The Impacts Of Alcohol Use Disorder Persist Despite Abstinence, Says Study

As you gulp down glass after glass of alcohol, your senses become increasingly muffled and the unavoidable happens – your speech slurs, your memory suffers, you feel ecstatic, you feel confused, etc. When you make excessive drinking a habit, your mental health goes through damage.

After repeated damage has been caused to the brain, you turning to sobriety doesn’t help either. You’d think that you could detoxify your body entirely of alcohol and its effects but that is not what happens. Sure, previously studies said that abstinence from alcohol can undo the damage caused.

However, a new study points out that the effects of alcohol use disorder persist even after one abstains. By doing so it has challenged what has been believed over the years. Let’s dive into this study below.

What Did This New Study Reveal?

A new study which has been carried out by researchers from the Institute of Neuroscience CSIC-UMH, Alicante, Spain and the Central Institute of Mental Health Mannheim, Germany analyzed the changes that alcohol use disorder caused in people’s brains. It was found that even after the first few weeks of sobriety, damage in the brain’s white matter continued.

This research has been published in the JAMA Psychiatry journal. For it, 90 people around the age of 46 who had been hospitalized because of overdrinking and had alcohol use disorder were taken as participants. As a parallel study, rats that had a preference for alcohol were monitored to see the structural changes caused in their brains due to alcohol use.

This study on a rat model was carried out because it is not possible to conduct such a process on humans. The research concluded that alcohol caused damage in the frontal region and right hemisphere. The damage in the white matter goes on for 6 weeks following abstinence. Therefore the study shows that damage caused by alcohol continues even after a person stops its use.

Alcohol use and health

Recent studies have been pointing out even more vices of alcohol, wiping off the notion that it holds any good for health. Now this new study also challenges the existing idea that alcohol-induced damage in the brain ceases when one abstains from alcohol. Previously, two recent studies have also said that even moderate alcohol intake is linked to increased risk of hypertension as well as stroke.

This shows that the way alcohol has been viewed over the years is changing. With science finding how damaging alcohol can actually be, it is our job to protect our health and restrict our drinking habit to a minimum if not stop it entirely.

Key Takeaway

A new research reveals that the effects of alcohol use disorder on the brain persist even after one practices sobriety. It concludes that damage in the white matter of the brain persists after 6 weeks of abstinence. Since previously studies said that the effects of alcohol use disorder curb with sobriety, this new study presents a new take on the matter.