6 Long Term Effects of Chronic Drinking

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Chronic drinking affects more than a million Americans every year.

People who suffer from alcohol addiction also fail or hesitate to get the help they actually need.

Failing to take action at the earliest stage of addiction can lead to other irreversible long term effects. It can have several consequences not only on their physical and mental health but everyone around them.

Let us take a look at what happens if one doesn’t cut back on alcohol intake. 

1. A Weaker Immune System

Your body’s immune system has a major role in keeping you healthy.

Once the alcohol starts affecting it, you will become vulnerable to more infections and diseases.

Overconsumption can cause the number of antibodies in your system to deplete which in turn will make it harder for your body to fight against bacteria.

Frequent sickness, infections and constant sluggishness are signs of a degrading immune system. You will also take much longer to recover from simple and common illnesses like a cold or fever.

2. Affects The Digestive System

Most alcoholics suffer from sensitive stomachs or digestion issues.

Alcohol does a lot of damage to the digestive system and some effects are even irreversible. It can damage your gut, cause inflammation of your gastrointestinal tract and pancreas, deplete the enzymes responsible for aiding digestion and even increase your risk of stomach cancer.

Frequent stomach pains, vomiting, nausea and a burning sensation in the stomach are common symptoms in addicts.

Alcoholics also suffer from loss of appetite and tend to resort to drinking instead of consuming actual food.

3. Alcohol Use Disorder

When someone reaches a stage where they cannot go a long period without alcohol – they are said to develop Alcohol Use Disorder.

It is a serious medical condition that needs intervention and can last for several years.

Alcohol Use Disorder can affect your life in many aspects including finances, relationships and social life.

Make sure you seek treatment immediately if you develop this condition. Look up ‘alcohol addiction treatment near me’ or get in touch with a close family member or friend who can help you out.

4. Cancer

You might have heard it quite a few times before – alcohol consumption increases your risk of developing cancer.

Whether you are someone who consumes it moderately or frequently, there is always the risk of facing the dreaded ‘C’ word.

Alcohol is broken down into acetaldehyde in your body and this is the culprit for cancer. 

Acetaldehyde damages your DNA by interfering with its linking. This can interfere with normal cell growth and ultimately lead to formation of cancer tumors.

Your oral cavity is at the highest risk of cancer and this includes cancers of the mouth, pharynx and throat.

5. Effects On Heart & Brain

The cardiovascular system takes one of the top spots when it comes to being ‘destroyed’ by alcohol.

Your heart’s pumping capacity reduces when you consume too much alcohol and this in turn reduces the amount of oxygen supplied to the body.

High blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, stroke and heart failure are some common conditions seen in addicts.

Alcohol consumption also affects the brain – one of the prime reasons why addicts are often sluggish, find it difficult to focus or take time to complete a simple task.

In serious cases, damage can occur at the neurological level which in turn can lead to serious conditions like dementia.

6. Effects on Mental Health

More than thirty percent of alcohol addicts suffer from mental health issues.

These issues can range from anxiety to more severe conditions like schizophrenia and panic disorder.

If left untreated, addicts may continue to drink to numb their symptoms or get temporary relief.

People who depend on alcohol also tend to suffer from depression and this can progress into manic depression.


Don’t wait till you get completely taken over by addiction to seek help and treatment.

Stay away from people who encourage you to drink and avoid putting yourself in situations that give you the urge to overconsume alcohol.

The post 6 Long Term Effects of Chronic Drinking appeared first on Wellbeing Magazine.

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