Many individuals consume alcohol casually as a way to relax. However, some people consume alcohol excessively. Generally, two drinks of alcohol a day are moderate for adult males and one drink for females and seniors. Nevertheless, drinking casually also has its dangers as it increases the risk of alcohol addiction and dependence.
Alcohol abuse has a great impact on the lives of many individuals. Many chronic alcohol drinkers exhibit behavioral changes that affect most of their relationships. In some instances, heavy alcohol drinking can lead to legal issues such as getting arrested for drunk driving. Relationships between friends and loved ones also suffer damage due to drinking problems.
Individuals who are chronic heavy drinkers are dependent on alcohol and have no control over their consumption of the substance. Such individuals need to go through alcohol rehab to overcome dependency. Besides its effects on relationships and lifestyle, chronic heavy drinking also affects the body and the mind.
Alcoholism is known to cause immense damage to the physical body and the mind of individuals. Statistics show that 6.2% of Americans 18 years or older have experienced alcohol use disorder. People drink for many reasons. However, the consequences of heavy drinking can be immense.
How Does Heavy Alcohol Consumption Affect People?
Alcohol has varying effects on people. In fact, little amounts of alcohol are said to have some positive effects on the heart. However, alcohol consumption has more damaging effects on the body than positive ones. The heavier a person drinks, the greater the effects of the alcohol on their body and mental health. Alcohol has varying effects on people. In fact, little amounts of alcohol are said to have some positive effects on the heart. However, alcohol consumption has more damaging effects on the body than positive ones. The heavier a person drinks, the greater the effects of the alcohol on their body and mental health.
Effects of heavy alcohol consumption include liver problems, blackouts, memory loss, cancer, brain damage, and heart conditions. It’s also a known fact that heavy drinkers have a high probability of dying due to automobile accidents and suicide. The effects of alcoholism are obvious, and alcohol rehab at an alcohol addiction rehab centers can be very helpful.
The mental health of individuals also suffers due to alcoholism. Many people commit suicide (this is prevalent in females), worsen underlying mental health conditions, or even develop new ones. These effects include depression, anxiety, and severe memory loss. The effects of alcohol consumption could be short-term or long-term.
Short-term effects of alcohol are numerous and commonly seen. These effects happen during alcohol intake or shortly after. They include:
- Mood swings
- Feeling of drowsiness
- Impulsive reactions
- Slurred speech
- Loss of coordination
- Inability to focus
- Memory gaps.
These short-term effects might not be immediate. Some occur quickly, while some are developed slowly. Feelings of drowsiness can be an immediate effect. However, effects like memory gaps and slurred speech take longer to occur. Short-term effects of alcohol consumption might not have long durations. Nevertheless, they are still significant.
Long-term effects of alcohol consumption appear more frequently for chronic heavy drinkers. These effects are more dangerous and can have lasting impacts on the physical and mental health of individuals. Many individuals with long-term effects of alcohol consumption require medical attention and alcohol rehab. Some of these long-term effects are:
- Consistent irritability and mood swings
- Changes in weight
- Reduced libido function
- Compromised immune system
- Permanent memory loss.
Effects On Body Parts
Apart from these effects, alcohol has major impacts on different organs and parts of the body. These affected parts include:
Alcohol consumption causes damage to the endocrine glands in the body. Chronic heavy consumption of alcohol can lead to inflammation in the pancreas, which will lead to pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a medical condition accompanied by abdominal pain and can have severe complications if left untreated.
The sugar level in the body needs to be regulated. Heavy alcohol consumption can prevent this from happening. The body responds to glucose and manages insulin through the pancreas. If the pancreas and liver are damaged due to alcohol, the individual might experience low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia.
Insulin is needed for the body to utilize glucose. If the pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin due to damage, the individual’s blood sugar level will rise. An increase in the blood sugar level is known as hyperglycemia. If the body does not find a way to regulate the blood sugar level, it can lead to other complications like diabetes.
Excessive alcohol intake can cause inflammation in the liver. The liver is an important organ that helps break down harmful substances and toxins in the body. These toxins include alcohol. When an individual consumes heavy amounts of alcohol consistently, it disturbs the liver’s ability to function.
Heavy alcohol consumption can also lead to various liver diseases and chronic liver inflammation. Alcohol-related liver disease is a deadly condition that involves waste substances accumulating in the body. Inflammation of the liver can lead to cirrhosis and permanent liver damage.
Alcohol is consumed through the digestive system. At first, the effects of alcohol on the digestive system might not be glaring. However, there is still damage being done. Alcohol damage to the digestive system is usually discovered after the damage has already been done. Continued consumption of the substance will further worsen the damage done.
The tissues present in the digestive tract of the human body can be damaged by heavy alcohol intake. This will prevent the intestine from functioning at its best, and food will not be digested completely. This can further lead to malnutrition. Gas, ulcers, and bloating can also be caused by heavy alcohol consumption. In some instances, ulcers can lead to internal bleeding, which is potentially fatal.
Circulatory And Reproductive System
The circulatory system can also be affected by chronic alcohol abuse. Heavy alcohol drinking can affect the heart and lungs. It can also increase the risk of potential heart conditions. The effects of alcohol on the circulatory system include stroke, cardiac arrest, irregular heart rate, high blood pressure, difficulty pumping blood, and heart failure.
Chronic alcohol drinking can also have effects on the reproductive health of individuals. Alcohol lowers the inhibitions of an individual. Some people think alcohol helps in sexual life; however, the reality is the opposite. Chronic alcohol consumption can prevent the production of sex hormones, lower libido function, prevent complete erectile performance and make it harder to climax. Excessive alcohol intake can also increase infertility risk and affect the menstrual cycle.
Heavy consumption of alcohol decreases the immune system of the body. The immune system is what fights germs and various antibodies. If the immune system is compromised, the body will be prone to attack. Long-term drinkers also stand the chance of developing pneumonia or tuberculosis.
Research shows that 8.1% of tuberculosis cases worldwide are related to alcohol consumption. Heavy drinking can also increase the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, colon, and liver.
The Brain Or Psychological Effects
Frequent alcohol consumption shows its effects on the brain after some time. These effects include memory loss, concentration problems, difficulty controlling impulses, and personality and mood changes. Heavy alcohol abuse can severely damage mental health and worsen underlying mental conditions such as bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety. Getting help from an alcohol addiction rehab center can help treat alcoholism.
Heavy alcohol consumption can lead to many severe health conditions. These health conditions affect both the physical body and the mind. Drinking heavily has short-term and long-term effects. These effects range from headaches and mood swings to liver damage, heart problems, and sexual conditions. For individuals suffering from alcoholism, getting help at an alcohol addiction rehab centers is a way out.