahead, withhold responses, learn and retain information and work with spatial information are all affected.

The good news? When you give up alcohol, difficulties with memory and concentration will improve significantly.

A small percentage of alcoholics develop Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome (WKS), a debilitating brain disease that can severely impact memory. The disease is caused by a lack of thiamine, which is common among alcoholics.

What are Safe Drinking Levels?

True “low risk” drinking is defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism as no more than three drinks on any single day and no more than seven drinks per week for women and no more than four drinks on any single day and no more than 14 drinks per week for men.

Beyond those levels, you increase your chances of addiction, health problems and also damage to the structure of the brain.

A Fresh Start Without Alcohol at The Raleigh House

The Raleigh House is a residential treatment center located in Denver that uses every possible tool to tackle alcoholism, including a staff of doctors, therapists, nutritionists and even a chef who specializes in a “recovery” diet. Residents have access to a gym, yoga classes, a swimming pool and even indoor rock climbing. The goal is not just to quit drinking. It’s to become physically and mentally strong, so that you’re ready to launch your new life. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the alcohol addiction treatment program at The Raleigh House.

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