Regardless of the risks of alcohol, millions of Americans drink over a period of several years or decades. Many drinkers eventually become alcoholics. However, the problems associated with alcohol are not always addressed. As a result, the long term effects of alcohol can destroy lives.
A soon as alcohol enters the body it has an effect on the brain, central nervous system, and internal organs. Large amounts of alcohol put a strain on the heart, liver, digestive system, kidneys, pancreas, and cognitive function. Over time, excessive use can take its toll on the body, causing terminal and irreversible health conditions.
What Are the Long Term Effects of Alcohol?
Alcohol contributes to a wide range of problems that affect individuals and everyone around them including:
Injuries & Fatalities
Alcohol is responsible for over injuries and fatalities that range from drowning and auto accidents to abuse, rape, and assault. Each year, nearly 90,000 Americans are victimized by alcohol-related deaths. Furthermore, not every person responsible for a fatality is an alcoholic. All it takes is a single act of drinking too much to cause a devastating event that has long-term consequences.
Alcohol contributes to over 200 known diseases and health problems. Some of the most common long term effects of alcohol include:
- Liver disease
- Heart disease
- Brain damage
- Stomach ulcers
In addition, chronic heavy drinking can lead to cardiovascular problems, neuropathy, immune system problems, depression, anxiety, emotional problems, and osteoporosis. Many of these problems are irreversible and require critical healthcare.
Long Term Effects of Alcohol: Lifelong Addiction
Once a person becomes addicted to alcohol, their recovery from the substance can last a lifetime. There is always a risk of relapse which can cause a person to spiral back into long-term substance abuse.
In addition, alcohol addiction can segue into other addiction or lead to mental disorders, which, in turn, fuel alcoholism. These are battles that someone may have to go through for the rest of their life. In addition, the longer someone drinks, the more difficult it becomes to stop drinking.
Treatment for Addiction
If recovery from alcoholism is a lifelong pursuit, it rarely occurs without some form of treatment or support. A person who completes rehab may continue their treatment through a sober living home, support group, therapy, or mentorship. Many people who join a 12-step program stay in the program for several years or even life. Thus, treatment for alcoholism can last for several years.
Long Term Effects of Alcohol: Financial Problems
A person who chooses to continue using alcohol for several years will spend thousands of dollars on the substance. An addiction can cause a person to ignore other financial responsibilities so that they can buy alcohol. Therefore, it is not surprising when a person loses their home, their job, their car, or their savings. The consequences of the long term effects of alcohol can be devastating. It may take years for a person to get back on their feet financially.
Start Your Path to Recovery at Right Step Houston
Regardless of how long you have been drinking, it is never too late to stop. Right Step Houston offers comprehensive treatment for alcohol and drug addiction. We can help you get on the road to recovery and help reduce the long term effects of alcohol. To find out more, call us at 1.844.768.0169 to get started with your treatment.