The Effects of Alcohol Abuse

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The effects of alcohol abuse are varied and include physical, psychological and social/behavioral impacts. These may not occur immediately. However, given enough time they will absolutely occur and be dangerous.

The Effects of Alcohol Abuse: What Alcoholism Can Do To You

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Possible long-term effects of ethanol” by Mikael Häggström – All used images are in public domain.. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

As the picture to the left shows, alcohol is neither good nor bad. There are both good and bad health effects. Almost everyone knows that having a glass of red wine with dinner can be good for your heart. However, alcohol abuse isn’t the same as simply drinking a glass of wine. The effects of alcohol abuse are almost always bad. To take just the example of the heart — the difference between a glass of red wine and a blackout could be the difference increasing blood flow and contracting cardiomyopathy.

Physical Effects of Alcohol Abuse

The physical effects of alcohol abuse can include (but are not limited to):

  • Cancer
  • Cardiomyopathy – deterioration of the heart that usually leads to heart failure
  • Epilepsy
  • Liver cirrhosis – degeneration of cell tissue
  • Malnutrition & inability to absorb nutrients
  • Pancreatitis – inflammation of the pancreas
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Polyneuropathy – degeneration of the nerves in the central nervous system
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Other cardiovascular and/or liver diseases

Physical Effects of Alcohol Abuse in Females

Unfortunately, due to both biology and the fact that they metabolize alcohol differently, alcohol abuse can lead to even more complications for women. These can include:

  • Anovulation – can cause infertility
  • Breast cancer
  • Decreased ovarian mass
  • Early menopause
  • Other menstrual cycle problems

Psychological Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol causes severe damage to the brain and the nervous system, some of which can be permanent. It is responsible for 10% of all dementia cases and is the 2nd leading cause of dementia. Other psychological effects of alcohol abuse can include:

  • Impaired social skills
  • Inability to read facial expressions
  • Language deficits
  • Psychiatric disorders (affecting about 25% of all alcoholics) such as:
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
  • “Wet Brain” (Korsakoff’s syndrome)

The effects of alcohol abuse are severe, and they will occur if you drink too long and too much. But you don’t need to experience these effects. You can get help today!

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