NC Brain Injury Attorneys: Could You Be Injuring Your Brain With Alcohol Consumption? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Here’s a shocking statistic: a recent study found that 40 percent of people who visit the emergency room with a head injury have alcohol in their blood; that is, four out of ten people who incur a serious brain injury were drinking shortly before their accident. Another study found that 67 percent of people suffering from head trauma in the United States showed some signs of alcohol use while almost half were legally intoxicated.

Here are a few more statistics about alcohol use and traumatic brain injuries:

•    Alcoholics are up to four times more likely to suffer a brain injury than those who do not suffer from an alcohol addiction.
•    Thirty percent of head injury victims have a history of drug abuse.
•    People with a history of alcoholism in their family are twice as likely to suffer a head injury as those without a familial link to alcoholism.
•    Those who suffer a traumatic brain injury while under the influence of alcohol have worse final outcomes than those who were sober at the time of their accident.

Not only does alcohol lead to more accidents and traumatic brain injuries, it also hampers patient recovery, both in the immediate days and weeks after an accident and in the months and years to come. Patients with a history of alcohol use or abuse will often turn to alcohol or another form of substance abuse after an injury. In some cases, those with brain injuries are struggling with impulse control, behavioral problems, depression, and anxiety. In other cases, brain injury victims could be simply bored, frustrated, unable to work, or physically disabled. All of the above factors can lead to a return to alcohol dependence or a new dependence on alcohol.

Unfortunately, drinking alcohol has damaging and even dangerous affects on those with a history of head injury. And many medical professionals are unsure of how to treat the issue of living with a brain injury and an alcohol addiction.