Long-term Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol is a powerful intoxicant that has a substantial impact on our minds and bodies in both the short term and long term. While the short term effects of alcohol on our systems are harmful, it is the effects resulting from consistent use over a lengthy period of time which are far more devastating to both our quality of life and our lifespan. Let’s review what these long-term effects are and how they impact our lives and ability to function.

Alcohol has an obvious effect on our brains, impeding our motor functions and inhibiting our higher level decision making and rational thinking. These short term effects are mild when compared to the potential devastation wrought on our brains from long-term alcohol use. A condition known as “wet brain” or Wernicke Korsakoff Syndrome can develop in heavy drinkers after a few years of alcohol abuse. This horrifying diagnosis consists of memory loss, abnormal behavioral changes, a loss of muscle coordination, and persistent double vision. These symptoms persist even when an individual is sober, and if wet brain is not identified and treated early a person can develop what is known as alcoholic dementia, a permanent and tragic consequence of long term alcohol abuse.

Besides these terrifying mental disorders, alcohol impacts other organs and systems in the body as well. Alcoholics develop malnutrition over time, as the gastrointestinal tract becomes inflamed due to the constant exposure to alcohol. Additionally, hepatitis is common in alcoholics as well as pancreatitis, for these organs are excessively stressed in their attempt to handle the excess of alcohol which they are subjected to. Alcohol is also a known carcinogen, and many who abuse alcohol for a number of years end up with cancerous tumors in their gastrointestinal system, liver, or other vital organ. All of these conditions can easily lead to death, and at the very least substantially diminish the quality of a person’s life.

The long-term effects of alcohol abuse on our bodies are substantial, extremely harmful, and often permanent. Interrupting your continued consumption of alcohol is the first step towards preventing and repairing the damage done by your consistent intoxicated state, and for those who have developed a physical dependence on alcohol cessation of use should be completed in a medical detox facility. At Evolutions, our compassionate and capable clinical team have decades of combined experience treating those alcoholics with a physical dependence, and we have established detox protocols which minimize any discomfort during the withdrawal process. If you are ready to change your life and avoid the long-term consequences of alcohol abuse, call our Admissions Counselors today at 833-818-3031 so we may help you begin your journey in recovery!