Smoking May Hinder Brain’s Recovery from Alcoholism
The following article refers to an interesting study labeled Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. The study contends that the smoking affects the rate at which the brain can recover after heavy long-term alcohol use. Apparently, smoking actually directly inhibits cognitive recovery:
“For alcoholics whose drinking brings on cognitive deficits, smoking seems to retard their cognitive recovery when they go on the wagon, a study here suggested.
“It is pretty well established that long-term chronic drinking of the amount that alcoholics do leads to abnormalities of brain structure, chemistry, and blood flow as well as cognition,” said Timothy Durazzo, Ph.D., of the San Francisco VA in an interview.
Alcoholics may appear to be functioning normally, but cognitive tests will usually reveal abnormalities or “frank deficits,” he added.
So it stands to reason that diminished cognition should reverse itself when alcoholics stop drinking. But, Dr. Durazzo found, cognitive recovery can be retarded by cigarette smoking, at least during the first month of abstinence from alcohol.”