Alcohol is a toxin and drinking too much of it can damage many organs. While most people know about the damage that alcohol can do to the liver, many do not realize that the brain is also very sensitive to alcohol. Research shows that the brain is especially vulnerable to alcohol as a baby growing in the womb, during later teen years (aged 15-19 years), and as people age (especially for those over the age of 65 years). There are very common patterns of alcohol use that may cause harm during these sensitive periods of life, including low level alcohol exposure after a baby is conceived, teenage binge drinking, and low-to-moderate alcohol use in older adults. These patterns of alcohol exposure may do less harm to individuals than consistent heavy drinking. However, it is still dangerous and harmful to the body. Women are now just as likely as men to drink alcohol and experience negative health impacts related to alcohol use. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on alcohol use are unclear, but alcohol use usually increases in the long term after major public health crises. Now more than ever, it is important to be aware of and avoid the dangers of alcohol on brain health.


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