February 11, 2008
Alcohol and Your Memory
You may have experienced a blackout yourself, or have a friend who states they just can’t remember what they did during or after consuming a large amount of alcohol. Blackouts are defined as having a period of amnesia caused by alcohol inhibiting the ability create memories in the brain. There are reported stories of people losing hours, days, and in one case, even a weeks of their lives due to alcohol consumption on a large scale. This is not to be confused with passing out. Blackouts can occur with others around you thinking you are coherent. Blackouts are considered an indicator of alcoholism.
It can be quite frightening and traumatic when a blackout occurs. Can you imaging going out one Friday night, getting intoxicated, going home and not remembering where you had been or with whom, or even how you got home?
As traumatic as a blackout can be, just everyday normal memory loss can be just as troubling. Alcohol is currently being studied to understand the exact effects it has on the human brain. In surveys, even moderate drinkers state they can notice an increase in forgetfulness. Many state noticing an increase in forgetting to pay a bill, call their family on an important day, attend the meeting that they had been so excited about attending.