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Kathy Marshack News

The Negative Impact on Alcohol Revealed on the Recovery from Post-Traumatic Stress

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Nearly 1 in 13 Americans abuse alcohol or are alcoholics. The consequences of alcohol misuse are serious. There are serious health problems that can arise. Drinking also increases the risk of death from automobile crashes as well as recreational and on-the-job injuries. Homicides and suicides are more likely to be committed by persons who have been drinking. Of course, alcoholism also has devastating effects on relationships with family, friends and coworkers.

Unfortunately, many turn to alcohol to help them cope with trauma. However, The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and UNC Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies recently noted the connection between the heavy use of alcohol and the difficulty of recovering from a psychologically tragic event. They believe that heavy drinking rewires the brain.

NIAAA scientist Andrew Holmes, PhD, comments, "A history of heavy alcohol abuse could impair a critical mechanism for recovering from a trauma, and in doing so put people at greater risk for PTSD. The next step will be to test whether our preclinical findings translate to patients currently suffering from comorbid PTSD and alcohol abuse. If it does, then this could lead to new thinking about how we can better treat these serious medical conditions." Understanding these issues can help in assisting individuals with alcohol problems and PTSD. For more details on this new research, read Heavy Drinking Rewires Brain, Increasing Susceptibility to Anxiety Problems.

If you are suffering from PTSD or battling alcohol abuse, I recommend you speak with your doctor and find a mental health care professional who can help you. For more information on confronting these issues, visit Alcoholism Recovery and Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


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