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After a concussion, the brain is much more susceptible to the impact of alcohol and drugs.  Even small amounts can slow down recovery or cause symptoms to become permanent.  If you used alcohol or drugs before your injury, it’s important to stop as much as possible while you get better.  If this is difficult you may have a dependence or addiction.

Examples of Addiction or Dependence:

  • Having alcohol or drug use a part of your daily routine
  • Not feeling normal unless you are able to drink/use drugs
  • Feeling restless, upset, or angry if you are not able to drink/ use drugs
  • Not being able to stop using alcohol or drugs, even when you really want to
  • People you know expressing concern about your alcohol or drug use
  • Negative things happening as a result of your alcohol or drug use



  • Accept that it may be hard to quit “cold turkey” even if you know it’s good for you
  • Find support through informal ways such as friends or family
  • Talk with your doctor about your difficulties not using alcohol or drugs
  • Link with professional support such as addictions counselling or Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous
  • Don’t go to events or see people where you will be likely to drink or use
  • Find positive activities to fill your time with, particularly during the time of day you would normally use
  • If you cannot stop completely, cut back as much as possible


Links for More Tips – click on titles to go to these sites:

Alcohol Use after Traumatic Brain Injury

Alcohol Self-Help

Drug Abuse and Addiction

Drug and Alcohol Helpline 

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