Can You Drink With a Concussion? Dangers and Side Effects

drinking alcohol while concussed

What Every Person Should Know About Drinking While Concussed

Drinking can be quite an addictive activity for plenty of people. And while many think that it’s only a natural part of life to get drunk, it’s important to recognize the dependency that some people can have on booze and how bad of a habit it can instill in a person.

You may find yourself waking up every morning with a hangover, and you start to wonder if you have a problem. And sometimes, the unfortunate reality is that some addicts may reach a point where they may succumb to consuming alcohol no matter what circumstances they face.

That level of carelessness towards oneself can lead to various situations, such as drinking while having a concussion. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that drinking while suffering from a head injury can lead to a variety of unintended consequences and negative implications for a person until it’s too little too late.

Continue reading to learn what every person should know regarding drinking with a concussion.

Can You Drink With A Concussion?

Alcohol and a head injury may not seem like a bad combination at first, but there is a risk that comes with drinking while suffering a concussion. When a person drinks while suffering a concussion, the impact on the brain will be heightened.

Heightened impact occurs because alcohol affects the brain’s chemistry and has the potential to worsen a concussion that has already occurred. A person may experience a worse headache, which can extend the period of time that they are dealing with after a traumatic head injury.

Next, alcohol has the potential to cause a person to fall asleep, which can be dangerous in a variety of situations. For example, a person may feel tired enough to go to sleep after drinking, which can pose further risks for someone who is nursing a concussion.

What Does a Concussion Entail?

If you have ever seen a sports game that has a head injury, you’ll recognize the term ‘concussion.’ Essentially, this is a brain injury that occurs when a person has been struck on the head, or the body has been violently shaken.

It’s important to understand that every person is susceptible to a concussion and will likely experience symptoms in due time. If there is head trauma, that person may experience headaches, dizziness, confusion, and the like.

A concussion may not seem like a big deal, and it is treated as a mild, uncomplicated brain injury by some. However, it’s best to realize that while a person may seem fine, they are still going to require recovery from the injury.

What’s the Risk Associated with Alcohol?

While consuming alcohol in small amounts and on rare occasions can bring relaxation and elation, it’s a different story when it becomes regular. It can be quite a toxic substance for the body, considered as a depressant that slows down brain function and heart rates.

Alcohol on its own can affect the way that you think and make decisions. It can impact your mood, alter your perception of reality, and worsen your memory, making it difficult to recall a series of events despite how recent they may have been.

For someone healthy, becoming an alcohol addict means being at risk for vomiting, losing consciousness, and other dire effects on your health. It’s important to recognize the reality of alcohol’s dangers and the necessary support needed to overcome such an addiction.

What Happens When Drinking While Concussed?

Drinking while concussed is highly discouraged, as blood flow to the brain may be hindered when a person drinks alcohol after suffering a head injury. As mentioned, alcohol can cause a person to lose consciousness faster, which can further delay the treatment that they need.

People who are suffering from a concussion are already prone to complications and need to take care of their bodies. Introducing alcohol to a person with a head injury increases the risk of permanent damage. While the worst-case scenario is not going to happen in every case, it’s a possibility that most won’t be aware of the damage until it’s too late.

What Are the Short Term Dangers of Drinking While Concussed?

In a situation where a person who is suffering from a concussion is drinking, they are taking the risk of losing total control over their body. The booze effect will cause the person to lose their balance, react slower to things happening around them, and their hearing may become impaired over the course of the alcohol’s presence in their system.

As you can imagine, the short-term effects of heading a concussion are not very pleasant. For example, a person may suffer from a headache that lasts for a few days at the very least. Another potential consequence is vomiting, which can make the experience even worse.

What Are the Long Term Dangers of Drinking While Concussed?

The long-term effects that come with drinking while suffering a concussion can be much more life-threatening than the short-term effects. The worst-case scenario is suffering a stroke or even going into a coma, which can result in death.

Generally, alcohol can lead to a person having trouble breathing in the long run, resulting to a person choking and going on to suffer a variety of other health issues beyond their concussion. Plus, alcohol can also cause a person’s heart rate to accelerate, which can slow the healing process of the head injury.

drinking alcohol with a concussiondrinking while concussed
Drinking alcohol with a concussion

How Long Must You Wait Before Drinking After a Concussion?

Ideally, it’s best to avoid the long-term risks and consequences of drinking alcohol altogether. A person can slow down their healing process, cause further harm to their brain, and run the potential risk of not making a full recovery.

That being said, people who suffer a concussion need to give their bodies time to heal. An expert might recommend that a person refrains from drinking for a few weeks, followed by a period of lighter drinking. Those experiencing addiction or any similar crisis should refer to the advice of a rehabilitation center to get things under control.

What Do You Do When You’ve Started Drinking with a Concussion?

While there may be a variety of reasons why a person is drinking while they are concussed, it’s important to remember that health is the most significant thing to take care of with a concussion. You’ll need to take several steps to protect your brain and fight the temptation to drink.

If you have started drinking while suffering a head injury, however, there are some important initial steps you should take. First, you have to stop drinking if you are already in the process of doing so. Next, you should evaluate yourself in terms of how much you have had to drink.

It’s best to seek professional help for yourself as soon as possible. You will want to avoid further damaging your brain and make sure that you are able to recover from the concussion. Seek medical attention immediately if any of the symptoms worsen.


By taking the time to learn about the consequences of drinking while concussed, you’ll be able to protect your health and resist the temptation that may be presented to you in the future. Be sure to get the proper treatment your body needs during these times.