How Long Does It Take for Brain Chemistry to Return to Normal After Alcohol

A healthy withdrawal program can help you detoxify your body and brain from the harmful effects of alcohol, and generally start your addiction treatment journey. If you’re struggling with alcohol addiction, it’s important to consider starting an addiction treatment or healthy withdrawal program. The cerebellum’s primary function is to regulate motor functions and fine-tune motor skills. In the study, divided attention, which is handled in distinct cerebral regions, takes longer to rest and appears to be mirrored in brain volume shrinkage rates of these regions. The brain has a remarkable ability to repair itself, but it takes time. How long it takes for your mind to recover after over-consumption of alcohol depends on the severity of the damage done.

Essentially, your brain chemistry no longer functions properly without alcohol. For most unhappy drinkers, a spiritual or religious life is neglected. Because excessive alcohol consumption generally leads to questionable decision-making and erratic behavior, some alcoholics care a deep sense of shame and remorse. Alcoholics Anonymous can provide support and help for those seeking to restore this facet of their lives. It’s not clear exactly how long it takes for neurotransmitters to return to normal when you quit drinking alcohol. Some research says that might only happen in a few days, while others say up to six months.

How I Combined Tools from Scott Adams and Craig Beck to Quit Drinking

This brain shrinkage affects the “wiring” in the brain that connects regions and the areas of the brain that enable neurons to communicate with other neurons. According to several studies, people who have severe alcohol abuse disorders have smaller and lighter brains than those who do not. In certain regions, the alcohol dependence recovery period may be pretty short.

Alcohol abuse can cause memory issues similar to those of dementia psychosis. The alcohol withdrawal symptoms begin when you stop drinking alcohol following an extended period of alcohol abuse. Both alcohol cravings and alcohol withdrawal symptoms contribute to cognitive problems in recovery. Mood disorders like anxiety and depression are the most common alcohol-related mental issues. Alcohol changes how your brain processes information, which can impact memory, moods, sleep patterns, appetite, and overall energy levels.

Can The Brain Recover From Alcohol Damage

A little too much is going to have an impact on your average workday, too. So when you’re managing stress or anything to do with your mood, you can be sure that dopamine is involved. It even helps to protect your gastrointestinal lining and works with your immune system – it’s everywhere! That’s why it’s so important to do what you can to stay healthy and make sure your body is making enough of it and using it efficiently. Basically, dopamine is involved in almost every area of your thought and reward system. So the healthier your brain is, the better it can use dopamine effectively and communicate messages between nerve cells and the rest of your body.

  • The researchers found that people with alcohol use disorder (AUD) had less brain matter than people without AUD.
  • Also, be sure to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after exercise, as dehydration can actually worsen brain fog.
  • Once a person recovers from their brain fog, they should continue their addiction treatment.
  • As mentioned above, early recovery might mean struggling with mood and overall mental wellness, but as your body and brain begin to heal, you will experience renewed motivation towards healthy habits in your life.
  • Working with a therapist can help you work through the emotional aspects of longer-term withdrawal, like anxiety and depression.

College students may be
at particular risk for experiencing a blackout, as an alarming number of college
students engage in binge drinking. Binge drinking, for a typical adult, is defined
as consuming five or more drinks in about 2 hours for men, or four or more drinks
for women. Alcohol withdrawal can occur when a person who has used alcohol for a significant period of time stops drinking or significantly decreases their use. Alcohol withdrawal can have a broad range of symptoms, some of which can be dangerous or even life-threatening if not treated. That’s why it’s vital to consult a physician before you stop drinking in order to create a plan to stop drinking or taper down safely.


In fact, research has shown that walking can help improve brain function and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to aerobic exercise, research has shown that yoga can also help improve cognitive function and reduce the symptoms of brain fog. Getting enough sleep is one of the most important things that you can do to clear your head and get rid of brain fog and improve your cognitive function in the long term. It takes moderate drinkers between 2-6 months of abstinence from alcohol to return their neural circuitry to normal. Brain fog is not a scientific term and can manifest in different ways.

  • In fact, research has shown that walking can help improve brain function and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The goal of these studies
    is to determine which alcohol–induced effects on the brain are permanent
    and which ones can be reversed with abstinence.
  • According to several studies, people who have severe alcohol abuse disorders have smaller and lighter brains than those who do not.
  • According to studies, some nerve cells may not be replaced once destroyed, including those in the frontal cortex, cerebellum, and other regions deep inside the brain.
  • During brain fog, you may experience any or all of the following symptoms.
  • Brain fog during the initial stages of withdrawal is often just your brain trying to figure out how it used to function before it was flooded with alcohol on a regular basis.

It’s no surprise that those recovering from an AUD (Alcohol Use Disorder) experience alcohol-induced brain fog. Many alcoholics experience brain fog when they first stop drinking alcohol. This has to do with alcohol’s effect on the brain, namely how it affects cognitive functioning. Alcohol use contributes to brain fog by impacting the way neurotransmitters alcohol brain fog function in your body and altering your brain waves. This continued deficit
in long–term abstinent alcoholics suggests that P3 deficits may be a marker
of risk for alcohol dependence, rather than a result of alcohol use. Markers such as the P3 can help
identify people who may be at greatest risk for developing problems with alcohol.

How long does it take for brain functioning to return to normal after drinking?

While you will have been working through the issues that affect your addiction during the brain fog, you will get a renewed chance to focus even more on getting better. “You might hear the classic term ‘wet brain,’ and that’s a real thing,” said Pagano. Alcohol hinders a person’s absorption of thiamine and interferes with the enzyme that converts it into a usable form in the body. Binge drinking also affects the cerebellum (which helps regulate balance) and the cerebral cortex (which is responsible for taking in and processing new information). When these regions of the brain are slowed down, a person might feel dizzy and stagger when walking, have blurred or double vision, and have difficulty paying attention to things going on around them.

alcohol and brain fog