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Alcohol Long Term Effects

Alcohol is still one of the most abused substances in America. In 2015, the National institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism presented their findings to the public showing the extent of the alcohol use disorder. In that year, over 15 million people were dealing with an alcohol abuse problem. Some people with a drinking problem may think that what they are doing isn’t that bad but alcohol long term effects on the body and mind is not something to be ignored.

3 Minute Read | Published Aug 14 2023 | Updated Jan 11 2024

The Dangers of Drinking Too Much – Alcohol Long Term Effects

This article will explore what the many long term effects of alcohol on the body and mind are.

Long Term Effects of Alcohol on the Brain

The long term effects of alcohol on the brain occur because of how the substance interferes with the way it communicates through its pathways. The disruption of these pathways can actually alter the way the brain operates affecting the person’s behavior, mood and coordination. The person may also find it difficult to concentrate on anything.

Long Term Effects on the Heart

While it’s true that moderate drinking can actually improve your heart, the alcohol long term effects on a person’s heart can cause several problems when too much is consumed. This can happen whether the person abuses alcohol on a regular basis or binge drinks heavily just once.

Alcohol abuse causes the person to have high blood pressure, leading to further problems such as strokes. Irregular heart beat or arrhythmia and cardiomyopathy are another two conditions that can be caused by the binge drinking or alcoholism.

Long Term Effects of Alcohol on the Liver

The long term effects of alcohol on the liver are something that many people are aware of as it is usually one of the most affected organs in the body. The liver can suffer from cirrhosis, fibrosis and alcoholic hepatitis. Steatosis, which is fatty liver, is another one of the alcohol long term effects.

Effects on the Pancreas

Heavy and constant alcohol consumption can cause a buildup of toxic substances in the pancreas. This eventually causes pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the blood vessels and it causes problems with digestion. Digestive problems cause a person to not get the nutrients their body needs and can lead to further issues.

Effects on the Immune System

The immune system is another one of the affected areas of the body. Alcohol long term effects on this important system makes it more likely for heavy drinkers to suffer from diseases like tuberculosis and pneumonia. Even just binge drinking for a single day can cause the body to be open to many diseases as the immune system recovers.

The Risk of Cancer

Alcohol abuse and addiction has been linked to several forms of cancer. Further research continues to surface on the risk of other cancers that are caused by too much drinking. At the moment, mouth, throat, liver, breast and esophagus cancer has been clearly linked to the heavy consumption of alcohol. The more a person drinks alcohol, the higher their risk of cancer forming becomes.

While alcohol abuse can have many long term side effects that should be a concern for those who are drinking too much, help is available in the form of rehab. Call Better Addiction Care today at (800) 429-7690 to discover rehab facilities close to you.


bullet National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). (2021)
"Alcohol’s Effects on the Body."
Retrieved on December 15, 2017
bullet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2021).
"Alcohol and Public Health: Alcohol Use and Your Health."
Retrieved on December 15, 2017
bullet Mayo Clinic. (2021).
"Alcohol Use Disorder: Complications."
Retrieved on December 15, 2017
bullet Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (2019).
"Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) 63: Medications for Opioid Use Disorder."
Retrieved on December 15, 2017
bullet American Psychological Association (APA). (2021).
"Alcohol Use: Alcohol’s Effects on the Body."
Retrieved on December 15, 2017
bullet National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). (n.d.).
"Navigating a Mental Health Crisis: A NAMI Resource Guide for Those Experiencing a Mental Health Emergency."
Retrieved on December 15, 2017
bullet World Health Organization (WHO). (2018).
"Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health 2018."
Retrieved on December 15, 2017

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