In terms of the body, it is the liver that is the most likely organ for long-term damage as it is responsible for breaking down the ethanol in alcohol. Frequent and excessive drinking will overload the liver and lead to the development of a fatty liver and usually to hepatitis and cirrhosis.
Another issue is skin damage – you can often tell someone who is a heavy drinker because of their red cheeks and nose due to broken capillaries. In addition, there are physical signs – the “beer belly” from the excess calories in beer, particularly.
Drinking too much too often will cause physical damage, increase the risk of getting some diseases, and make other diseases worse. Excessive drinking over time is associated with:
Hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver
Gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining) or pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
High blood pressure/Hypertension (which can lead to stroke)
Certain types of cancer, including mouth, oesophagus, and throat
Permanent damage to the brain
Neurological problems such as epilepsy and peripheral neuropathy (lack of feeling in the hands and feet)
Certain types of vitamin deficiency leading to malnutrition
Emotional Long-Term Effects of Alcohol
We also know about the emotional long-term effects; the primary effect is the likelihood of alcohol addiction or dependence. Using alcohol as a drug to change your mood, making you feel, in the short term, good about yourself will lead in the long term to an addiction. This is because it becomes your strategy; you are psychologically reliant on alcohol to feel good.
Over the long-term, it becomes a habit to drink and therefore the body and mind expects it. It can also signify boredom because over a long period you have the same behaviours; variety is often needed for enjoyment and excitement in life, a task which alcohol can no longer do for you.
The other issue is hopelessness which can lead to feelings of helplessness and suicidal thoughts. You come to believe that you cannot help yourself or anyone else. Only alcohol can do this for you; you believe that you can never change your destructive alcohol addiction.
Denial of the problem can lead to both guilt and shame and make it harder to admit you have a problem, especially because the problem has gotten worse over time.
So, the earlier you can deal with any issues with alcohol the better – for you both emotionally and physically.
Find Out More:
In order to start making changes with your relationship with alcohol please visit the Alcohol Free Social Life website where you will learn specific techniques and examples of how to make changes now: