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Brain Recovery From Alcohol Abuse

Addiction to alcohol can cause a number of long-term or deadly health consequences. Cirrhosis of the liver, pancreatitis, and even cancer can result from alcoholism. One of society’s greatest fears related to alcohol abuse is the damage caused to the brain, and sometimes the real facts are misunderstood. Continue reading to learn more about brain recovery from alcohol abuse.

What is Wet Brain?

Wet brain is a serious condition that has the potential of causing irreversible damage. It is not, however, the result of brain cells being killed by alcohol.

Wet brain is caused by a thiamine deficiency resulting from alcohol inhibiting the body’s ability to absorb thiamine, and if caught in time can be largely reversed with supplementation and dietary changes.


We help people with addictions and substance use disorders recover. Get mindfulness training and learn the 12 Steps for deeper healing.


Does The Brain Shrink?

The brain has both white cells and gray cells. Although chronic drinking is the cause of death for certain brain cells, it is not the primary reason for cognitive dysfunction.

A 2009 study by George Fein determined that the gray cells in one area of the brain, the parietal lobe, could be killed by long-term alcohol abuse resulting in recovered long-term alcoholics having difficulty with spatial processing.

Brain Recovery

Recovery counseling can play a big role in assisting the addict to take back control of his or her life.

Richard Ridderinkhof, professor of neurocognitive development and aging at the University of Amsterdam states that studies have shown the cerebellum can be damaged by chronic alcoholism.

The cerebellum is directly associated with the regulation of motor skills, attention, and language.

The question of whether the brain can recover from these damaging episodes is still being studied.

Some studies indicate that many years of abstinence can repair some neural connections and allow brain regions to be restored to the original volume.

Other studies have revealed some sustained brain injuries with permanent damage to the hippocampus. The sooner the alcoholic chooses to take a path to recovery, the greater the success will be. Less damage will have occurred and the healing of the brain will not take as long.

Getting Help

If you or a loved one is looking for help to recover from an alcohol abuse condition, contact Renewal Lodge to learn more about our Alcohol Rehab in Texas!

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Dear Renewal Lodge Visitors,

My name is John Bruna, co-founder of the Mindfulness in Recovery® Institute, and more importantly, a grateful member of the recovery community. I am incredibly fortunate to have found my recovery in 1984. Of course, I did not achieve continuous recovery through willpower or my own efforts, but through the guidance and caring support of countless others that selflessly taught me how to live through the 12 Steps.

My journey of recovery brought this once homeless, shame-based, traumatized, insecure young man to a life far beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I discovered self-worth, the joy of helping others, the gifts of parenting and grandparenting, and most importantly the ability to live a meaningful and purposeful life with integrity.

One of the greatest gifts of recovery is that I have the opportunity to give back and help others discover their self-worth, dignity, and the skills to fully live lives that they find truly meaningful. This is the inspiration for developing the skills of Mindfulness in Recovery® (MIR) to meet the needs of new generations struggling with alcohol and other substance use disorders. MIR is a set of evidence-based skills designed to help people fully integrate their tools of recovery in ways that are personalized, practical, and in alignment with their deepest values.

While we train counselors and therapists throughout the United States and abroad, I personally have chosen to work directly with the amazing team and clients at Renewal Lodge to develop the model MIR 12-step program for the nation. I choose Renewal Lodge because of the vision of its mission and the dedication of its team. Renewal Lodge is an extremely rare environment in which the staff embodies the very mindfulness and 12-step practices and skills they offer their clients. The results have been beyond my expectations. It is an honor to be here and I treasure my personal time with every client I meet.

With Gratitude,

John Bruna
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John Bruna
Director of Mindfulness
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