The Long Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse
What Are the Long Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism? Excessive and
hazardous drinking frequently results in adverse alcoholism and alcohol abuse effects such as physical and mental
damage, a greater risk of getting other diseases, and a greater probability that existing diseases will get
Not only this, but abusive, long-term drinking negatively affects an individual's relationships, employment
status, financial stability, and in many instances, a person's legal circumstances.
Consequently, if you want to avoid the long term alcohol effects of alcohol abuse or alcoholism (such as
unnecessary health problems) later in life, drink in moderation or not at all.
Short Term Alcohol Effects and Long-Term Alcohol Effects
Short Term Alcohol Effects. Some problems, such as driving impairment, negative interactions
with medications, and interpersonal relationship problems can manifest themselves after drinking over a relatively
short period of time. These are considered short term alcohol abuse effects.
Other problems, however, can develop more gradually over time and may become noticeable only after excessive
drinking for an extended period of time.
These are the problems that represent the long term alcoholism and alcohol abuse effects.
It is also important to point out that women may develop alcohol-related health problems after ingesting less
alcohol than men over a shorter time period.
Due to the fact that alcohol affects many organs in the body, long-term excessive drinking puts a person at risk
for developing critical alcoholism and alcohol abuse effects and health problems.
The bottom line is this: long term alcoholism and alcohol abuse effects can lead to a gradual breakdown of
different organs and systems in the body that can result in serious, if not fatal, health issues.
Long Term Effects of Alcohol: Liver Disease
Long Term Alcohol Effects: Alcoholic Hepatitis. More than 2 million American people suffer from
alcohol-related liver disease. Some drinkers develop alcoholic hepatitis (i.e., inflammation of the liver) as a
result of long-term excessive drinking.
The symptoms of alcoholic hepatitis include the following: abdominal pain, jaundice (abnormal yellowing of the
urine, skin, and the eyeballs) and fever.
If the person continues drinking, alcoholic hepatitis can be fatal. If the person stops drinking, on the other
hand, alcoholic hepatitis is often reversible.
Long Term Alcohol Effects: Cirrhosis. Approximately 10 to 20 percent of heavy drinkers develop
cirrhosis of the liver (i.e., scarring of the liver). Alcoholic cirrhosis can be fatal if the person continues to
Even though cirrhosis is irreversible, if the affected person stops drinking, his or her chances of survival can
Although some people may eventually need a liver transplant as a last resort, many people with cirrhosis who
quit drinking alcoholic beverages may receive treatment and may never require liver transplantation.
Let us be crystal clear. If you want to avoid serious and life threatening alcoholism and alcohol abuse effects
such as alcohol related hepatitis or cirrhosis, learn how to drink responsibly and in moderation or not at all.
Effects of Alcohol: Heart Disease
Long Term Alcohol Effects: Heart Disease. Drinking in moderation can actually have beneficial
effects on the heart, especially with people who are at the greatest risk for heart attacks, such as women after
menopause and men over the age of 45.
Long-term excessive drinking, however, increases the risk for some kinds of stroke, heart disease, and high
Effects of Alcohol: Cancer
Long Term Alcohol Effects: Alcohol-Related Cancer. Continuous and hazardous drinking increases
the risk of developing long term alcoholism and alcohol abuse effects such as certain types of cancer, especially
cancer of the voice box, mouth, throat, and the esophagus.
What is more, heavy and abusive drinking may also increase the risk for developing alcoholism and chronic
alcohol abuse effects such as cancer of the colon and the rectum.
It can also be highlighted that women who drink two or more drinks per day slightly increase their risk for
developing breast cancer.
Effects of Alcohol: Pancreatitis
Long Term Alcohol Effects: Pancreatitis. The pancreas helps regulate the body's blood sugar
levels by producing insulin. In addition, the pancreas is instrumental in digesting the food people eat.
Long-term excessive drinking can lead to pancreatitis (i.e.. inflammation of the pancreas). Pancreatitis is
associated with excessive weight loss and extreme abdominal pain and can lead to death.
Based on the above, it can be determined that excessive drinking can often result in physical damage, it can
increase the risk of getting some diseases, and it can make existing diseases worse.
The moral of the story is this: if you want to avoid unnecessary health problems later in life, such as the
adverse effects of alcohol abuse and alcoholism, drink in moderation or not at all.
Other Long Term Alcohol Abuse Effects
In addition to the diseases outlined above, excessive drinking over time is also associated with the following
long term alcohol effects:
- Loss of brain cells
- Nerve damage
- Irritated stomach lining and bleeding from stomach ulcers
Excessive drinking has also been linked to the following short term alcohol effects and long term alcohol
- Muscle disease
- Sexual problems
- Vitamin deficiency
- Skin problems
Conclusion: The Long Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse
What Are the Long Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism? Based on the
information discussed in the alcoholism and alcohol abuse research literature, it can be concluded that heavy and
abusive drinking can frequently result in both short term alcohol effects as well as long term alcohol effects,
mental and physical damage, a greater probability of existing diseases and illness getting progressively worse, and
a greater risk of getting other diseases and medical conditions.
The basic message, therefore, is clear: if you want to avoid the long term alcohol effects that result from
chronic alcohol abuse and/or alcoholism, such as unnecessary health problems later in life, drink in moderation or
not at all.