Everyone enjoys a nice glass of wine every now and then, and sometimes, when we have difficulty sleeping, we’ll take an over-the-counter sleeping aide in order to get a good night’s rest. But for some of us, if our drug or alcohol use becomes heavy, our memory will continually fail us if the problem is not controlled.
Certain over-the-counter and prescription drugs, as well as recreational drugs, can cause us to have more memory lapses and make more memory-related mistakes over time. Heavy users of alcohol, according to studies conducted by the University of Westminster in the United Kingdom, made 25% more mistakes on a memory-recall test than those who drank sporadically or not at all.
Alcohol has a debilitating effect on one’s memory. If you’ve ever forgotten what happened after a night out on the town where the drinks were flowing, you may have experienced what’s called a brownout. This is when you can somewhat recall events from the past. Blackouts are when someone cannot recall any memories whatsoever, and never will. A more serious instance is alcohol dementia, which can occur during times of excessive drinking and is typically seen in alcoholics.
Drugs like cocaine and marijuana have been shown to damage brain cells, which can affect one’s memory, as well. Recreational drugs have always been considered something to avoid for one’s own health and well-being, and memory loss is just another reason you can add to the list.
If you want to keep your memory intact and your brain sharp for years to come, be responsible: keep an eye on the amount of alcohol you consume and fully understand the side effects of any over-the-counter or prescription drugs that you are taking on a regular basis.