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.