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Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol Abuse

Whether directly or indirectly, alcohol impacts everyone. If not, you are suffering from the ill effects of alcohol; your boyfriend, wife, friend, family member, or even an employee may put everyone at risk by handling dangerous machines while intoxicated.


The quantity of alcohol you drink, your age, mental and physical health, and other factors all influence how it affects you. Drinking too much alcohol may have both short- and long-term damaging consequences. It might affect your physical and mental well-being, as well as your job, income, family, and society.

What Are the Consequences of Alcoholism?

Binge drinking and heavy alcohol use are linked to a variety of health issues:

Immediate Effects

The following effects may occur within an hour after consuming alcohol:


  • Relaxation 

  • Euphoria

  • Depression

  • Imbalance 

  • Aggression 

  • Vomiting 

  • Nausea 

  • Dizziness

  • Blurred vision 

  • Slowed breathing 

Long-Term Effects

Long-term alcohol addiction may have harmful consequences on the brain, liver, heart, pancreas, stomach, and immune system.

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Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Pancreatic Health Risks

The pancreas is an organ that usually makes insulin and other substances that aid in the digestion of food. However, alcohol compounds slow down this process. The molecules remain in the pancreas for an extended time. The poisons produced by alcohol cause inflammation in the pancreas, leading to catastrophic damage if not treated immediately.


After a few years of excessive consumption of alcohol, you will not be able to produce enough insulin, which can increase the risk of developing diabetes. It also increases your chances of developing pancreatic cancer.

Liver Damage

Excessive alcohol use and binge drinking may cause many liver issues. With about 500 actions, the liver is one of the most complicated organs in the body. Problems with the liver can have a ripple effect throughout the body.


This organ filters contaminant from the blood, stores energy, produces hormones (and proteins), and regulates blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Although your liver is one of the most powerful organs that can repair itself in various situations, this capacity may obscure considerable health difficulties. Besides, the mounting damage can be challenging and confusing to detect other health conditions.


Because liver damage is typically permanent once it occurs, prevention is critical. In the United States, 44,358 persons died from alcohol-induced liver disease in 2020.

Medically Reviewed:


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Expert Contributor

Dr. Williams presently serves on the board of Directors for two non-profit service organizations. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University, Philadelphia, Pa, and a Ph.D. with a concentration in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute and University. In Cincinnati, Ohio. He is licensed to practice addictions counseling in both New Jersey and Connecticut and has a pending application as a practicing Psychologist in New Jersey.

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Health Risks of Alcoholism

Alcoholic Hepatitis (AH)

AH is liver inflammation. More than a third of long-term problem drinkers will acquire this condition. For example, after two decades of taking 6 to 7 beers daily, most people are diagnosed with Alcoholic Hepatitis. However, some are diagnosed with AH after only ten years. Up to four in ten patients with AH die within six months of diagnosis of the condition.


The following are some of the signs and symptoms of AH:


  • Vomiting 

  • General body weakness and exhaustion 

  • Nausea

  • Appetite loss 

  • Low-grade fevers

  • Skin and eye whites become yellow

  • Tenderness (or swelling) in the abdomen


According to the NIC (National Cancer Institute), there is widespread scientific consensus that alcohol intake may contribute to the development of various types of cancer.


In its report on Carcinogens, the United States Department of Health and Human Services NTP classifies alcoholic beverages as a proven human carcinogens.


The research suggests that the more you ingest alcohol–especially the more alcohol a person consumes daily–the greater their chance of acquiring alcohol-related cancer. Even persons who have just a drink daily compared to one who binges (consuming four or more drinks for a woman and five or more drinks for a male in one session) have a slightly higher risk of some cancers.


According to 2009 statistics, alcohol was responsible for 3.5 percent of cancer fatalities in the US (about 19,500 deaths).


Alcohol intake has been linked to an elevated risk of various forms of cancer, including:


  • Head and neck cancer, including pharynx, oral cavity, and larynx cancers

  • Esophageal cancer

  • Cancer of the liver

  • Breast cancer

  • Colorectal cancer


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Alcohol Abuse Effects on the Body



Fibrosis is the stiffening of bodily organs and tissues due to a buildup of proteins (such as collagen). Fibrosis often occurs in conjunction with alcoholic hepatitis. Mild to moderate types of the disease could be treatable. However, continued alcohol misuse may cause permanent fibrosis and hepatitis, leading to various liver cancers.

Immune System

A high intake of alcoholic beverages may weaken your immune system, making your body a more susceptible target for sickness and disease. A persistent drinker has a higher risk of contracting pneumonia and tuberculosis than a non-drinker.


Drinking extensively on a single occasion might impair your body's ability to fight illness for up to a day after you've been intoxicated.


The heart is particularly sensitive to the harmful consumption of alcohol. Excessive drinking may weaken the heart over time, affecting how nutrients and oxygen are given to other essential organs. Excessive alcohol use may raise triglyceride levels in the blood, a form of fat in the bloodstream. High triglyceride levels increase the chance of developing major health problems, including diabetes and cardiovascular infections.


Some immediate heart impacts, such as elevated blood pressure and an irregular pulse, may lead to many other issues later. Excessive drinking may lead to cardiomyopathy, strokes, sudden cardiac arrest, and death in the long run.

Financial And Social Issues

Alcohol might lower your inhibitions and cause you to act in ways you would not ordinarily. You could commit a crime, work antisocially, or do something disgraceful.


When intoxicated, your actions and decisions may impact every element of your social life, including your friendships, work, family, and the greater community, among other things.


In the case of frequent alcohol use or addiction, you may spend significant money on socializing and drinking, burdening your family's finances, and even taking time away from your loved ones.


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The Bottom Line: Stop Drinking Now!

Alcohol use and abuse have long-term and short-term impacts. Alcohol profoundly influences the body, regardless of whether you've been consuming it for the first time or for years. Chronic alcoholism may have significant medical, economic, and interpersonal repercussions and put you in danger of various possibly fatal outcomes when drunk.


The time to end the drinking and start living a healthy, honorable life is now! To locate an alcohol rehabilitation program for yourself or a loved one who is an alcoholic, speak with a treatment specialist at Rolling Hills Recovery Center directly!

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Alcohol abuse
What are consequences of alcoholism?
Long-term effects of alcohol abuse
Health risks of alcoholism
Alcohol abuse effects on the body
Stop drinking now
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