Many people consume alcohol for its short term effects. These include feelings of relaxation and lowered inhibitions. Long after those effects fade, and even past that first hangover, there are serious long term effects of alcohol use. The only way to avoid the long term consequences of alcohol abuse is to achieve sobriety once and for all.
Depression of the Immune System
One of the most damaging long term effects of alcohol use is a depression of the immune system. The immune system is the body’s defense against foreign invaders. Whether bacteria or viruses invade, the immune system works hard to fight them off.
Unfortunately, alcohol weakens the immune system. Instead of being strong in the face of disease, the immune system will be damaged and depressed. This means that anyone abusing alcohol regularly won’t have a physical defense against disease. Alcoholics are far more likely to suffer from illnesses like the flu or even cancer.
The liver is involved in many of the body’s most important metabolic processes. If you drink alcohol, it’s your liver that works hard to break it down and process the ethanol. Excessive drinking can cause serious and lasting damage to the liver.
The liver can become fatty, which means that it isn’t able to carry out its other vital duties for the body. Cirrhosis of the liver is common among people with an alcohol addiction. In some cases, a full liver transplant could eventually be necessary.
Damage to Brain Cells
Another of the scariest long term effects of alcohol use is brain damage. Alcohol can actually damage existing brain cells. In some cases, it can reduce brain matter entirely.
Obviously, a reduction in brain cells is not a good thing. Individuals may suffer from reduced cognitive function as well as memory loss. In some reports, IQ levels are decreased among those who struggle with alcohol addiction.
Anyone who has consumed alcohol knows that it can cause gastrointestinal problems in the short term. Worse than any short term nausea or vomiting, however, is the potential for long term effects. Gastritis is one serious effect of alcohol abuse.
Gastritis is the inflammation or erosion of the stomach’s lining. It can be caused by regularly drinking alcohol. Gastritis can feel very uncomfortable, and its symptoms include cramping, chronic nausea, indigestion and vomiting blood. Gastritis can lead to stomach cancer and severe loss of blood.
Increased Blood Pressure
The long term effects of alcohol can include an increase in blood pressure. Every drink can take a toll on the heart and the circulation system. Over time, blood pressure is likely to climb rapidly.
Increased blood pressure may be a precursor to other dangerous conditions. Alcohol abuse can lead to heart failure, a stroke and many other heart-related problems.
The Long Term Effects of Alcohol Use Include Addiction
Addiction may be one of the worst long term effects of alcohol. There are many different factors that can lead to an addiction to alcohol. Whatever the cause, the result is devastating.
An alcohol addiction means that the brain and the body are chemically and physically dependent on alcohol. Trying to quit on your own can cause unpleasant symptoms. Continued drinking and an increase in tolerance means that health problems, financial ruin, overdose or even death are a potential risk.
Treating an Alcohol Addiction at Serenity House Detox & Recovery
To avoid the effects of an alcohol addiction, the first step has to be an alcohol detox. At Serenity House Detox & Recovery centers in Florida, you can take advantage of a comprehensive plan for detox and recovery. You can expect all of the following at Serenity House Detox & Recovery:
- Two convenient locations
- High-quality medical detox
- 24/7 medical supervision and assistance
- Chef-prepared meals that are nutritious and tasty
- One-on-one therapy
Don’t let the long term effects of alcohol stand between you and a better life. Serenity House Detox & Recovery in Fort Lauderdale and Jupiter can offer a treatment plan to get you on your feet. Begin the journey to recovery by calling 866-294-5306.