Many people who drink never think about the long term effects of alcohol on their bodies and minds. They only think about how good they feel while they’re drinking or how much fun they have.
Unfortunately, these effects go beyond a hangover the next morning, and are far more serious than headaches.
Some people think they’ll be fine if they only have “have a little blow out now and again.” This could constitute binge drinking and will be harmful. In essence every alcoholic drink can affect your body and mind, and the more you drink, the worse the potential damage.
Let’s not get carried away here though this website is about alcoholism – drinking sensibly and within your recommended limits should be fine.
One of the most well known long term effects of alcohol consumption is problems with the liver. The liver breaks down alcohol and uses it as fuel, but this process exhausts the liver, and too much alcohol too frequently can damage the liver permanently, leading to liver disease and cirrhosis or cancer of the liver.
Lesser damage to the liver will often be reversed however if the person becomes abstinent from alcohol and starts eating a well balanced diet.
Heart disease and other heart problems, such as high blood pressure, are also long term effects of alcohol use. Cardiomyopathy (damage to the heart muscle) can also occur from excessive alcohol use.
Alcohol abuse also greatly increases the chance of stroke, which result from blood clots clogging arteries in the brain, or blood vessels bursting and leaking into the brain.
Excessive drinking causes dehydration, which thickens the blood, making it more likely to clot. Long term drinking can also lead to high blood pressure, which in turn can lead to a stroke.
There are many other physical problems that come from alcoholism including infertility or impotence, diabetes, ulcers, obesity, and pancreatitis. Alcohol poisoning is also a possibility, which can lead to death.
Wow – we’re painting a pretty picture here aren’t we?
And there’s more………….
Mental And Emotional Effects
The physical effects are not the only ones related to excessive alcohol drinking. There are mental and emotional problems that arise in long-term effects of alcohol that are just as damaging as the physical effects.
Alcohol is a depressant. And though drinkers may feel better about their problems while they’re drinking, afterward they may find themselves feeling worse.
With the depression comes mood swings, inability to concentrate, personality changes, and even suicidal tendencies. People can also experience dementia, memory loss, blackouts, and hallucinations when they drink heavily.
Those who use alcohol to deal with their problems may also find themselves becoming more dependent on alcohol to deal with sources of stress, which can make these emotional and mental effects worse.
Though many people don’t think about it, a hangover isn’t the only thing people may have to suffer through as alcohol abuse can lead to many serious conditions, even death.
There are many serious long-term effects associated with alcohol abuse, many of which people may not realize are a possibility. Every night spent drinking excessively is a night’s worth of damage done to the body and mind.
I don’t know about you but I’m beginning to think that drinking too much alcohol may not be a good idea!