We’ve all likely seen friends and family, and maybe even experienced ourselves at some point, the many immediate side effects of alcohol use. Whether it is stammering speech and slower reaction times or vomiting and blacking out, excessive alcohol use comes with many side effects that at best frustrate loved ones and, at worst, are dangerous to ourselves and those around us. The side effects of alcoholism, however, are even more severe and long-lasting. If you are worried about the effects of alcohol addiction for yourself or a family member, reach out to Midwest Recovery online or call us at 833.627.0039 today to learn how our team of skilled medical professionals can help overcome alcohol addiction.
The Long-Term Side Effects of Alcoholism
Heavy drinking over a long period of time can result in dangerous physical complications that deteriorate a person’s overall health and well-being. Some of the dramatic effects of alcohol addiction on the body and the mind may include:
- Brain damage
- Liver damage
- Musculoskeletal issues
- Heart problems
- Fertility and reproductive health
- Stomach and intestinal ulcers
- High blood pressure
- Decrease in male sperm production
- A higher risk of cancer
Television, film, music, alcohol consumption, and drinking culture are fully ingrained in our society. Not only commonplace, getting drunk can be glamorous and romanticized. This can lead many people down a precarious path, with the effects of alcoholism taking a toll on an individual’s mind and body and their relationships with friends and family and their professional life.
The Physical Damage of Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol abuse has the capability of destroying a human body over time. Some of the common damage that occurs after the consumption of alcohol include:
The liver metabolizes alcohol in humans, beginning as soon as a person consumes the alcohol. A long-term, heavy drinking habit will damage the liver and ultimately cause liver disease. This is because the more alcohol the liver has to process, the more bloated its cells become. The result is swelling and inflammation, known as alcoholic hepatitis or alcoholic steatohepatitis. What follows is scarring of the liver, liver failure, and even death.
One of the most terrifying side effects of alcoholism is its impact on the brain. While the long-term abuse of alcohol can cause more severe damage, even short-term use will negatively affect a person’s brain and mental function. Alcoholism will often lead to a deficiency in Vitamin B1, which can cause the neurological condition Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, producing a severe state of mental confusion and muscle incoordination. Additionally, alcoholics are nearly 3x more likely to suffer nerve damage.
There is significant evidence of a link between alcoholism and several types of cancer. The research indicates that the more alcohol a person consumes and the more alcohol they drink over a period of time, the higher the risk of developing cancer. Some of the cancers that studies have shown increased rates of developing as one of the side effects of alcoholism include:
- Breast cancer
- Neck cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Liver cancer
Heart and Cardiovascular Damage
Finally, the last of the major effects of alcohol addiction is the damage caused to the heart and cardiovascular system. Some of those who abuse alcohol for a long period of time may suffer from:
- Heart disease
- Peripheral arterial disease
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
The Side Effects of Alcohol Addiction on Life, Work, and Family
It is clear that the many physical and mental effects of alcoholism are staggering and severe, but the real-life damage caused by alcohol use disorders spread much farther than a person’s brain and body.
Alcohol is expensive and could financially cost alcoholics thousands of dollars each year, but the cost of alcoholism is measured by more than the impact on a bank account. Work-life, family life, and friendships often suffer under the weight of alcoholism as drinkers can be abusive, depressed, and pull away from their much-needed support systems.
Learn More at Midwest Recovery
If someone you love is exhibiting and suffering from any of these side effects of alcoholism, learn how Midwest Recovery can help get their life back on track. Contact us using our secure online form or call us at 833.627.0039 today.