Blackouts are generally your brain’s way of telling you you drank way too much the night before. Drinking alcohol to the point that you don’t remember things is a risky and dangerous game to play.
Have You Ever Blacked Out?
Blackouts are all too common among people who are alcoholic, or who have a drinking problem. You may know the scenario- you wake up after a night of heavy drinking, with little to no memory of what happened the night before. You have to piece together your night, asking friends or those you were with what happened. This can sometimes result in a lot of shame and guilt over embarrassing behaviors you may have exhibited the night before. Also, it places you in a dangerous position. Being that intoxicated not only wreaks havoc on your body, but it also has the potential to put you in dangerous situations. Your inhibitions are functionally nonexistent, and self-awareness is minimal. But what exactly happens when you blackout?
What is a Blackout?
Under normal circumstances, when you encounter a situation or activity, your brain begins to process the input from your environment to form memories. First, the input goes to your short-term memory centers. Then, neurotransmitters such as GABA, glutamate, and acetylcholine work on the connections in your brain to transform those short term memories into long-term memories, creating a lasting impression that will allow you to remember people, places, and things. However, alcohol creates a major problem in this process. It significantly affects many chemicals and areas of the brain, particularly the hippocampus- a part of the brain that is critically important for memory formation and preservation. Alcohol impairs the ability of your brain to take the short-term memories and transfer them to the long-term memory centers. Research has shown that not only do blackouts increase the odds of more blackouts, but they can also impact your ability to form memories in the long run, even when sober. Long-term heavy drinkers show irreversible damage to many critical areas of the brain.
Get Help Before It’s Too Late
If you or someone you know has a problem with alcohol, or is experiencing regular blackouts, inpatient addiction treatment might be the answer. For your free confidential assessment, call the professionals at Serenity Acres today: 1-800-203-2024.