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Can You Drink Alcohol With a Concussion?

In general, drinking alcohol while healing from a concussion is not advised. The drinks you regularly have throughout the night could be a few too many, especially while your brain is healing. After a trauma, you can have a lower tolerance for alcohol and be more sensitive to it.

You shouldn’t only avoid alcohol and concussions. Drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine, as well as psychoactive chemicals and occasionally neurotoxins, can harm the brain. Like alcohol, using these illegal substances while recovering from a concussion might delay healing or worsen concussion symptoms. When you have a concussion, you should avoid taking unnecessary medications and get your doctor’s approval before taking any. To have the best chance at recovery, it is recommended to refrain from drinking alcohol after concussion.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion occurs when the skull is struck, punctured, or thrown out of place due to falls, vehicle accidents, flying or propelling objects striking the head, or physical contact, such as during a contact sport. A concussion may result from blunt or penetrating trauma, which tears or shears brain tissue and causes damage or death. Internal bleeding, brain swelling, a lack of oxygen, or other events leading to the end of brain cells are examples of secondary consequences. Sometimes a concussion affects a certain brain area, but concussion symptoms can also be widespread.

Anyone can get a concussion, no matter where they live. The emergency departments of hospitals treat and release around 80% of patients who suffer concussions. Unknown numbers of people sustain concussions yet choose not to get help.

In every age group, males get more concussions than females do. Ages 15 to 19 and 75 and older are the most typical age ranges for concussions. Concussions in sports are by far the most common kind.

There are several situations in which the brain cannot be protected, even with protective gear, such as those worn for physical events, military drills, and combat. IED blast waves, for instance, can harm even those wearing body armor and helmets.

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Alcohol and Concussion Statistics

Between 1.7 and 3 million sports- and recreation-related concussions happen each year. Around 300,000 of those are from football. Also, an estimated 15 million people struggle with an alcohol use disorder in the United States, but less than 10% receive treatment.


NIA – Alcohol Facts and Statistics

3.3 million

Between 1.7 and 3 million sports- and recreation-related concussions happen each year.

Source: UPMC

15 million

About 15 million people struggle with an alcohol use disorder in the United States, but less than 10% receive treatment.

Source: NIA

Alcohol and concussions should generally be avoided so your body can focus on recovery.
Alcohol and concussions should generally be avoided so your body can focus on recovery.

Concussion and Alcohol

The recovery of brain after a concussion can be harmed by drinking alcohol. It might keep symptoms from going away or, in some situations, make them worse. Alcohol concussion affects how the brain functions because it is a psychoactive substance. The effects of alcohol may be intensified by these changes, which can be more sensitive in a concussed brain. With a concussion, even one drink might have intoxicating effects that worsen concussion symptoms. Alcohol is also a toxin, which makes recovery more difficult while the brain is trying to heal. Alcohol can damage brain cells. The best course of action is to avoid drinking after a concussion completely.

Each traumatic brain injury is different. Some brain areas are hypoactive, and some are hyperactive when fNCI (advanced MRI) is used to examine patients’ brain activity. The exact combination determines a person’s symptoms and how they will respond to alcohol, in addition to factors like balance and blood flow to the liver. If your symptoms worsen while drinking, it is best to avoid alcohol completely.

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Drinking Alcohol With a Concussion

Concussion with alcohol should generally be avoided; not only can alcohol delay recovery, but it can also make side effects much worse. Especially while your brain is recovering, the one or two drinks you would typically have throughout a night may be one or two too many. Your tolerance for alcohol may be lower, and you might be more sensitive to it after a concussion.

Alcohol can increase the risk of worsening side effects related to brain injury, like depression; it can also magnify cognitive problems such as problem-solving, concentration, memory, and learning. Lastly, it can affect mobility, speech, balance, and fatigue.

All of us know that alcohol temporarily alters the chemistry of our brains, causing us to feel relaxed, joyful, or depressed. Since alcohol is a poison, it may harm brain tissue. This indicates that even a modest alcohol intake can hurt us while the brain is mending, especially when combined with the problems resulting from a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Alcohol and Concussion Top FAQs

Can you drink alcohol if you have a concussion?

Concussion with alcohol should generally be avoided; not only can alcohol delay recovery, but it can also make side effects much worse.

Is it bad to drink alcohol with a concussion?

Yes, because drinking alcohol while concussed can make your symptoms worse.

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Alcohol and Concussion Recovery

Can you drink alcohol after a concussion? Drinking alcohol with concussion may delay recovery and increase the damage risk. Already, a trauma might result in confusion, poor coordination, or dizziness. Stronger symptoms that could result in damage from a fall or accident can occur when combined with alcohol, which has similar effects. A second brain injury could result in lifelong brain damage in a concussed person. Unfortunately, not everyone with a concussion can or is ready to give up drinking alcohol. After a concussion, if you or a loved one can’t stop drinking, they may develop an alcohol addiction and require inpatient treatment to recover.

Can You Drink Alcohol With a Mild Concussion?

Drinking alcohol after mild concussion is generally not advised. After a concussion, drinking alcohol increases the chance of injury and slows healing, whether mild or severe. Alcohol and concussion may cause disorientation, slowness, or lack of coordination. When mixed with alcohol, which has comparable properties, stronger symptoms that could cause damage from a fall or accident can happen. A concussed person could suffer lasting brain damage from a second brain injury.

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Alcohol Post Concussion

Using Alcohol and concussion affects patients differently. For some patients, how much alcohol they consume indicates how poorly they’ll feel. Others find all alcohol uncomfortable.

Several people have described the following responses to alcohol:

  • Stimulation: These patients don’t feel tired after drinking; they feel alert and awake. After the effects of the drink wear off, they may or may not experience worse symptoms.
  • Symptom Overdrive: Some patients have increased symptoms such as headache, nausea, dizziness, sensitivity to light and noise, overstimulation, sleep problems, mental confusion or fog, flushing, and extreme heat or cold sensations. Many people experience a temporary worsening of their concussion symptoms.
  • Excessive Sleeping: Some patients sleep off the negative effects of alcohol consumption, so they don’t recognize how awful they feel. Up to 18 hours after drinking, some individuals have reported having episodes while sleeping.
Can u drink alcohol with a concussion? It is generally advised to stay away from alcohol while recovering from a concussion.
Can u drink alcohol with a concussion? It is generally advised to avoid alcohol while recovering from a concussion.

Alcohol Post Concussion Syndrome

Post-concussion syndrome is the presence of recurrent concussion symptoms weeks or months following a concussion. The diagnosis of the alcohol and concussion often requires the presence of some of the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Fatigue
  • sleeping issues
  • difficulty concentrating
  • memory issues
  • Restlessness
  • Behavioral shifts
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • sensitivity to sound or light

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When Is It Safe to Drink Alcohol After Concussion?

It is crucial to give your body the time it needs to recover after a concussion. Concussions are characterized as traumatic brain injuries, which explains why. They are brought on by a quick, powerful impact that causes the brain to strike the inside of the skull. Concussions can range from mild to severe, but even moderate concussions need time to heal.

The typical time to recover from a concussion is 7 to 10 days. However, this might vary from person to person, and you might still have concussion symptoms after 7 to 10 days. People often ask, “how soon alcohol after concussion?” Some concussions could take longer to recover from, and the symptoms might last 2-4 weeks. Alcohol and concussion syndrome may also appear in specific circumstances. Generally, it is advised to skip drinking altogether while recovering to prevent any side effects from worsening.

Having trouble with alcoholism? Call us today so our medical professionals can be of service.
Having trouble with alcoholism? Call us today so our medical professionals can be of service.

Concussion and Alcoholism Treatment

We Level Up NJ provides a thorough treatment strategy for alcoholics taking concussions and alcohol, including evidence-based and cognitive behavioral therapy. Depending on how severely their alcohol addiction has affected them, some people with substance use disorders may be suitable for treatment at a specialized facility like ours.

We work with highly trained addiction specialists to provide clients with the motivation and tools to stop using alcohol and maintain long-term health and sobriety. We provide dual-diagnosis treatment programs for those with these illnesses and co-occurring mental health conditions.

Contact us now if you are struggling with concussion alcohol addiction to go over your treatment options and learn how we can support you as you start your recovery. We’ll be by your side throughout it all. To help you recover through our program for medically assisted detox, We Level Up NJ offers proper care with 24-hour medical staff. Call us to talk with one of our therapy experts and reclaim your life. Our counselors will respond to your queries since they understand your situation.

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When can you drink alcohol after concussion? And how long after a concussion can you drink alcohol?

It is generally best to avoid any alcohol intake during a concussion. But if not, wait a week before attempting to drink alcohol.

what happens if you drink alcohol with a concussion? And can I drink alcohol with a concussion?

The best move is to avoid alcohol altogether since it can worsen concussion symptoms and may extend the recovery process.

What happens when I drink alcohol 2 weeks after concussion?

You should avoid drinking alcohol after a concussion until you are fully recovered.

Should you drink alcohol with a concussion?

No, it is recommended to abstain from alcohol if you are recovering from a concussion.