The Long Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse


What Are the Long Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism? Excessive and hazardous drinking frequently results in adverse alcoholism and alcohol abuse effects such as physical and mental damage, a greater risk of getting other diseases, and a greater probability that existing diseases will get worse.

Not only this, but abusive, long-term drinking negatively affects an individual's relationships, employment status, financial stability, and in many instances, a person's legal circumstances.

Consequently, if you want to avoid the long term alcohol effects of alcohol abuse or alcoholism (such as unnecessary health problems) later in life, drink in moderation or not at all.

Short Term Alcohol Effects and Long-Term Alcohol Effects

Short Term Alcohol Effects. Some problems, such as driving impairment, negative interactions with medications, and interpersonal relationship problems can manifest themselves after drinking over a relatively short period of time. These are considered short term alcohol abuse effects.

Other problems, however, can develop more gradually over time and may become noticeable only after excessive drinking for an extended period of time.


These are the problems that represent the long term alcoholism and alcohol abuse effects.

It is also important to point out that women may develop alcohol-related health problems after ingesting less alcohol than men over a shorter time period.

Due to the fact that alcohol affects many organs in the body, long-term excessive drinking puts a person at risk for developing critical alcoholism and alcohol abuse effects and health problems.

The bottom line is this: long term alcoholism and alcohol abuse effects can lead to a gradual breakdown of different organs and systems in the body that can result in serious, if not fatal, health issues.

Long Term Effects of Alcohol: Liver Disease

Long Term Alcohol Effects: Alcoholic Hepatitis. More than 2 million American people suffer from alcohol-related liver disease. Some drinkers develop alcoholic hepatitis (i.e., inflammation of the liver) as a result of long-term excessive drinking.

The symptoms of alcoholic hepatitis include the following: abdominal pain, jaundice (abnormal yellowing of the urine, skin, and the eyeballs) and fever.

If the person continues drinking, alcoholic hepatitis can be fatal. If the person stops drinking, on the other hand, alcoholic hepatitis is often reversible.

Long Term Alcohol Effects: Cirrhosis. Approximately 10 to 20 percent of heavy drinkers develop cirrhosis of the liver (i.e., scarring of the liver). Alcoholic cirrhosis can be fatal if the person continues to drink.

Even though cirrhosis is irreversible, if the affected person stops drinking, his or her chances of survival can improve greatly.

Although some people may eventually need a liver transplant as a last resort, many people with cirrhosis who quit drinking alcoholic beverages may receive treatment and may never require liver transplantation.

Let us be crystal clear. If you want to avoid serious and life threatening alcoholism and alcohol abuse effects such as alcohol related hepatitis or cirrhosis, learn how to drink responsibly and in moderation or not at all.

Effects of Alcohol: Heart Disease

Long Term Alcohol Effects: Heart Disease. Drinking in moderation can actually have beneficial effects on the heart, especially with people who are at the greatest risk for heart attacks, such as women after menopause and men over the age of 45.

Long-term excessive drinking, however, increases the risk for some kinds of stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Effects of Alcohol: Cancer

Long Term Alcohol Effects: Alcohol-Related Cancer. Continuous and hazardous drinking increases the risk of developing long term alcoholism and alcohol abuse effects such as certain types of cancer, especially cancer of the voice box, mouth, throat, and the esophagus.

What is more, heavy and abusive drinking may also increase the risk for developing alcoholism and chronic alcohol abuse effects such as cancer of the colon and the rectum.

It can also be highlighted that women who drink two or more drinks per day slightly increase their risk for developing breast cancer.

Effects of Alcohol: Pancreatitis

Long Term Alcohol Effects: Pancreatitis. The pancreas helps regulate the body's blood sugar levels by producing insulin. In addition, the pancreas is instrumental in digesting the food people eat.

Long-term excessive drinking can lead to pancreatitis (i.e.. inflammation of the pancreas). Pancreatitis is associated with excessive weight loss and extreme abdominal pain and can lead to death.

Based on the above, it can be determined that excessive drinking can often result in physical damage, it can increase the risk of getting some diseases, and it can make existing diseases worse.

The moral of the story is this: if you want to avoid unnecessary health problems later in life, such as the adverse effects of alcohol abuse and alcoholism, drink in moderation or not at all.

Other Long Term Alcohol Abuse Effects

In addition to the diseases outlined above, excessive drinking over time is also associated with the following long term alcohol effects:

  • Loss of brain cells

  • Nerve damage

  • Epilepsy

  • Irritated stomach lining and bleeding from stomach ulcers

Excessive drinking has also been linked to the following short term alcohol effects and long term alcohol effects:

  • Infertility

  • Muscle disease

  • Obesity

  • Sexual problems

  • Vitamin deficiency

  • Skin problems


Conclusion: The Long Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse

What Are the Long Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism? Based on the information discussed in the alcoholism and alcohol abuse research literature, it can be concluded that heavy and abusive drinking can frequently result in both short term alcohol effects as well as long term alcohol effects, mental and physical damage, a greater probability of existing diseases and illness getting progressively worse, and a greater risk of getting other diseases and medical conditions.

The basic message, therefore, is clear: if you want to avoid the long term alcohol effects that result from chronic alcohol abuse and/or alcoholism, such as unnecessary health problems later in life, drink in moderation or not at all.