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What Are the Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse?

Individuals who drink alcohol frequently, and in excessive amount should realize the different health risks involved. Chronic alcohol abuse can lead not only to alcohol dependence but also to a myriad of health problems. In order to better see the effects of long term alcohol abuse on the human body, consider what it does to the different body systems:

central nervous system Definition of the word central nervous system

  • Visual, auditory, olfactory and even sensory impairment
  • Slow reactivity
  • Confusion and impaired judgment
  • Hallucinations
  • blackouts Definition of the word blackouts or loss of consciousness
  • Delirium
  • Mood swings
  • Personality changes
  • Anxiety

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Circulatory System

  • Hypertension of high blood pressure
  • Arrhythmia
  • Increased risk for stroke and heart attack
  • Damage to heart muscles


  • Irritation of the mucosal lining
  • Ulcers
  • Intestinal and colon cancer

Pancreas and Gall bladder

  • Malabsorption of nutrients
  • Inflammation resulting to acute or chronic pancreatitis
  • Increased risk for developing diabetes


  • Inflammation
  • cirrhosis Definition of the word cirrhosis
  • Increased risk for cancer
  • Edema or fluid build up
  • Liver failure

Reproductive System

  • Reduced fertility
  • Impotence
  • Abnormal sperm count
  • Increased breast cancer risk
  • Premature menopause
  • Irregularity in menstrual cycle
  • Hormonal imbalance


  • Increased risk for babies developing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Increased risk for deformities as well as behavioral and learning abnormalities

In general, long term alcohol consumption also leads to weight gain and muscle weakness.

What happens when you suddenly stop drinking?

Individuals who have been drinking for a very long time might suddenly want to stop because of a number of reasons, which include:

  • Being diagnosed with an alcohol-related illness
  • Alcohol abuse has seriously compromised family and work life
  • Desire to lead a healthier lifestyle after near-death experience or changing religious affiliations

Making the decision to stop is actually the easy part. A long-time drinker will experience withdrawal symptoms similar to those experienced when undergoing drug detoxification. Some of these symptoms are:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Palpitations
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Tremors

You must remember that alcohol detoxification can pose a serious threat to your life if not properly done. For this reason, it is important the individual enters an alcohol rehabilitation center in order for the symptoms to be monitored and managed. These centers are not only equipped with proper alcohol treatment facilities settings but they also employ highly-skilled and knowledgeable staff.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/


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Marcel Gemme

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Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people.

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