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Impact of Alcohol Dependency on Long-Term Health

alcohol long term health

Alcohol dependency can have devastating effects on long-term health. In fact, conservative estimates link over 100,000 deaths per year to alcohol, in the United States alone. Due to the effects of alcohol dependency on the body and mind, alcohol-dependent individuals find even their lifespans become affected—living up to 15 years fewer than their non-addicted peers.

  • If you are an alcoholic seeking inpatient rehab, you know the devastation that alcohol dependency can cause on long-term health.
  • Alcohol-dependent individuals find even their lifespans become shortened by up to 15 years.
  • Inpatient rehab is often the best solution for breaking free from alcohol dependency and regaining your long-term health.

Physical & Psychological Impact from Alcohol Abuse

Alcoholism is a serious disease that can be treated. Alcohol dependency is characterized by continued use of alcohol despite adverse social, psychological, or physical consequences. This includes impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, and withdrawal symptoms when not using it. It’s important to get help for addiction before it threatens your long-term health and well-being. Here are just a few of the ways that alcohol dependency affects long-term health and longevity:

  1. Psychological struggles – The individual may feel guilt about their behavior in relation to others who do not drink excessively; they may also experience shame about their own behavior
  2. Damaged organs – Excessive drinking damages the liver’s ability to process toxins from other drugs, foods, and alcohol. This can lead to inflammation and scarring of the liver (cirrhosis), as well as other organ damage, such as to the pancreas, brain, and heart
  3. Lower immunity – Chronic drinking reduces the body’s ability to fight infection, making the individual more susceptible to illnesses such as pneumonia and tuberculosis
  4. Social isolation – Alcoholism often leads to social isolation from friends and family. This can compound feelings of loneliness and depression, which in turn can lead to further drinking
  5. Increased risk for cancer – Drinking increases the risk for several types of cancer, including cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, liver, colon, and rectum
  6. Death – In the United States, alcohol is the third leading cause of preventable death. Excessive drinking accounts for 88,000 deaths each year.

It’s important to get help if you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol dependency. There are many resources available, including counseling, support groups, and medication-assisted treatment. With early intervention and treatment, alcohol dependency can be overcome and long-term health can be protected.

Alcohol Dependency Affects Long-term Health and Longevity

From psychological struggles to damaged organs and lowered immunity, alcohol dependency puts individuals at risk for a host of life-threatening circumstances and health risks. Here are just a few of the ways that alcohol dependency affects long-term health and longevity.

  • Alcohol-Related Heart Problems – Alcohol consumption creates stress on the circulatory system and heart by raising blood pressure as well as the levels of triglyceride or “bad” cholesterol, in turn creating a greater risk for heart attacks. Additionally, long-term heavy alcohol use can lead to an enlarged heart and even congestive heart failure
  • Alcohol and the Liver – The primary purpose of the liver is to remove toxins from the bloodstream. Even moderate drinking increases the amount of work that the liver must perform. The excess work the liver performs in response to long-term and heavy consumption of alcohol causes the liver to accumulate fatty cells, swell, and become less efficient. Prolonged alcohol usage will result in the liver becoming cirrhotic, hardening, and may even leave it unable to function, leading to illness and possibly death.
  • Drunk Driving Accidents – Alcohol impairs both judgment and motor coordination. About 45% of all automobile fatalities in the United States each year are a result of this impairment of body and mind.
  • Suicide Risk and Alcohol Dependency – Alcohol has a profound effect on cognitive abilities, reducing reasoning ability and impulse control. Taken together, these two factors make it more likely that a person will act on momentary impulses that would otherwise be rationally dealt with. As such, alcohol is involved in almost one-third of all suicides in the United States.
  • Cancer, Disease, and Alcohol Dependency – The stress alcohol consumption places on the body have a detrimental impact on the immune system. By compromising the immune system, individuals who consume alcohol are at greater risk for immune-related diseases such as cancer, serious infections, or other frequent illnesses.

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol dependency, it’s important to get help. There are many resources available, including counseling, support groups, and medication-assisted treatment. With early intervention and treatment, alcohol dependency can be overcome and long-term health can be protected.

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