Almost 15 million people developed an alcohol use disorder in 2018. Alcohol use disorder or addiction is the inability to regulate one’s intake of alcohol. Yet, it doesn’t matter if you only drink occasionally or are a regular heavy drinker; the long term effects of alcohol can do you harm. Because alcohol is so common in our country, it can be difficult to judge its negative consequences. However, you don’t have to be an alcoholic, that is, someone suffering from alcohol use disorder, to develop health problems because of drinking. At Promises Five Palms, we understand the challenges of quitting alcohol when you suffer from addiction. We have the programs and treatments in place to help you heal. But the first step is recognizing the dangers involved. Whether it’s you or your loved one who is struggling, the long term effects of alcohol impact everyone.
What is Alcohol Use Disorder?
Alcohol is a depressant. When an individual is intoxicated, alcohol creates a calming and relaxing effect. Unfortunately, large amounts of alcohol can lead to memory loss, impaired coordination, poor judgment, and risky behaviors. Whether you are a casual, social drinker, a binge drinker, or a heavy drinker, your brain chemistry is altered by alcohol. If you drink consistently, you can become dependent. When this happens, the safest course of action is medically supervised detox. Once complete, you can enter into a treatment program that will help you address any underlying issues that may have lead to your alcohol abuse.
Long Term Effects of Alcohol on the Body
Most people are only aware of the short term and enjoyable effects of alcohol. However, depending on how early in your life, you began drinking and how long you have been drinking, the long term effects of alcohol can have serious consequences. Some of these include:
- Liver: Because your liver is responsible for processing alcohol, it receives the most damage from drinking. The liver can only handle so much alcohol; it will become inflamed or scarred. These conditions are cirrhosis, fibrosis, and hepatitis.
- Digestive Issues: Alcohol wears down your stomach lining, leading to an increased risk of ulcers. When this happens, eating and drinking become painful and unpleasant. It can lead to massive weight loss and other issues.
- Pancreas: Another of the long term effects of alcohol is the damage it does to this vital organ. Alcohol can cause your pancreas to turn on your body, producing harmful or toxic substances. You may end up with pancreatitis, which is the inflammation of the pancreas.
- Reproductive Issues: In men, the long term effects of alcohol include decreased sperm count and erectile dysfunction. In women, menstrual problems can arise. Also, if a woman drinks while you are pregnant, the child can be born with severe birth defects.
Promises Five Palms
Once you learn the long term effects of alcohol use disorder, then you understand the importance of treatment. Whether you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, help is available. Promises Five Palms believes in your recovery. We offer the treatments and programs that can not only help you heal but set you on a path for lasting sobriety. So to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 1.844.675.1022. Alcohol addiction is treatable, and you can return to full heal soon.