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Addiction and Memory Loss

Addiction and Memory Loss

Addiction Can Cause Memory Loss

Any drug use or abuse can affect short and long-term memory. While “blackouts” are a familiar concept associated with the use or consumption of large amounts of drugs or alcohol, the effects of addiction on memory are not always as dramatic, although no less severe. Addiction can have long-term consequences on how Louisville residents process and retain memories, and some of these effects may last even after drug use ends. Seek help to get and stay clean from drug abuse.

Benzodiazepine Abuse and Memory Loss

Benzodiazepines are powerful sedative-hypnotic drugs that directly and immediately affect physical coordination, depressive thoughts, memory retention and formation. These drugs have amnesiac effects (which is why they may be used in surgery), but few of their other effects on thoughts and learning have benefits. Benzodiazepines are most likely to affect memories of recent events and the order in or circumstances under which these events occurred. The American Family Physician shares that this episodic memory is even more affected when benzodiazepines are used in conjunction with alcohol. The ability to pay attention is also impaired when benzodiazepines are used for more than a year, or when they are used in higher than prescribed doses. Louisville residents who abuse benzodiazepines may have severe trouble remembering life, but treatment can help them recover.

Alcohol and Memory Loss

Alcohol interferes with the brain’s ability to process information into long-term memories. Regular alcohol abuse and addiction similarly impact an individual’s ability to form short-term memories, even if drinking is done at a moderately high level. High levels of alcohol consumption also affect long-term memory and brain health. CNN reports on a study that found “those who had 2.5 drinks of wine, beer or hard liquor daily accelerated memory loss by up to 6 years. This was not seen in those who do not drink or who drink moderately” (“Studies Link Alcohol to Early Death, Memory Loss,” January 2014). Heavier drinking comes with a heavier cost to memory. The article explains that heavy drinking damages memory through “direct neurotoxic effect, pro-inflammatory effects, and indirect impact via cerebrovascular disease and vitamin deficiency.” This means alcohol can impair memory, and alcohol addiction will profoundly damage how Louisville residents recall life.

Help for Louisville Alcoholics

Don’t lose any more memories or time to addiction. Call our toll-free helpline to learn how you can take control of your life, overcome addiction and have healthy experiences once again. Our admissions coordinators are here 24 hours a day to help you or a Louisville loved one begin the journey to recovery.

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