We remain open and committed to providing services for our clients. For more information on our Coronavirus (COVID-19) procedures, Click Here

Five warning signs of brain damage from drugs and alcohol

Home » Blog » Five warning signs of brain damage from drugs and alcohol

There are many signs and behaviors to look out for when a person is intoxicated or abuses drugs.

Alcohol and drugs can have profound effects on our brains, resulting in what we call the external effects of drug or alcohol abuse. There are many signs and behaviors when a person is intoxicated or abuses drugs. There are also many consequences for the brain. This organ is affected both by short-term and longer-term drug use.

It is possible to have brain damage due to drugs or alcohol. Some drugs, such as methamphetamine or MDMA, can damage the brain similar to a TBI, which can cause brain cell death, memory loss and irreversible damage. The severity of damage, as well as its ability to repair, will vary depending on how the drug was used and who used it.

Five warning signs of brain damage from drugs and alcohol

There are several brain damage from drugs signs that you should look out for if you or someone close to your heart has been abusing drugs or alcohol over a period of time. You should seek medical attention if you have any of these symptoms or suspect that something is wrong.

These signs can indicate brain damage that is either short-term (or permanent) or caused by alcohol and drug abuse.

Delayed Reactions

A delayed reaction time can indicate a brain problem. Some examples could be taking a while to realize you are touching something hot, or if you raise your hands after you have been hit to block your face.

Memory lapses and blackouts

It’s important to get medical help and look into the possible role that alcohol and drugs may play in the problem.


If you are hallucinating when sober, this could be due to frequent or long-term use of drugs. Hallucinations can be caused by many medical conditions, including schizophrenia (which is common among drug-users). It’s therefore important to consult a doctor when you experience hallucinations.

Sudden loss of coordination

While everyone trips and falls occasionally, if the person suddenly experiences a lack of physical coordination it could indicate that their brain isn’t functioning properly. Coordination problems can be characterized by frequent falls and difficulty grabbing or holding onto things.

Problems with thinking

Not being able think clearly, having difficulty planning, making decisions, and performing everyday tasks can be very challenging. This could indicate that your brain is having difficulty performing its duties.

Brain Disorders Caused By Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Many drugs can have negative neurological effects on the brain, affecting its ability to maintain health and function. The effects of drugs can be long-lasting, whether they cause seizures, strokes, or directly affect the cells of the brain.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that drug and alcohol abuse can cause a variety of brain disorders.

  • Psychosis: Psychosis is the condition of losing touch with reality. It is usually a sudden episode, with symptoms such as hallucinations and speech that makes no sense.
  • Anhedonia- Anhedonia, or the inability to enjoy pleasure physically and/or socially is a common symptom of drug abuse. It can also be an indication of depression.
  • Dementia is a term that describes several symptoms of a decline in mental functioning, such as memory loss. It can also lead to problems with language, speech, reasoning, judgment, visual perception and focus.
  • Delirium- Delirium is common in elderly people, but it’s more likely to occur when a young person has been using drugs. People with delirium have difficulty focusing and may display fearlessness or paranoia. You may be hyperactive and irritable or extremely withdrawn.
  • Wernicke Korsakoff Syndrome: Chronic alcohol abuse may cause Wernicke Korsakoff Syndrome. This syndrome is marked by confusion, visual changes, exaggerated stories, and loss of coordination.
  • Persisting Perceptual Dysfunction – Persisting Perceptual Dysfunction is a rare disorder that can be very difficult to deal with. This disorder can lead to visual disturbances such as flashes of colors, intensified colours, halos around an object, seeing an image inside another image, or seeing geometric patterns where none exist.

List of drugs that can cause brain damage

Misusing any drug, even one prescribed by a physician, is not “safe”. Any drug can have very dangerous and unpleasant side effects. A person may also suffer brain damage over a long period of time if they abuse it heavily. These are the most common drugs that cause brain damage. This list is not exhaustive.

  • Alcohol
  • Opioids (heroin, prescription painkillers)
  • Stimulants: MDMA, MDMA, methamphetamine
  • Cannabis (marijuana)
  • Hallucinogens (PCP, LSD)
  • Benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax)
  • Inhalants11

Can brain damage from drugs be reversed?

Not all brain damage caused by drugs can be reversed. Can drugs permanently damage the brain?

It’s difficult to determine if brain damage caused by drug abuse is repairable or not just based on the symptoms and diagnosis.

A doctor can tell you if and how much damage is reversible. Although large amounts of brain cellular death are not repairable in early stages, there may be some repairable damage.

Heal the physical and psychological damage of drug abuse

Early detection and treatment are the keys to full recovery. The risk of brain damage caused by drugs and alcohol can be frightening, but early detection is key. Medical drug and alcohol treatment programs can help those recovering from addictions.

Hathaway Recovery’s medical detox program treats clients’ withdrawal symptoms to ensure a comfortable and safe experience. Our medical and clinical teams will provide a comprehensive plan to address all physical and mental needs as clients heal and recover. This could include treating neurological disorders like dementia, psychosis and delirium.

Hathaway Recovery provides a customized treatment program that includes evidence-based therapies like behavioral and experiential treatments. Our holistic healing program will help you grow as a person and give your life a new start.

Your privacy and comfort are our top priorities. Relax in our luxurious facilities. Hathaway Recovery Center’s staff is professional and compassionate.

We offer private rooms, individual treatment, and effective plans of treatment. Our team includes the best specialists. Our mission is to Renew and Rebuild Lives.

If you have questions, please call the Admissions Department at (909) 971-3333.

Your information is confidential.

Do not miss this chance to transform your life.

  • Individual Counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Family Drug Education
  • Relapse Prevention Therapy
  • Counseling for Grief


  • Excellent treatment center. Hathaway put on the road to recovery, I been sober 2 years today! Thank you Dena and staff members!

    Mike M.
  • Hathaway has saved my family. Before we found Hathaway my daughter was suffering with addiction however once we came to this facility the staff took her in and she felt comfortable and by a couple months she was ready to come back home fully recovered. Thank you Hathaway Recovery for saving her and thank you for the wonderful staff.

    Gabby H.
  • First I’ll start by saying that, this facility is absolutely beautiful! A couple years ago my husband Tony attended Hathaway Recovery in Claremont Ca. While Tony was in residential he received every care needed for a successful recovery. Also, he was able to enjoy the home gym at the beautiful Hathaway home, it’s basketball court, pool and etc. which made his stay even more pleasant. I am forever grateful for the man Tony has become ever since his completion. He has two years clean under his belt and many more to come because of the amazing facility. Thanks again Hathaway Recovery and Staff, Keep Continuing Changing Lives, God Bless Diane and Tony

    Diane K.
  • I came to Hathaway Recovery on court orders stemming from charges due to not taking medications for my mental health. I was fearful of what my future held and what that would look like. I have never been to a dual diagnosis treatment program before, and I didn’t know what to expect. I really didn’t think I had a substance abuse problem but after about 3-4 weeks of group therapy and the counselors here at this facility, I finally realized substance abuse influenced me to not be able to take care of my mental health. With the help of Hathaway Recovery’s team, I was able to build a strong foundation for my recovery that is vital to me and my family. The clinical staff, therapist, case managers, and counselors included, were honest, caring, and really helped me gain the knowledge I needed to build this recovery program and lifestyle. I am forever grateful for the treatment at Hathaway Recovery.

    Transition A.
  • My brother has been addicted for years. All our family gave up on him. Recently, he completed an inpatient residential program at Hathaway Recovery. This place is blessed and so helpful. It’s very luxurious, you feel like you are on vacation at a beautiful resort. Hathaway Recovery staff is very helpful, understanding and supportive. They all helped him to recover and to become a human again and enjoy his life. This place also supports family members and teaches them how to deal with aftercare to prevent relapse. Hathaway Recovery is the place for those who are struggling with addiction. Thank you for everything!

    Beauty D.
  • As a Trauma Informed Therapist I was contracted by Dina , the Owner to provide additional Trauma Informed Counseling. She indicated that she was seeking additional clinical services because her client population were enthusiastic about their recovery and she wanted to provide quality care. Working with Hathaway has been magical. This program does not separate addiction and mental health trauma into separate treatments, This program blends together the understanding that addicts have childhood trauma and have habitually used drugs or alcohol to dull their inner pain., Hathaway Recovery provides highly individual services for each client, including bilingual counseling. This is a program that I am proud to be a part of. Susan Pennington, LCSW – Trauma Informed Counseling Services.

    Susan P.
  • Hathaway Recovery Center is the real deal. They helped me find myself when I was completely lost. After I lost the mother of my child due to a tragic accident. The therapists and counselors truly cared. We made a relationship with each other that was unbreakable. The other clients were awesome roommates and true to me. The house managers were great and the living situations were awesome. If I ever even think about slipping up I’ll be returning. Today I have over one year clean.

    Jimmie R.
  • After searching many rehabs and after spending so much money to useless facilities we finally found Hathaway . From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank all the staff and all the residents that made my sons recovery easier from beginning to end.

    Gayane A.
  • Hathaway truly saved my life. I am so grateful to have had an opportunity to go there. I came in at absolute rock bottom, 9 rehabs later and countless sober livings. I can tell you that this treatment center is different then every other one I’ve ever been to.

    Justin J.
  • After running into some trouble with the law, a substance abuse counselor suggested that I check myself into Hathaway Recovery. Hathaway Recovery helped me get my life back together one step at a time. Through discipline, routine, and structure, I can honestly say that this treatment center has helped me tremendously! The staff are very helpful and caring to each person’s needs, and helped me to realize the beauty of living a sober life.

    Josh M.
  • Hathaway Recovery stuff saw potential In me when I couldn’t. They showed me a new way of life, a better life. Coming to Hathaway recovery is the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m beyond grateful for everything the program has done for me!

    Gilberto F.
  • Finally, Hathaway is a Treatment Center that offers a holistic approach to addiction. This center offers a safe place, community and a network to grow with throughout your recovery process. They make you feel that you are NOT alone. The leadership has been in your shoes!!! Hathaway Recovery is more than just a temporary fix, it is a foundation, a movement, a family to be a part of.

    Anthony P.
  • One of the best places I have been too! They really know how to treat you and very professional!

    Ashley A.
  • Hathaway Recovery and their staff have been nothing but supportive and understanding throughout our family member’s journey. I truly appreciate all the staff and their hard work. The communication has been great and has provided us a really positive experience. I would highly recommend this facility to anyone looking for a rehabilitation center for themselves or a loved one. Thank you Hathaway Recovery!

    Lilit H.
  • Hathaway Recovery is a very solid, very friendly place. My boyfriend decided to go here and has spent a significant amount of time at the recovery house. They are very good at bringing clients to meetings and on fun outings occasionally! Hathaway is committed to their clients’ recovery and their sobriety and to helping them in any way possible. They go above and beyond for the clients and I definitely would recommend considering Hathaway for your sobriety/recovery.

  • Hathaway is a warm caring treatment oriented environment to receive help from various addictions and behavioral problematic issues. The location itself is serene and safe.. I enjoyed the both staff/professional’s and patient’s… It has many services available, a very unique place… I recommend anyone to come and receive long-term treatment here at Hathaway…

  • Hathaway Recovery is a very solid, very friendly place. My boyfriend decided to go here and has spent a significant amount of time at the recovery house. They are very good at bringing clients to meetings and on fun outings occasionally! Hathaway is committed to their clients’ recovery and their sobriety and to helping them in any way possible. They go above and beyond for the clients and I definitely would recommend considering Hathaway for your sobriety/recovery.

  • “There was no longer any doubt in my mind that I was in the right place for my drug abuse treatment, “Of all the rehabs I could have chosen, I am glad I picked The Hathaway Recovery Support hope respect and care is what i was offered thanks for everything Hathaway recovery you are the best

  • Hathaway Recovery is an awesome place the whole staff has been so helpful they are very professional and very nice Hathaway recovery is a great place to get your addiction treated my brother is doing very well there and we are so glad they were very understanding and willing to help him.

  • A very welcoming environment and kind hearted staff that really took care of my relative and cleaned him up. Thanks Hathaway recovery.

  • When your loved one is sick and needs help you look for the best and I found the best for my son thank you for everything you did for him.


    Hathaway Recovery is an exclusive addiction rehab treatment center in California offering healing recovery from all substances. We’re proud to provide a great combination for drug, alcohol, psychiatric and psychological recovery treatment backed by experts in the addiction treatment field. Our drug and alcohol rehab is built on the cornerstone of care and compassion and accommodates clients and their families from all backgrounds to educate, inform, and create change around substance use disorder. In a secluded mountain hill luxury resort, our facility offers a therapeutic environment and array of clinical modalities to help individuals and their families. Our staff are also multilingual to address the needs of clients from anywhere in the world.

    *100% Private & Fully Confidential form
    I authorize and consent to give permission to Hathaway Recovery to verify my personal data and Health Care Insurance benefits.
    I understand that I have the option to choose various methods of communication( text, email, chat, etc). and I can revoke this permission in writing at any time. I consent to the conditions and instructions outlined in this fully confidential form & privacy policy.


    Insurance Verification Form

    Treatment with a Difference

    All treatment inquiries and personal information is always kept confidential.

    By clicking Check Insurance, I acknowledge that I have read and understood Policy and Privacy.

    Private pay and most insured policies (PPO) are accepted. In network with Multiplan, Tricare. Unfortunately, we are not contracted with medi-care, med-ical, med-icad, ieh-p or kaiser insurance and were not able to accept mentioned insurance policies.

    Copyright © 2022 Hathaway Recovery Center · Privacy Policy · Employment Opportunities

    Sitemap HTML | Sitemap XML


    24/7 Help Is Standing By, Call Us Now