Physicians agree that excessive, long-term alcohol consumption can do all sorts of damage to your body. Alcohol rehabilitation centers provide an important health service in offering individuals the option to prevent the potentially fatal effects of long-term alcohol abuse. Alcohol doesn’t only damage an individual’s physical health but can also have negative effects on their mental health and interpersonal relations. People who consume large amounts of alcohol over an extended period of time are more likely to develop liver disease and problems with other organs such as the pancreas. Alcohol can affect your central nervous system, and this can have negative implications for an individual’s spatial perception and balance.
Excessive alcohol consumption is frequently related to mental illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia and even suicidal thoughts. Possibly the most difficult damage to repair caused by long-term alcohol use is its impact on an individual’s relationships; trust breaks down, communication fails and the unpredictable behaviors associated with intoxication begin to take their toll.
Physical Effects from Alcohol
The vital organ which takes the most damage from alcohol consumption is the liver, and long-term abuse can lead to life-threatening illnesses such as cirrhosis or fatty liver. The liver is one of the largest internal organs and is responsible for converting food and liquids into energy. When you consume alcohol your liver works overtime to break it down, and the resulting process can cause serious damage to its cells; sometimes this damage is irreparable, and the liver ceases to function effectively. Alcohol can also cause the pancreas to produce toxic substances which can make it difficult for your body to digest food. Drinking excessively can also lead to cardiovascular problems. Binge drinking, in particular, has been proven by scientists to increase the chance of developing blood clots, which can lead to a heart attack or a stroke. In the long-term, alcohol use can cause the heart’s muscles to weaken and slow down the body’s blood circulation; this can create further complications of anemia and extreme lethargy. Last but not least, alcohol can effect an individual’s memory and cognitive functions.
Mental Effects from Alcohol
The physical damage of long-term alcohol consumption is scary, but it is alcohols impact on an individual’s mood and behavior which can be even more distressing. There is an ongoing debate about the nature of alcohol abuse and depression: many disagree as to what comes first, the alcohol or the depression. Whatever the relationship between the two, scientists have proven that an individual’s mood improves when they stop drinking. As we age our brain starts to shrink and this is a natural process. Heavy drinking, however, can speed this process up, shrinking key regions of the brain responsible for memory and other ‘high order’ functions such as planning and solving problems. This can lead to early-onset dementia, and can permanently alter the behavior and personality of an individual.
Interpersonal harm from Alcohol
The only thing harder than experiencing the physical and mental damage associated with alcohol abuse is watching a loved one lose control and go through it themselves. Heavy drinking can make people aggressive and emotional. The unpredictable behaviors associated with alcohol abuse can drive away even the most supportive family members and friends.
Get help from our holistically focused dual-diagnosis rehab. Call today at 888-985-0609 to connect with a trained admissions counselor.