The Truth Behind Drinking Alcohol with a Concussion

The Truth Behind Drinking Alcohol with a Concussion

While bumping your head on something and suffering a momentary feeling of pain (and potentially embarrassment) is one thing, a concussion is an entirely different story.

Much more severe, a concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can impact brain functioning, and symptoms may even last more than a year in some cases. Because there is little currently known about what people can do to recover besides resting their brain, there are also many misconceptions about concussions. For years, people were told to wake someone up every hour at night following the day of their concussion, but this is now thought to be mostly unnecessary.1 Another misconception is that the person will always loss consciousness.2 There are also many different tales about concussions and drinking alcohol, but what is the truth? Our <alcohol rehab in Chicago is going over what really happens when you drink with a concussion.

Can You Drink Alcohol with A Concussion?

Drinking alcohol with a concussion can be damaging to the brain’s recovery. It may prolong symptoms or in some cases, even make them worse. Because alcohol is a psychoactive substance, it alters brain function. A concussed brain can be especially sensitive to these changes, which can make the effects of alcohol more pronounced. Even just one drink with a concussion could lead to intoxicating effects that make concussion symptoms worse. Alcohol is also a neurotoxin that can kill brain cells and make recovery more challenging when the brain is trying to heal. Your best bet is to avoid drinking after a concussion altogether.

Along with hindering recovery, having alcohol after a concussion could potentially lead to further injury. A concussion already can lead to confusion, impaired coordination, or cause dizziness. When combined with alcohol that has similar effects, the results may be stronger symptoms that can lead to injury from a fall or accident. If someone with a concussion experiences another brain injury, it could lead to permanent brain damage. Unfortunately, not everyone is willing or able to give up drinking alcohol with a concussion. If you find yourself or a loved one unable to stop drinking after a concussion, they may have an alcohol problem and need inpatient oroutpatient addiction treatment to get better.

Drinking with a concussion isn’t the only thing you should avoid. Psychoactive substances and sometimes neurotoxins as well as illicit drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine can cause damaging effects to the brain on their own. Like with alcohol, taking these illicit drugs when you have a concussion can hinder the recovery process or make concussion symptoms worse. It is best to avoid taking any unnecessary drugs when you have a concussion and get any medications you do take cleared by your doctor.

If you find yourself drinking or using drugs regardless of a concussion or other brain injury, you may need help. Our drug rehab in Chicago helps people move past their drug and alcohol problems. By quitting, you may even avoid further injury as anywhere from 30 to 50% of people with a traumatic brain injury got hurt while they were under the influence of alcohol and about 33% were under the influence of drugs.3

Whether you need help for yourself or you want to learn more about getting your loved one into treatment, call us today at 888-280-4763.

Sources & References:

      1. UAMS Health- Is it Safe to Sleep if You Have a Concussion?
      2. Michigan Health- 8 Common Misconceptions About Concussions
      3. MSKTC- Alcohol Use After Traumatic Brain Injury
Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.