Consequences Of Alcohol

People who continue drinking heavily well into adulthood risk damaging their organs, such as the liver, heart, and brain. NARCOTICS – Narcotics include heroin, methadone, morphine, codeine, OxyContin, Vicodin, Fentanyl and opium. After an initial feeling of euphoria, narcotic use causes drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting. Effects of overdose include slow and shallow breathing, clammy skin, convulsions, coma and possible death. Physical and psychological dependence is high, and withdrawal symptoms include watery eyes, runny nose, loss of appetite, irritability, tremors, panic, abdominal cramps and diarrhea, nausea, chills, and sweating. Use of contaminated syringes/needles to inject drugs may result in serious blood borne infections such as HIV-AIDS and hepatitis. This family of drugs is the most frequent cause of drug-associated death from suppression of the life supporting functions of the brain, heart and lungs.

consequences of alcohol

Many people with an alcohol addiction will develop a new social circle that consists of other people with a similar addiction. They will have trouble maintaining any meaningful relationship.

A variety of deaths from psychotic disorders – conditions involving delusions and a diminished sense of reality – also implicated alcohol. From 1999 to 2013, drinking has been responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths in the United States. Among chronic illnesses, which comprise the largest category, cirrhosis of the liver has killed more than 138,000 Americans during this time.


This can result in sexually transmitted diseases along with unintended pregnancies. It can create imbalance in the skeletal muscle mass and cause muscle wasting. Chronic consumption alcohol can also increase breakdown of important proteins in our body which can affect gene expression. Alcohol consumption increases the risk of atrial fibrillation, a type of abnormal heart rhythm. According to a 2018 study people who had more than seven and up to 14 standard drinks per week, were likely to have their life expectancy shortened by around 6 months. Those who consumed over 14 drinks and up to 25 per week were likely to have 1–2 years taken off their lifespan, and a consumption of over 25 standard drinks per week correlated with 4–5 fewer years.

It should be a surprise to no one that drinking too much alcohol can be bad for you — of course, the definition of “too much” can vary. This form of arthritis results from painful buildup of uric acid in the joints. You can get gout from eating too much food high in chemicals called purines, which include red meat, shellfish, and alcohol — especially beer and liquor. We’re Addiction here 24/7 to help guide you or your loved on through rehab and recovery. Submit your number to receive a judgement-free call today with one of our compassionate rehab specialists. Make or receive a judgement-free call today with one of our compassionate rehab specialists. 10 Ways to Help an Alcoholic Family MemberEven though things may seem helpless, they aren’t.

consequences of alcohol

A large self-reported study published in 1998 found no correlation between gallbladder disease and multiple factors including smoking, alcohol consumption, hypertension, and coffee consumption. A retrospective study from 1997 found vitamin C supplement use in drinkers was associated with a lower prevalence of gallbladder disease, but this association was not seen in non-drinkers. Despite epidemiological evidence, many have cautioned against recommendations for the use of alcohol for health benefits. A physician from the World Health Organization labeled such alcohol promotion as “ridiculous and dangerous”.

Alcohol Misuse And Its Lasting Effects

Drinking alcohol also increases your risk for several types of cancer, including mouth, breast, and colon. You can also read about the stages of alcoholism and recognizing an addiction. Liver disease is life-threatening and leads to toxins and waste buildup in your body. Women are at higher risk for developing alcoholic liver disease.

  • Those who drink occasionally tend to recover once they are sober.
  • A study conducted in Germany in 2016 found the economic burden for those dependent on alcohol was 50% higher than those who were not.
  • How much a person drinks, how long they have abused alcohol, and the frequency in which they drink will all impact the side effects experienced.
  • People with an addiction will not be able to get along with co-workers, which can lead to the loss of the job.
  • Gateway offers clients a full continuum of care, which means that clients can find the programs that best fit their needs, their health and their schedules.
  • Genes, environment and diet can influence whether a person is prone to develop an alcohol-related disease, while factors such as age, weight and sex can impact alcohol’s more immediate effects.

There is an increased risk of hypertriglyceridemia, cardiomyopathy, hypertension, and stroke if 3 or more standard drinks of alcohol are taken per day. A systematic review reported that reducing alcohol intake lowers blood pressure in a dose-dependent manner in heavy drinkers.

What If I’m Concerned About Someone Else’s Drinking?

Chronic excess alcohol intake, or alcohol dependence, can lead to a wide range of neuropsychiatric or neurological impairment, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, and malignant neoplasms. Alcohol dependence is associated with hypertension, coronary heart disease, and ischemic stroke, cancer of the respiratory system, and also cancers of the digestive system, liver, breast and ovaries. Heavy drinking is associated with liver disease, such as cirrhosis.

Combining drugs and/or using them with alcohol can be extremely dangerous. Information below references specific drugs or drug categories, but is not intended as a comprehensive listing of drugs and their associated health risks.

consequences of alcohol

Unfortunately, alcoholic beverages are “foods” with great potential for abuse. They trigger cravings and compulsive eating and drinking as other foods do, but the health and social consequences are more drastic. The compulsive use and abuse of alcoholic beverages can be devastating to individuals and society. Most people know that alcohol is affecting their brain in the short-term while they are actually drinking, but fewer people are aware of the potential for long-term effects of alcohol misuse on the brain.

Health And Social Consequences Of Underage Drinking

Heart attack and heart failure are very serious problems associated with long-term alcohol consumption. She is passionate about helping people who are struggling with alcohol abuse and addiction. Her past experience in the medical field has led to a deep knowledge of the struggles facing those with a substance use disorder , and a desire to do something to help. Brain damage may consequences of alcohol also occur through alcohol-induced nutrition deficiencies, alcohol-induced seizures and liver disease. In pregnant women, alcohol exposure can impact the brains of unborn babies, resulting in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Some people who drink heavily may develop a physical and emotional dependency on alcohol. You often need professional help to break an alcohol addiction.

Long-term damage to the brain is not unusual in heavy drinkers, and it may be caused directly by alcohol or indirectly by poor health and nutrition. In the short term, excessive drinking can lead to accidents, injuries, alcohol poisoning, legal problems, and risky behaviors with very serious consequences, like unprotected sex and unplanned pregnancies. Over the long term, the number and severity of risks are even greater. All people with an alcohol addiction should seek some form of treatment. Not only will this increase the chances of a successful recovery, but it will help to reduce withdrawal symptoms and better prepare the patient for a future of sobriety. Teen alcoholics run the risk of stunted bone growth as they grow older. This is another prime example of the risks of alcohol abuse during a time when the individual is going through important stages of development.

The question of drinking a small amount of alcohol along with a meal is not an option for people with an alcohol use disorder. The reality is that the overall health effects of alcohol can vary from one individual to the next. The amount of alcohol that is consumed can also play a critical role. Know the danger signals and, if you suspect that someone has an alcohol overdose, call 911 for help immediately. Do not wait for the person to have all the symptoms, and be aware that a person who has passed out can die.

consequences of alcohol

There are many other health dangers associated with chronic or long-term drinking. Individuals tend to overeat when they sit down to a high-fat meal and wash it down with alcoholic drinks, according to research results from two studies published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This lesson, provides scientific information about teen brain development and consequences of alcohol the effect of drugs and alcohol use on the brain. Explore teen substance use trends over time, by grade and substance with aninteractive chart featuring Monitoring the Future data from 2016 to present. Drinking alcohol can cause kids to have accidents and get hurt. In 2011 alone, about 188,000 people under age 21 visited an emergency room for alcohol-related injuries.

It has been speculated that alcoholic beverages may contain estrogen-like compounds. In men, high levels of estrogen can lead to testicular failure and the development of feminine traits including development of male breasts, called gynecomastia. In women, increased levels of estrogen due to excessive alcohol intake have been related to an increased risk of breast cancer. Most young, college age women who engage in ongoing binge drinking behavior would be mortified to learn that alcoholism causes disruption to their menstrual cycles, infertility and even early menopause in some women. Even more frightening is the risk of birth defects and fetal alcohol syndrome in the children born to alcoholic women.

Is Underage Drinking A Serious Health Problem?

In addition, the humoral and cellular components of the specific immune system can be equally damaged by alcohol use. Impaired B lymphocyte functions, and increased levels of certain types of immunoglobulins at the expense of others, contribute to the inappropriate immune defence. Furthermore, the impairment of cellular immune responses is pivotal in increased susceptibility to various infections after either acute or chronic alcohol use. A 2016 systematic review and meta-analysis found that moderate ethanol consumption does not prolong life compared consequences of alcohol with lifetime abstention from ethanol consumption. Some studies have concluded that drinking small quantities of alcohol is associated with a decreased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes mellitus, and early death. These studies, however, have been replaced by newer studies indicating that even light consumption of alcohol does not improve overall health. Some of these studies lumped former ethanol drinkers and life-long abstainers into a single group of nondrinkers, hiding the health benefits of life-long abstention from ethanol.

Posted by: Kathleen Davis

Gradus Snijders

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