Alcohol Abuse and Dementia

Alcohol Abuse and Dementia

As the baby boom generation ages, medical experts estimate there’ll be as many as 16 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s by the year 2050.

Presently, some 5.5 million people in the U.S. have the disease.

And to make matters worse, there’s no known cure.

Now medical experts are warning that alcohol abuse is leading to alcohol-related brain damage (ARBD) that mimics or exacerbates dementia.

Given the fact that one in eight American adults (approximately 13 percent of the U.S. population) meets the diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder, the problem of ARBD cannot be ignored.

Alcohol-Related Brain Damage Explained

Addiction specialists now know that structural and functional changes to the brain occur with excessive alcohol use. These changes can cause impairment of thinking, planning, and reasoning, while also causing changes in behavior and moods.

Complicating things, ARBD mimics the symptoms of dementia.

In fact, research suggests that up to one-quarter of all dementia diagnoses are, in fact, ARBD.

Early Warning Signs

According to specialists in the field, the first signs of ARBD include impulsive behavior, short term memory problems, and problems with planning and decision making. Problems with false or distorted “memories” may also occur.

Men are more likely to have ARBD, and members of both sexes are more likely to begin experiencing symptoms in their mid-to-late 50s.

A Bit of Good News

Unlike Alzheimer’s a problem with no hope of recovery, people with ARBD can at least partially recover if they receive proper treatment for their alcohol abuse problem. The first step involves achieving sustained recovery – long term abstinence.

If you are struggling with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol and need help in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Florida, Massachusetts, or Southern Maine, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. Our unique model of care is giving clients a significantly better chance of recovery when compared to traditional inpatient rehab care. Please contact us if we can help you.