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Alcohol Detox Could Restore a Brilliant Mind to Productivity
My son has a friend who “likes to have a beer after a hard day at work.” He’s about 6’4”, weighs a good 275, and ‘a beer’ for him usually means somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 to 8 beers. Which he usually downs one right after the other or over a short period of time. In other words, he’s into the worst kind of alcohol abuse – binge drinking – and is a prime candidate for alcohol detox.
I’ve spoken to him about it several times but, having watched all the usual commercials, he doesn’t see it as alcohol abuse or something that requires alcohol detox. He says it relaxes him after a stressful day, just like on television.
He’s actually quite a brilliant guy, nice as can be, but, at times, a little slow on the uptake. Ask him what kind of ice cream he’s eating and he’ll give you four answers like ‘it was on sale’ or ‘my favorite is rocky road but the store was out of it’ before he finally tells you it’s strawberry. At work, if he runs into a problem he can’t solve and doesn’t have anyone pressuring him to do something about it fast, he can take weeks to figure out the answer.
This slowness is not related directly to alcohol – that is, he’s not drinking at that exact moment – but the alcohol is nevertheless wearing him down. A study reported in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research tested drinkers for short term memory and other cognitive tasks. They found that binge drinkers scored lower than those who drank the same amount of alcohol over several days, despite the fact that they were stone cold sober at the time of the tests.
If he doesn’t get into alcohol detox, followed by a successful alcohol rehab program if needed, his thinking process will continue to deteriorate and his brilliant mind will be wasted, along with any real future that mind could have afforded him.
I’m happy to say that our talks have finally hit home – he’s come to the conclusion that his drinking does amount to alcohol abuse and he’s agreed to stop. If you have someone in your life who’s binge drinking or otherwise involved in alcohol abuse, get them into an alcohol detox program as soon as possible. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
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