Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Why do so many individuals with TBI have problems with substance use?
Substance use problems prior to injury
New substance use problems after injury
After the honeymoon
How much alcohol is safe after TBI?
How does alcohol and other drug use affect a person who has had a TBI?
- Don't Recover As Well
People who use alcohol or other drugs after they have a brain injury don’t recover as well.
- Problems in Balance, Walking and Talking
Brain injuries cause problems in balance, walking or talking that get worse when a person uses alcohol or other drugs.
- Say or Do Things Without Thinking First
People who have had a brain injury often say or do things without thinking first, a problem that is made worse by using alcohol and other drugs.
- Problems With Thinking, Concentration or Memory
Brain injuries cause problems with thinking, concentration or memory, and using alcohol or other drugs makes these problems worse.
- More Powerful Effect of Substances After TBI
After a brain injury, alcohol and other drugs have a more powerful effect.
- More Likely To Feel Low or Depressed
People who have had a brain injury are more likely to have times that they feel low or depressed and drinking alcohol and getting high on other drugs makes this worse.
- Can Cause a Seizure
After a brain injury, drinking alcohol or using other drugs can cause a seizure.
- More Likely To Have Another TBI
People who drink alcohol or use other drugs after a brain injury are more likely to have another brain injury.
Other reasons to avoid alcohol and other drugs
In addition, persons with TBI who use substances are more likely to experience:
- Living alone
- Feeling isolated
- Lower life satisfaction
- Interactions with prescribed drugs or other medical conditions
- Criminal activity and being arrested
- Injury or being victimized
- Additional brain damage