Long-Term Effects Of Alcohol Abuse

Long-Term Effects Of Alcohol Abuse

If you live in Georgia, you may be around people who like the occasional drink.  You might even be one of these people.  It is normal for people to go for a few beers on a Saturday night.  But for some people, those few beers on a Saturday night turns into a few beers on a Friday and Saturday night, then a few beers a few days a week. 

Before you know it, you are drinking every night of the week.  But surely this isn’t a problem, as alcohol is legal and not harmful?  Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth.  Many of those in Georgia who begin by drinking a few beers on a Saturday night end up in Georgia detox, or worse.

Alcohol the drug

Alcohol abuse has long-term effects on the physical and mental health of a person.  Excessive drinking causes liver problems, high blood pressure, changes in cognition and heart damage.

It is the most abused drug worldwide.  In the United States alone, nearly 15 million people have alcohol use disorder.

Drinking excessively can cause serious health risks, which include addiction, depression, overdose and organ damage.

If a person stops drinking, most of the effects of alcohol abuse can be solved.  However, conditions like fatty liver disease and pancreatitis can sometimes cause permanent damage to a person’s body.

Effects of long-term alcohol abuse

People are often aware that drinking can have significant negative impacts on their health.  However, they might not be aware that alcohol abuse is the third-leading preventable cause of death in the United States.  In the US, an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol every year.

People who abuse alcohol might notice that the drug has an instant effect on the body.  Even heavy drinking once can lead to changes in a person’s heartbeat, slower breathing and dehydration.  Over time, the negative effects of alcohol can build up, causing long-term health conditions such as: liver cirrhosis, obesity, ulcers, heart damage, stroke, compromised immune system, hormonal imbalances, malnutrition and cancer.

While alcohol use disorders are more common in men, women have an increased risk of alcohol-related health problems.  This is because males and females metabolize the drug at different rates in their body.

Alcohol also has more of a significant effect on young people.  Underage alcohol abuse causes problems in brain development and increases a young person’s risk of sexual assault, bodily injury and death.

The effects of alcohol on the brain: long term

Alcohol abuse can negatively impact a person’s mental well-being.  Even short periods of alcohol abuse impact a person’s coordination, memory and ability to think clearly.

Long-term use of alcohol can cause permanent damage to the brain.  This sometimes leads to alcohol brain fog in early recovery.  Alcohol abuse can also cause: nerve damage, problems sleeping, trouble with balance, decreased attention span, anxiety, depression, dementia, coma, overdose, Wernicke’s encephalopathy and Korsakoff’s psychosis.

What exactly is alcohol abuse?

As alcohol is a legal substance, people can be confused about the differences been moderate drinking and alcohol abuse.

While some people can have a drink sometimes without consequence, millions of other people struggle with controlling their alcohol intake.  Something which can lead them to spending time in a Georgia detox center.

Alcohol abuse is an umbrella term which includes binge drinking as well as other heavy drinking behavior.  Binge drinking can be defined as a pattern of alcohol abuse which brings blood alcohol concentration levels to 0.08 or above.

This usually happens to women who have more than three drinks over several hours, and with men who have more than four drinks over two hours.

Heavy alcohol use occurs when someone binges on five or more days in a given month.  The liver can only process around one alcoholic drink in an hour.  This means that even occasional binge drinking can cause long-term damage.

The signs of alcohol abuse

Someone does not have to be an alcoholic to engage in alcohol abuse.  People struggle with binge drinking and heavy alcohol use while not developing alcoholism.  However, these all fall under alcohol abuse.

If you are concerned that someone around you has a problem with alcohol abuse, it might be helpful to educate yourself on the signs of alcohol abuse. 

This person may not need to go to a Georgia detox, but they may need help in another way before their problem gets worse.  If you feel like someone you know has a problem, you could try gently suggesting that they cut down a little, and offer other activities that they could engage themselves in other than drinking alcohol.