Long Term Physical Effects of Alcohol Abuse
The dangers of alcohol abuse do not lessen over time. In fact, alcohol abuse is linked to many serious long term health problems. One of the major long-term effects of alcohol abuse is liver cirrhosis and liver failure.
The liver, which works like a janitor for the rest of the body, is responsible for cleaning out all the toxins and pollutants the body accumulates over time. However, alcoholics’ livers are incredibly stressed because of all the alcohol that it is forced to filter and it will begin to degrade over time. Problems with the liver may cause no noticeable symptoms right way, but after a while an alcoholic may have fevers, nausea and severe abdominal pain. Eventually, the liver develops scar tissue from overuse and becomes unable to filter the blood properly. Cirrhosis of the liver and even liver cancer can be common long term effects of alcohol abuse.
Long Term Mental Effects of Alcohol Abuse
Alcoholism can also have long-term effects on the brain as well. After large quantities of alcohol, the brain can actually stop recording new memories and the individual will suffer what is known as blackouts. This is why many people wake up from a drinking binge with a “blank” regarding what they did and where they were the night before.
Since alcohol is a depressant, it can also alter brain chemistry. It can disrupt a person’s thoughts, actions and feelings. As alcoholics drink more and more, the brain can become increasingly affected, causing feelings of anger, aggression and anxiety, sometimes for no reason.
Additionally, alcoholics are also very likely to develop symptoms of depression. Regular alcohol consumption lowers the brain’s levels of serotonin, which is a chemical that helps with mood regulation.
Other Harmful Effects of Long Term Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse can affect your life in a variey of negative ways. It can affect your relationships with your spouse, your partner, your children, your family, your friends and your business associates. It can wreak havoc on your personal appearance and cause excess weight gain, water retention, and can detoriate muscle over time. Some long term effects of alcohol abuse are shattered relationships, the loss of a job or a career because of poor job performance. These relationship and job problems also contribute to depression, making alcohol abuse part of a vicious cycle of destruction that is very difficult to undo.