What Are the Effects of Alcoholism?

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(Newswire.net — September 27, 2022) — When most people think of alcoholism, they think of its negative consequences on the drinker’s life.

However, what are the actual effects of alcoholism? What does it do to a person’s body and mind?

This post will explore the effects of alcoholism and the dangers of alcohol abuse and discuss its harmful effects on the individual and society.

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Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Before getting into the effects of alcoholism, it is essential to understand what it is. Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that harms one’s health, relationships, or job.

It includes binge drinking, heavy drinking, and any drinking by pregnant women or people under the age of 21.

Alcoholism, on the other hand, is a chronic, progressive disease that includes an intense craving for alcohol, inability to control drinking, and continued use despite negative consequences.

It is important to note that not all heavy drinkers are alcoholics, but all alcoholics are heavy drinkers.

What Happens In Your Body When You Drink Alcohol?

Drinking alcohol causes several changes in the body. The liver breaks down most alcohol, but some are absorbed into the bloodstream and Travel to the brain. This is why drinking can make you feel more relaxed or less inhibited.

Alcohol also acts as a diuretic, which means it causes you to urinate more. This can lead to dehydration and a poor immune system which can cause headaches and make you feel tired.

Effects Of Alcoholism On The Body

The effects of alcoholism are not discriminatory; they can affect anyone drastically and in many ways.

We’ll also explore the long- and short-term consequences that alcohol abuse can have.

Liver Damage

The liver is one of the vulnerable organs that alcohol affects. Alcohol is metabolized in the liver, and over time, this can lead to a build-up of fatty acids.

This can eventually lead to alcoholic hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver.

If left untreated can lead to cirrhosis, which is permanent liver scarring.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Excessive alcohol use can cause several gastrointestinal problems, including gastritis, ulcers, and pancreatitis.

Gastritis is a stomach lining inflammation that can lead to vomiting, abdominal pain, and bleeding.

Ulcers are sores that form in the stomach or intestines, and pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas.


Alcohol consumption makes individuals more likely to develop cancer in the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and breasts.

Heart Disease

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders can also lead to high blood pressure and heart disease, including cardiomyopathy, weakening the heart muscle. This can lead to heart failure and death.

Brain Damage

Moderate drinking or excessive alcohol abuse can also lead to brain damage, including dementia and stroke.

Alcohol use disorder damages the central nervous system by causing inflammation and killing brain cells.

This can lead to several problems with memory, thinking, and motor skills.

Short-Term Effects Of Alcoholism

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The short-term effects of alcoholism can be both physical and mental. Physical Effects Include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Blackouts (memory lapses)
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Aggression and violence

Mental Effects Include:

  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Poor judgment
  • Impaired memory
  • Slowed reaction time

Long-Term Effects Of Alcoholism

The long-term effects of alcoholism are more severe and can be fatal. They include:

  • Liver damage, including cirrhosis (scarring) and hepatitis (inflammation)
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, liver, and breast
  • Heart disease
  • Brain damage and shrinkage
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (a type of memory loss)

Alcoholism also increases the risk of accidents, dementia, and other illnesses. It can damage relationships and lead to financial problems.

The Effects Of Alcoholism On Society

In addition to the dangers, it poses to the individual, alcoholism also affects society.

According to the National Institute on substance abuse, alcohol addiction costs the United States about $249 billion yearly. This includes the cost of medical care, lost productivity, and crime.

Drunk driving significantly tests this cost, accounting for about $199 billion in 2010.

This includes the cost of property damage, medical bills, and lost productivity.

In addition to the financial cost, drunk driving causes several deaths yearly. In 2016 alone, there were approximately 10,497 deaths from drunk driving in the United States.

Alcoholism also contributes to other crimes, including domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault.

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, about half of all violent crimes are committed by alcohol.

Treatment For Alcoholism

Alcoholism can be treated, but it requires professional service.

Many different treatment options are available, so it is essential to find the right one for you or your loved one.

Treatment can include:

  • Detox
  • Rehab
  • Therapy
  • Support groups

Please seek assistance from a specialist if you are suffering from alcoholism.

Alcoholism is a severe condition that can be deadly if left untreated.

Several resources are available in today’s world to assist you in receiving the treatment you require.

FAQs About Alcoholism

How Many Types Of Alcoholic Beverages Are There?

There are two types of alcoholic beverages- beer and liquor.

What Is The Difference Between Alcoholics And Non-Alcoholics?

The main difference between alcoholics and non-alcoholics is that alcoholics cannot control their drinking, whereas non-alcoholics can.

How Long Does It Take For Alcoholism To Develop?

It can take years for alcoholism to develop.

What Are The Early Signs Of Alcoholism?

The early signs of alcoholism include:

  • Drinking more than usual.
  • Being unable to control one’s drinking.
  • Continuing to drink despite negative consequences.

The Effects Of Alcohol On The Body

The effects that alcohol can have on the body vary depending on the person.

However, some standard products include slurred speech, impaired coordination, and blackout periods.

What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Alcoholism?

Some long-term effects of alcoholism include liver disease, pancreatitis, and heart disease.

Can Alcoholism Be Cured?

There has been no cure for alcoholism until now, but it can surely be treated.

Can Alcoholism Be Prevented?

There is no sure way to prevent alcoholism, but early intervention and treatment can help.

The Bottom Line

Alcoholism leads to excessive drinking and is a severe illness with potentially fatal results.

If you or someone in your circle you care about is having difficulties with drinking, please get help immediately.

Several useful resources are available to assist you in obtaining the treatment you require.