Alcohol prevents healing.

Is a little alcohol medicinal?

By David Joel Miller


Alcohol and Healing
Photo courtesy of

We have long known that chronic alcoholics had a whole lot more health problems than non-alcoholics. Heavy drinkers get hurt a lot. They fall down and break things. We blamed it on their being drunk and uncoordinated.

Now, there is word, that drinking may also inhibit the ability of the body to repair cells. This inhibition seems to be at the molecular and cellular level.

This reduced ability to heal is not simply the result of problem drinkers having a poorer diet and other unsatisfactory health practices, although those are large issues also. It would appear that alcohol fundamentally impairs the ability of the body to repair cells that are damaged.

To test this theory out, that too much alcohol may inhibit healing, a study was done in mice. By raising the alcohol level to .20 over twice the legal DUI level researchers were able to see the effects of acute alcohol levels on healing rather than only looking at the long-term effects of excessive drinking.

These “binge drinking” mice, who had broken bones, were unable to heal at the same rate as their un-inebriated fellow mice.

Drinkers that break bones may have a reduced ability to heal, may heal more slowly and there are more complications during the recuperation process.

Those binge drinking mice appear to have explained the problem. The presence of alcohol in the blood stream and therefore in every cell in the body reduces the ability for bones to heal when damaged. We now suspect that binge drinking can result in poor healing in many other areas.

Drinking alcohol may be an old home remedy for pain, suffering, and sleeplessness but new research tells us it is a hindrance not a help for those applications.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

If you would like to stay connected to the posts on counselors soapbox, hear about the progress of my book in progress or the flow of the conversation about mental health and substance abuse issues – please subscribe or follow counselors soapbox.

You will find the follow button at the very tip-top of the page, in the black area, next to the name. And don’t forget to hit the share and the like buttons at the end of each post.

New feature! Now a “Contact me” button is located on the black bar just under the picture and next to the “About the Author – David Joel Miller” button.


4 thoughts on “Alcohol prevents healing.

  1. Pingback: What is binge drinking? | counselorssoapbox

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s