How Even Moderate Drinking Can Lead to Brain Decline

Ethanol and the intoxicating spirits derived from it have been around longer than anybody can account for. Alcohol and the severe or moderate drinking attached with it happens to be everywhere you turn. Whether celebrating or mourning something taking place or just completely trying to mask your feelings and hide from life- it has been an acceptable liquid to sip on for most of man kind’s time. Why wouldn’t it? Booze provides this euphoria that allows us to forget our mortality for a few moments and feel on top of the world. What’s not to like about that?

Let’s stir the pot just a little. We take this wonderful fun creating beverage and put it in the hands of some of the best fun havers in the world. What could go wrong?

Alcoholics will take anything giving them this feeling and just run off the deep end with it. This is so much of the case, that we take this delectable fun creating liquid and drink it to the brink of insanity. We guzzle alcohol down to the point where our bodies become dependent on it. Our minds are already obsessed with the need and want for it, our internal organs are shutting down from over saturation, and all we can do is think about knocking back more of the liquid courage. There’s never enough of it, and unfortunately, this is not an exaggeration either.

Ugh, the life of an alcoholic. But what about those that only partake here and there- the ones that don’t think alcoholically? You would think moderate drinking wouldn’t be too problematic right? Wrong.  

Alcoholics vs. Normies

Whoever said that a glass of red wine a day can be healthy had clearly not looked at the big picture of things. There are so many reasons why the thorny idea of moderate drinking can be harmful. Let’s talk tolerance and just our general way of imbibing, to begin with. As addicts and alcoholics, part of our mentality is that we can never have enough. There are clichés, there are statistics, and then there’s truth. When we start drinking or getting high, we always want a little more. We love this feeling of numbness or distraction from reality so much that we want to indulge into its deepest and darkest crevices without fear of retaliation or kickback for our immoral and questionable acts. But before we can bat an eye, tolerances rise and we find ourselves in a caucus race to stay ahead of this fun “habit” of moderate drinking as we like to envision it. Of course with alcoholics and addicts in mind, this would be more or less a severe degree of swigging from the till.

At some point or another, we will try to justify our demented actions or thoughts of controlled drinking- depending on where you are on the spectrum. The list of rationalizations will roll in as we validate every reason we need for feeling because we’ve convinced ourselves that were so skilled in the act of moderate drinking. The gist of this is that with our alcoholic thinking at hand- we create any excuse we can to get ourselves and other’s to condone our controlled drinking and justified relapses.

Normies vs. Alcoholics

Moderate drinking for anybody can open up the flood gates for more possibilities and misery down the road or it can be an outlet for a little bit of fun and relaxation depending on the individual. However, new studies are showing alcohol consumption is connected to a heightened risk of faster decline in mental health and function. The burn that the fermented beverage causes going down your gullet happens to be slowly burning away gray matter upstairs too.  

It’s all smoke and mirrors in that we want to avoid our real selves and see as many false images in front of us that we can produce. Just like said reflection trick, the idea of moderate drinking might seem pleasant, but it’ll wear you out and have you lost and confused quicker than you realize. Recent studies taken place in the Whitehall II Study shows that even lessened imbibing can lead to hippocampal atrophy.

When we end up disappearing from consciousness like in a blackout, many aspects of our brains are affected by this excessive drinking. Usually, these blackouts are due to the alcohol blocking certain receptors in our brains and disrupting all sorts of communication between different parts of the mind- specifically referring to the hippocampus. It is now believed the same goes for moderate drinking- just at a slower rate. In layman’s terms, even with moderate drinking, alcohol still helps speed up things like dementia and general degeneration of mental health.  

Sickness vs. Health

The idea of moderate drinking brings about a giggle or two. It’s a very similar idea as to believing in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. We can convince ourselves of certain things or actually go along with the reality provided in our short lives. It boils down to how much you want that piece of clarity. We addicts/alcoholics try to convince ourselves that we are still enjoying the drinking lifestyle, but deep down we know how empty and exhausting it feels. Sometimes it really just takes standing strong and knowing your rights from your wrongs. We know in our hearts that there is a happier way of life without the burden of needing to glug something for placebo induced happiness.

Health vs. Sickness

Alcoholism is a beast that gnarls and gnashes with alcohol as its teeth. Some are able to engage in moderate drinking and still maintain their sanity with little health decline. For the rest of us, we get bitten hard. The bite marks don’t have to be the end either. If you or a loved one has been struggling to make the next step, please call 866-433-1992 or visit  We have trained specialists on standby ready to help you get into treatment for alcoholism. The time to love yourself is now.

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Healing from substance use disorder isn’t linear, but it does always start with taking the first step. Our team of caring admissions specialists are here for you 24/7. Please, reach out, and let us guide you towards freedom and a new way of life.

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