Here are a few more statistics about alcohol use and traumatic brain injuries:
• Alcoholics are up to four times more likely to suffer a brain injury than those who do not suffer from an alcohol addiction.
• Thirty percent of head injury victims have a history of drug abuse.
• People with a history of alcoholism in their family are twice as likely to suffer a head injury as those without a familial link to alcoholism.
• Those who suffer a traumatic brain injury while under the influence of alcohol have worse final outcomes than those who were sober at the time of their accident.
Not only does alcohol lead to more accidents and traumatic brain injuries, it also hampers patient recovery, both in the immediate days and weeks after an accident and in the months and years to come. Patients with a history of alcohol use or abuse will often turn to alcohol or another form of substance abuse after an injury. In some cases, those with brain injuries are struggling with impulse control, behavioral problems, depression, and anxiety. In other cases, brain injury victims could be simply bored, frustrated, unable to work, or physically disabled. All of the above factors can lead to a return to alcohol dependence or a new dependence on alcohol.
Unfortunately, drinking alcohol has damaging and even dangerous affects on those with a history of head injury. And many medical professionals are unsure of how to treat the issue of living with a brain injury and an alcohol addiction.