It is already well-known that alcohol can cause you to have slurred speech and heavy drinking can make it hard to differentiate the emotions shown by others. A new study that took place in the U.K. showed that alcohol can cause you to lose the ability to express different emotions through your tone. By going into treatment for alcoholism, you will no longer confuse your peers with your conflicting tone of speech and still maintain your relationships. 

What Happened in the Study

Alcoholism can affect your tone of voice in which if you tell someone you will see them later, it could be said in a tone like you are not looking forward to it when really you are. Participants in Britain would listen to records of sentences spoken by those recovering from alcoholism and those in a control group. It was hard for listeners to recognize the intended emotions that those with alcoholism were trying to convey. Their voices sounded “rougher,” “less expressive,” and “more flat.” Their pitch was less effective and quieter.

Effects Stay

Certain things come back after abstaining from alcohol like if you were having memory troubles, short attention span, or problem-solving deficiencies. The problem is that the lack of ability to perceive emotions visually and verbally can last long into recovery. The reason is not clear for why that is but according to cognitive sciences professor Silke Paulmann of the University of Essex, it can be due to vocal cord damage or brain damage. Heavy drinking has been linked to brain atrophy in the right brain hemisphere which is responsible for producing emotions of voice pitches. 

What to Do About It

This study remains unclear as to what to do to fix your speech that has been damaged by alcoholism. It is important to admit that you have a problem with alcoholism as well as perceiving different emotions. Maybe your friends have told you in the past that you do not look the way you feel or you notice you have trouble knowing how someone else feels. By addressing the problem to your therapist or doctor, you may get answers on what to do to fix it. By going into treatment for alcoholism and going to vocal therapy to learn how to speak in the tone that you are feeling, there is still hope that your speech will get better one step at a time.

Located in Georgetown, Texas, Alma Loma is a transformative living center to help those struggling in early recovery to transition out of our Psychiatric and Substance Abuse residential center. Alma Loma believes that addiction is born from an untreated mental illness in which our facility is willing to help you. Our facility offers residency, medication management education, individualized treatment, life skills education, 12-step support, and more tools to bring patients the confidence to be able to live an independent life. For more information, please call us at 866-457-3843.


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You understand your needs best. If you have found yourself at a crossroads in your treatment and feel like your program options don’t fully understand you or aspects of your recovery, it’s time to contact the specialists at Alta Loma. We will help you craft the ideal care plan and secure the support you need, quickly, to avoid unnecessary problems. At Alta Loma, that’s our mission — to provide each individual with optimum care for the wellbeing they deserve.