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Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse

a woman looks down appear distraught over learning about the long-term effects of alcohol abuse

Long-term heavy consumption of alcohol has been linked to an increased risk of various chronic diseases and early death. Even more concerning is that some of these side effects would not be reversed merely by stopping drinking. Seeking treatment for alcohol use is the best course to prevent severe damage to someone’s mind and body. If you or someone you care about is looking for a Waltham, MA, alcohol rehab center, Evoke Waltham could be the right choice for you.

At Evoke Waltham, we believe in a therapeutic approach to recovery. We provide a variety of treatments for each patient’s specific needs. Our friendly, experienced staff are here to ensure you have support and guidance throughout your recovery process. If you want to start your recovery journey, call us at 866.276.1920 today to learn more about how we can help you better understand the long-term effects of alcohol use.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse on the Body?

Even if drinking alcohol is considered a socially acceptable activity, its excessive consumption can lead to serious physical health conditions, some of which are:

  • Liver disease – Heavy drinking causes increased liver fat and inflammation. Over time, it can also cause irreversible damage to the liver tissue.
  • Digestive issues – Heavy alcohol consumption can result in stomach lining inflammation and stomach and esophageal ulcers. It can also lead to pancreatitis.
  • Heart problems – Excessive drinking causes high blood pressure and increases the risk of an enlarged heart, heart failure, or stroke.
  • Weakened immune system – Long-term alcohol use can weaken the body’s resistance to disease, increasing the risk of various illnesses, especially pneumonia.
  • Damage to bones – Alcohol use can lead to bone loss and thinning bones, increasing the risk of fractures. Alcohol can also damage bone marrow, resulting in a low platelet count, which may cause bruising and bleeding.
  • Eye problems – Over time, drinking can cause involuntary rapid eye movement and weakness or paralysis of eye muscles.
  • Reproductive issues – Heavy drinking can cause women to have irregularities in their menstrual periods. In men, heavy drinking can lead to erectile dysfunction.
  • Neurological complications – Excessive alcohol consumption can affect the nervous system, causing numbness and pain in the extremities.
  • Increased risk of cancer – Long-term alcohol use has been linked to a higher risk of many cancers, including colon and breast cancer.

While the effects of alcohol use can be severe and long-lasting, it is possible to recover from them with proper treatment. This may include a combination of behavioral therapies, counseling, medication, and lifestyle changes. By seeking professional help and making positive changes, you can overcome the physical consequences of alcohol use and regain your health and well-being.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Alcoholism on the Brain?

While the rest of the body can be severely damaged by alcohol use, the brain also sustains significant alteration and damage. These cause both physical and psychological symptoms. Some of the long-term effects of alcoholism on the brain are:

  • An increased risk for developing wet brain, or Wernicke-Korsakoff’s syndrome, which is an irreversible brain disease
  • Neurological issues such as short-term memory loss and impaired cognitive ability
  • A thiamine deficiency caused by alcohol use can lead to irreversible dementia
  • An increased risk of manifesting or exacerbating mental health issues like anxiety disorder, depression, or psychosis
  • It may also lead to increased suicidal ideation
  • Psychological dependence on alcohol leads to the desire to drink despite the negative health consequences

Due to the above effects, various personal and professional relationships may also be severely damaged by long-term alcohol use. The resulting isolation may then make the alcohol use disorder worse, leading to a destructive spiral that may result in death.

Begin Recovery at the Evoke Waltham Alcohol Rehab Center in Massachusetts

Alcohol addiction is a chronic condition requiring ongoing support to ensure recovery and long-term sobriety. Evoke Waltham in Massachusetts provides a wide variety of programs, services, and therapies to ensure that each patient can achieve and maintain a new sober lifestyle. If you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol abuse disorder, contact us at 866.276.1920 today to learn more about the long-term effects of alcohol abuse and how Evoke Waltham can help.