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Side Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol, like drugs, is a substance often abused. And similar to drugs, it has its effects and withdrawal symptoms. If you drink alcohol occasionally it is unlikely that you will experience alcohol withdrawal. However, if you have been drinking alcohol heavily for several months or years, there are a few key signs you should be aware of.

At first, giving up alcohol can feel fantastic. With the promise of a new life ahead of you, you may feel newly energized, completely in charge and ready to take back control over your body and health. But after the second day of sobriety, the loss of alcohol begins to register in your system, and your body begins to feel the effects.

You may experience sweating and a rise in body temperature raised blood pressure and heart rate and even shaking and tremors. You will feel fatigue because your blood sugar levels will fluctuate before they begin to stabilize. It is also very possible to experience insomnia and find it incredibly difficult to sleep despite the fatigue. You might like to see your medical expert to assist you in your efforts, and he/she may prescribe short-term treatment to help you with this negative effect.

However, with perseverance, these challenges will pass in time, and your body will begin to improve and function tolerably. In this period, it is important that you eat properly. It may help to follow a diet high in protein and carbs to maintain your energy. It is also important to incorporate some light exercise within your day. Going running or engaging in some light sports may help take your mind off of your recovery and boost your spirit.

At around a couple of weeks, you may feel better both emotionally and physically, and it is precisely around this time when addicts become complacent and are more susceptible to think, “I am okay now, I can have a drink and not get addicted.” Sadly, this is an extremely distorted way of thinking and it simply isn’t true. When you are serious about quitting alcohol and overcoming an alcohol addiction, you will surely have severe reason(s) to: perhaps your stomach lining continues to be eroded by all the alcohol, your liver is probably very weak from working through so much toxin. Keep in mind, alcohol is a toxin and if you do have an addictive personality, quitting needs to be lifetime. It is important to remind yourself that there are many things more essential in life like your health, friends and family, to name a few. Relapsing and/or refusing to seek treatment and get help with your addiction will only cause you to lose everything you hold dear.

Side Effects of alcohol

After a few weeks, you will have regained more of your health and notice your body is functioning more normally. Your sleep patterns will become more stable and you will start getting more quality sleep. You’ll notice a boost in your energy levels and mental alertness, you will become more in tune with your feelings, and loss of libido will have reversed.

There are lots of advantages to beating alcohol addiction, so stay at it! And whatever the provocation, never pay attention to that little voice in your head that says, “It’s ok, have one drink”. That one drink can quickly lead to a dozen, that one drink will be the loss of all of your efforts, that one drink can mean the difference between life and death. Your life, your family, and your health are worth much more.

Exploring the Side Effects

There are several short- and long-lasting side effects related to drinking too much. The signs you might experience often depend upon the quantity of alcohol consumed. For instance, lower to moderate consumption usually include less severe effects than consuming greater amounts.

Numerous temporary side effects of alcohol abuse consist of:

  • Slurred or incoherent speech
    • Vision impairment
    • Lack of coordination
    • Extreme mood swings
    • Memory Lapses
    • Slowed breathing

Some individuals may experience several side effects while others may experience less. Effects can vary from person to person. It is also important to remember that the effects of excessive drinking impacts not only the person fighting alcohol abuse, but the people that surround them as well. Family members, friends, even co-workers are directly impacted. Extensive harm can arise even from the short-term effects of drinking which can range anywhere from driving under the influence (DUI) and illegal activity to unintended self-harm.

Besides the short-term, noticeable side effects of alcohol addiction, there are long term side effects. People who drink alcohol over a prolonged period of time are usually more at risk of developing these risks. Signs gradually unravel within months and years.
The long-term side effects associated with excessive drinking are:

  • Cardiovascular illnesses
    • Liver illness
    • Respiratory illness
    • Cancer
    • Nerve problems
    • Ulcers


    These types of long-term side effects of alcohol abuse can affect some other major areas of your life. These include: relationship issues with family members or friends, legal issues, economic difficulties and poor performance in the workplace or in school.
    Making the decision to overcome an alcohol addiction is no small decision. It is important to seek help and guidance from trained professionals and medical experts so that you ensure your safety.

Mental Health Changes Due to AUD

Individuals who live with mental illness such as: anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, and other conditions are at an even greater chance for developing AUD. Certain mental ailments can also be formed from consuming excessive amounts of alcohol by altering brain chemistry. Alcohol can raise anxiety and blood pressure, even though its initial effects include feeling physically calm. People that have trouble with depression are at greater risk of intensifying their depression after drinking episodes as alcohol alters the levels of neurotransmitters – the chemical messengers in the brain that transmit signals throughout the body that control our thought processes, behavior and emotions. Alcohol addiction may also cause depressive cycles in people that struggle with bipolar disorders.

How Alcohol Abuse Affects the Body

effects of alcohol on body

Alcohol abuse can impact your system both inside and out. Although you’re not able to see the injuries drinking causes within your body, it is crucial not to neglect the signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction. Occasionally the destructive effects aren’t discovered until much later in life, making it challenging and nearly impossible to reverse many of the conditions that arise.

While every organ in the body is impacted from alcohol consumption, some are more susceptible to major damage more than others. The best method to reduce health problems today and in the future would be to stop drinking alcohol with the help of a professional treatment plan.


Alcohol’s influence on the human brain may be felt rapidly. Not only can alcohol cause momentary problems such as loss of memory and coordination, but it may also bring on long-term side effects which are sometimes irreversible.
Extended and intense alcohol use can impact how the brain functions, and how information is processed. Problems in different areas of the brain, particularly the cerebellum, limbic system, and cerebral cortex, may substantially impact the body’s communication pathways.


Heavy alcohol consumption is very trying on the heart and will weaken it. In the long run, excessive drinking can damage the heart, impacting how oxygen and nutrition are brought to other essential internal organs in your body. Thus, heavy drinking can very well lead to heart disease. Heavy consumption of alcohol can raise triglyceride levels – a kind of fat in your blood. Higher levels of triglycerides can lead to the risk of developing dangerous health conditions such as heart problems as well as diabetes.


Heavy drinkers are highly susceptible to develop serious issues with their liver. The liver takes approximately one hour to process a single alcoholic beverage, and this time frame only increases with each drink. When an individual has had too much to drink and the alcohol that has yet to be unprocessed by the liver circulates in the bloodstream affecting the heart and brain, which is what leads to intoxication.

Imbibing alcohol too quickly may also overwhelm our body’s metabolism process which can lead to developing fatty liver disease. Fatty liver is a long-term condition that includes the buildup of awful extra fat in the liver. It may also cause liver failure and type 2 diabetes.

Other significant liver issues related to prolonged and excessive alcohol consumption are: heavy drinker hepatitis, fibrosis and cirrhosis. While all these conditions are treatable, they might require a medical diagnosis and a rigorous rehabilitation plan.


The pancreas is a part of the digestive process that helps to control our body’s blood sugar levels. Excessive alcohol consumption over a long period of time can hold negative effects on your pancreas, leading to the development of serious health issues. Sadly, the initial stages of many pancreatic conditions are usually unfelt and therefore, not treated.

Long-standing alcohol abuse can cause the arteries around the pancreas to swell, leading to pancreatitis. This greatly raises your chance of developing pancreatic cancer – a kind of cancer that spreads quickly and is extremely dangerous.

The signs of an acute pancreatic attack can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, fast heart rate and also fever. Although medications and other treatment procedures may help manage the impacts of pancreatitis, it is extremely difficult to reverse the condition.

Get Help

Although the road to sobriety can be long and challenging, ending your addiction to alcohol today is very possible and highly critical. Deciding to end your addiction will help you get back to your health both physically and mentally, and give you the chance at a brand new life, but it’s up to you to take the first step. If you or someone you love is addicted to alcohol, get help today; it can mean the difference between life and death.

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