Alcohol Abuse - The Real Life Effects

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The research literature reveals that continuous abusive drinking results in a number of negative short term effects of alcohol as well as long term effects of chronic alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

For instance, heavy and abusive drinking frequently results in physical damage and disease, often increases the risk of getting certain diseases, and commonly makes other illnesses and diseases worse.

In addition, excessive drinking typically leads to employment difficulties, school problems, relationship issues, financial difficulties, and legal problems.

As a result, if you want to avoid the long term effects of alcohol abuse and alcoholism, such as unnecessary alcohol-related health problems in your later years, drink in moderation or not at all.

Short Term and Long Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Some alcohol-related problems, such as driving impairment, negative interactions with medications, and interpersonal relationship problems can manifest themselves after drinking over a relatively short period of time.

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These are known as the short term alcohol effects or the short term effects of alcohol abuse.

Other problems, however, can develop more gradually over time and may become noticeable only after excessive drinking for an extended period of time.

These are the problems that represent the long term effects of alcohol abuse, also known as long term alcohol effects.

It also might be noted that the long term alcohol effects and the short term effects of alcohol are usually alcohol effects on the body and on the mind.

It is also important to point out that women may develop alcohol-related health problems after ingesting less alcohol than men over a shorter time period.

The Alcohol Effects on the Body. Due to the fact that alcohol adversely affects many organs in the body, long-term excessive drinking puts a person at risk for developing critical health problems.

In a word, the long term effects of alcohol abuse can lead to a gradual breakdown of different organs and systems in the body that can result in serious, if not fatal, health issues.

Long Term Effects of Alcohol: Liver Disease

More than 2 million American people suffer from alcohol-related liver disease.

For instance, some drinkers develop alcoholic hepatitis (i.e., inflammation of the liver) as a result of long-term excessive drinking.

The symptoms of alcoholic hepatitis include the following: abdominal pain, jaundice (abnormal yellowing of the urine, skin, and the eyeballs) and fever.

If the person continues drinking, alcoholic hepatitis can be fatal. If the person stops drinking, on the other hand, alcoholic hepatitis is often reversible.

Approximately 10 to 20 percent of heavy drinkers develop cirrhosis of the liver (i.e., scarring of the liver).

Alcoholic cirrhosis can be fatal if the person continues to drink. Even though cirrhosis is irreversible, if the affected person stops drinking, his or her chances of survival can improve greatly.

Although some people may eventually need a liver transplant as a last resort, many people with cirrhosis who quit drinking alcoholic beverages may receive treatment and may never require liver transplantation.

Long Term Effects of Alcohol: Heart Disease

Alcohol-related heart disease is another one of the main long term alcohol effects. According to the research literature, however, drinking in moderation can actually have beneficial effects on the heart, especially with people who are at the greatest risk for heart attacks, such as women after menopause and men over the age of 45.

Long Term Alcohol Effects. Long-term excessive drinking, on the other hand, increases the risk for some kinds of stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

The key point to remember here is this: in order for beneficial heart-related results to take place, the individual needs to drink in moderation at all times.

Alcohol Long Term Effects: Cancer

Long-term alcohol abuse and alcoholism increases the risk of developing certain types of cancer, especially cancer of the voice box, colon, mouth, liver, throat, rectum, esophagus, and the kidneys.

Moreover, women who drink two or more drinks per day slightly increases their risk for developing breast cancer. Obviously, alcohol-related cancer is one of the long term alcohol effects that should be prevented as much as possible and the easiest way to do this is to drink in moderation whenever you drink.

Alcohol Effects on the Body: Pancreatitis

The pancreas helps regulate the body's blood sugar levels by producing insulin. In addition, the pancreas is instrumental in digesting the food people eat. Unfortunately, long-term excessive drinking can lead to pancreatitis (i.e.. inflammation of the pancreas).

Pancreatitis is associated with excessive weight loss and extreme abdominal pain and can lead to death. As discussed above with the other long term alcohol effects, moreover, alcohol-related pancreatitis can be totally avoided via moderate drinking or abstinence.

Based on the above, it can be determined that hazardous drinking can often result in physical damage, can increase the risk of getting some diseases, and can make other diseases worse.

The bottom line is this: if you want to avoid long term alcohol effects such as unnecessary health problems later in life, drink in moderation or not at all.

Long Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

In addition to the diseases outlined above, abusive drinking over time is also associated with the following medical conditions and alcohol long term effects:

  • Epilepsy

  • Nerve damage

  • Loss of brain cells

  • Irritated stomach lining and bleeding from stomach ulcers

Excessive drinking has also been linked to the following health problems and to short and alcohol long term effects:

  • Sexual problems

  • Obesity

  • Muscle disease

  • Vitamin deficiency

  • Infertility

  • Skin problems

Conclusion: Alcohol Abuse - The Real Life Effects

According to the research literature, when people drink in a hazardous and excessive manner they experience short term effects of alcohol as well as long term alcohol effects such as educational difficulties, employment problems, relationship issues, financial difficulties, and legal problems.

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Not only this, but based on the research findings, it can be determined that excessive and irresponsible drinking often result in physical and mental health issues and diseases, it increases the risk of getting various diseases and illnesses, and it frequently makes existing diseases worse.

It is apparent, then, that hazardous drinking in a continuous and repetitive manner, regrettably, results in negative long term effects such as chronic alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

The moral of the story is this: if you want to avoid the long term effects of alcohol abuse such as unnecessary alcohol-related health problems later in life, drink in moderation or not at all.

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