- Sober living

15 Apr 2021

Just make sure to start slowly if you’re not used to exercising and building up your stamina over time. I wasn’t drinking, but I was so wrecked from all the changes in my internal world that I often came home and retreated to my couch and would remain there until I went to sleep. The more you drink, the more you damage these critically important areas of the brain. It also increases dopamine in our brain’s reward system while at the same, decreasing dopamine receptors.

Is brain fog part of hangover?

Lack of concentration/brain fog

Why you've got it?Lack of sleep, dehydration and general fatigue will leave you feeling less sharp than normal with poor concentration and a low attention span when hungover, which is colloquially known as "brain fog".

This is defined as difficulties with concentration, confusion, and a lack of mental clarity. A healthy withdrawal program can help you detoxify your body and brain from the harmful effects of alcohol, and generally start your addiction treatment journey. If you’re struggling with alcohol addiction, it’s important to consider starting an addiction treatment or healthy withdrawal program. So, if you’re struggling with alcohol brain fog or any type of cognitive impairment, make sure to spend some time in nature every day. If you find yourself struggling with alcohol brain fog, it is important to seek out effective addiction treatment. Treatments such as cognitive behavior therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, or even motivational interviewing can help you learn how to overcome your addiction and improve your mental clarity.


Brain fog from alcohol could be a result of the brain overworking itself from the production of chemical messengers known as neurotransmitters. The stress on the brain from alcohol misuse can lead to the worsening of these symptoms. Alcohol is a popular substance, especially in polydrug use such as cocaine and benzodiazepines. If left untreated, alcohol dependence can transition into an alcohol use disorder. The health concerns of an alcohol use disorder are usually enough to cause someone to embrace moderation. If you’re wondering how to get rid of alcohol-induced “brain fog,” it may be time to seek professional treatment.

  • For example, the frequency, duration, and the amount of alcohol consumed when drinking can all play a role in the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
  • Depending on how long you have been a heavy drinker, entering recovery may mean you are socializing and emotion-managing sober for the first time.
  • That means you can go after your goals much more easily, without losing motivation.
  • “You build up a tolerance, and after a while, you don’t feel as good as you once did with the same amounts of alcohol.”
  • So naturally, sustained periods of heavy drinking make them go a bit berserk.
  • I choose Renewal Lodge because of the vision of its mission and the dedication of its team.

The reason for this is that alcohol has harmed the brain’s cognitive function. Ende and her team now believe that any good alcohol treatment should last at least two weeks. According to a new study, two standard drinks can make neglecting your child’s needs more likely. In one experiment, parents given cheap alcoholic beverages failed their children for more extended periods than those who consumed nonalcoholic drinks. In the near term, treatment can help to alleviate other consequences of alcohol in the brain, such as alcohol brain fog.

Mental Health

That’s why it’s vital to consult a physician before you stop drinking in order to create a plan to stop drinking or taper down safely. Cutting back or cutting out alcohol is an amazing choice you can make for your health and lifestyle. As a therapist that helps people stop drinking, I often hear from clients that they want to make a change, but are intimidated by the potential of experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Obviously, the time it takes for the brain to recover depends on the severity of the damage done. The more intense or frequent the alcohol bouts are, the longer it will take the brain’s chemistry to return to normal levels. There is no hard and fast rule for how long it takes to get back into balance. That number jumped to four or five years for those who had 18 drinks or more per week.

FAQs on Alcohol and Brain Changes

While the time line is different for everyone, you should start to notice differences in your mental acuity as you make your way through the detox process. Most people find that they are thinking much better within the first week, and their ability to make decisions and remember information only continues alcohol brain fog to improve as they make progress in their recovery. Your experience should be similar, and you can always ask the staff at the treatment center if your challenges with thinking are normal. As the alcohol is metabolized and nutritional states are restored, alcohol brain fog can clear with time.

They should seek mental health services and pursue therapy that deals with all of their conditions at once. During cognitive-behavioral therapy, a person will work with their therapist to identify the thought patterns that trigger their anxiety and alcohol use. Once the brain adjusts to alcohol use, it requires alcohol in order to function properly. Someone who cuts themselves off from drinks may experience extreme pain or medical problems like delirium tremens.

Cell Death and Brain Damage

While the damage you can inflict on your brain with heavy alcohol use is disturbing, it is entirely possible to experience recovery from addiction and begin to heal from the inside out. Once you quit drinking, serotonin production can eventually return to normal. If you continue to struggle with depressive symptoms during recovery, you may require medication. The early days of sobriety can be draining and challenging for anyone recovering from addiction, https://ecosoberhouse.com/ but a balanced and healthy brain will return, and with it, a sense of heightened motivation towards positive goals. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, roughly 14.5 million persons aged 18 and up had an alcohol use problem in 2019. Furthermore, excessive alcohol consumption is estimated to cost the United States economy over $249 billion annually in healthcare expenses, lost productivity, and criminal justice costs.

  • If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction or experiencing brain fog symptoms, seeking help and support from a qualified healthcare professional is essential.
  • When you first quit drinking, you may experience a state called anhedonia which is a pretty way of saying you feel like life will never be pleasurable or happy again.
  • Most
    people realize that heavy, long–term drinking can damage the liver, the
    organ chiefly responsible for breaking down alcohol into harmless byproducts and
    clearing it from the body.
  • Research suggests that eating protein and fat first might help reduce your post-meal blood sugar rise.

Alcohol use overloads the brain with dopamine, while also reducing the brain’s dopamine receptors in the process. When you first quit drinking, the lack of dopamine and diminished receptors can lead to feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Years of alcohol abuse can damage this area of the brain extensively, leading to a wide variety of issues including memory loss and the inability to think rationally. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed with stress and anxiety, you might have felt like you’re detached from your mind and its processes. Brain fog feels like the room inside your head is not clean and requires a deep refresher. Brain fog symptoms may vary from person to person, however, slowed cognitive functioning seems to be a recurring element.



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