Alcohol flows freely during holidays with parties and celebrations, but for brain injury survivors, families, and caregivers, it can have unexpected effects. Janelle Breese Biagioni explores how moderation or avoidance of alcohol can help reduce the stress of holidays with practical tips for caregivers and persons with brain injury.
Alcohol or street drugs and the misuse of narcotics or other prescription drugs can have serious risks and consequences for persons who have survived a brain injury. Because the brain has already been injured abuse or misuse of substances can complicate treatment, slow recovery, alter personal relationships, and increase risks of further injury. These blog articles discuss how and way substance use can be detrimental and the importance of prevention.
My son Brian, a 20-year-old college sophomore, sustained a brain injury in a car accident in July of 1985. Brian decided to go to the beach at 2 a.m. with a friend, after drinking too many beers and smoking marijuana. In the pre-dawn hours, still miles from Ocean City, he fell asleep at the wheel.
One out of two adolescents or adults with brain injury abuses substances like alcohol or drugs. Some survivors trying to cope with depression, social isolation and other losses turn to alcohol or drugs. Abusing these substances can slow or complicate recovery.
Alcohol and drug use after traumatic brain injury increases risks of another brain injury. Use of drugs and alcohol after TBI can worsen recovery, impair cognition, balance and problem solving. The body’s tolerance level can change after brain injury. Drinking one alcoholic beverage may be equivalent to six drinks.