What are the Long-Term Effects of Alcohol?
A number of medical emergencies can result from prolonged alcohol use, including cirrhosis, pancreatitis, and cardiac arrhythmias.
Long-term overconsumption of alcohol causes the death of brain cells. This can lead to brain disorders as well as a lowered level of mental or physical function. Liver damage from alcohol can result in cirrhosis, a severe medical condition that can require a liver transplant to treat. Long-term overconsumption of alcohol can cause pancreatitis. This is a very dangerous inflammation of the pancreas, and it can also cause nerve damage.
Tolerance, a long-term effect of alcohol in which the body becomes accustomed to higher and higher doses of alcohol after a long period of overconsumption. This makes it possible for long-term drinkers to consume amounts of alcohol that are dangerous — all without experiencing short-term effects that might otherwise convince them to stop. Tolerance can lead to dependence and then to addiction or alcoholism in some individuals.
If you or someone you love has been drinking too much for too long, please call our toll-free alcohol abuse and addiction hotline at 844-750-HELP (4357). There is never any fee or obligation, and you can call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Alcohol dependence, or alcoholism, occurs when the body cannot function without alcohol. The alcohol affects certain neurotransmitters in the brain. When the brain becomes accustomed to the way that alcohol affects these brain chemicals, it can no longer send proper signals to the rest of the body without the presence of alcohol.
Once someone has developed a dependence on alcohol, he or she will continue to drink regardless of any serious physical symptoms caused by alcohol. In addition, a person who has developed alcohol dependence will continue to drink even if he or she suffers social or personal circumstances such as the loss of a job or career, breakup of personal relationships, or arrests for behavior related to alcohol consumption.
Alcohol dependence is a physical disorder that requires medical treatment, as attempts to withdraw alcohol from a dependent patient will lead to unpleasant and even potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Medical treatment for alcohol dependence is known as detoxification or detox. It is followed by inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation treatment and therapy that helps patients avoid future alcohol abuse.
According to the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in 2013, 18.0 million people age 12 years or older in the US needed treatment for alcohol use (6.9% of Americans age 12 or older).
In a residential rehab center, intensive counseling, and therapy that helps patients find positive ways of dealing with stress. Stopping these pressures that led them to abuse alcohol begins as soon as the acute detoxification process is over.
Residential treatment programs lasting from 30 days, including detox to 90 days and beyond, are available at rehab centers that are located in pleasant surroundings where patients can focus solely on recovery.
Once the inpatient phase of treatment is complete, counselors at these centers encourage patients to continue treatment. This can be through outpatient addiction professionals as well as by joining self-help support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
If you or someone you love is addicted to alcohol, you are not alone, and there is help available. For more information on how to help someone addicted to Alcohol, call 844-750-HELP (4357).
Source: Drug Abuse