Alcohol addiction has severe consequences on the body both immediately and over time. If you have a loved one who is engaging in alcohol abuse, sharing the long-term effects of alcohol addiction may cause them to seek professional treatment. Alcohol addiction causes many long-term effects that are difficult to fight without the support of addiction treatment professionals. At TruHealing Centers, our team of experts provides compassionate care during alcohol addiction treatment and beyond.
5 Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Addiction
1. Long-Term Effects on the Brain and Nervous System
Alcohol abuse over an extended time will greatly affect the brain and nervous system. Some common effects on the central nervous system may include:
- Peripheral neuropathy – Tingling from nerve damage in the extremities
- Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome – A severe set of brain conditions from severe thiamine deficiency that can cause muscle coordination difficulties, confusion, and psychosis
- Hepatic encephalopathy – An often-fatal brain disorder caused by liver damage
- Blackouts – Brief periods of memory loss from excessive drinking
- Hallucinations – Seeing things that aren’t there often happen when those with alcohol addiction try to cut back on their drinking or stop altogether
- Brain shrinkage – A decrease in size of the frontal lobes of the brain, which control emotions, judgment, and short-term memory
The good news about these serious brain damage problems is that stopping alcohol use may allow some brain cells to recover. However, due to the dependency that often develops with alcohol addiction or abuse, many people need a complete alcohol detoxification program and rehab at TruHealing Centers to fully recover.
2. Long-Term Effects on the Cardiovascular System
The cardiovascular system consists of the heart and blood vessels. Several conditions linked to alcohol abuse over the long term can impact this system, such as stroke and heart disease.
For example, even people without other risk factors for heart disease can raise their chances of developing cardiovascular disease through long-term alcohol abuse. Other factors that can increase heart disease risks, such as high blood pressure, also come from the long-term effects of alcohol abuse.
3. Long-Term Effects on the Liver
Many people know that the liver sustains significant damage from alcohol use. However, some people don’t understand how severe long-term alcohol use injures the liver. The liver is the first stop that alcohol makes after leaving the stomach. In an ideal situation, the liver processes the alcohol to render it into safe products for the body. Long-term processing of alcohol, though, can cause liver damage or failure.
For example, liver disease and eventual failure can occur. But, in some people, the liver may develop cancer, which can spread to other parts of the body.
Liver damage can also impact the brain in rare instances through hepatic encephalopathy. This condition caused by liver damage can lead to personality or mood changes, depression, anxiety, hand flapping, sleep changes, and even coma in severe cases.
4. Long-Term Effects on the Digestive System
The digestive system includes the stomach and intestines. Alcohol abuse may cause serious problems with this system, which can include:
- Malnutrition from poor nutrient absorption
- Stomach ulcers
- Bleeding in the digestive tract
- Stomach upset
- Cancers in the mouth or throat, esophagus, or colon
Luckily, many of these types of damage may be reversible in some cases after quitting drinking. Restoring good nutrition may take time, but a holistic therapy addiction recovery program that helps the entire body become healthier through rehab might improve malnutrition from alcohol abuse.
5. Long-Term Effects on Fertility
Sexual health is an essential part of life, especially for those who have plans to one day have a family or enjoy sexual relations with others. Alcohol addiction can lead to impotence, erectile dysfunction, infertility, and fetal alcohol syndrome. All of these issues can impact social and family relationships.
Receive Effective Alcohol Addiction Treatment at TruHealing Centers
Don’t let alcohol addiction ruin your life or that of a loved one. The damage done by long-term and how well the body can heal from it depends on the longevity of the addiction and the severity. However, letting the condition continue will worsen the chances of developing severe, life-threatening consequences of alcohol abuse. Therefore, treatment could save a life.
Reach out by phone at 833.631.0525 or complete our online form to connect with us at TruHealing Centers to learn more about our alcohol addiction treatment programs. You can also send a message to us online. We have detox and other treatment programs to help individuals overcome alcohol abuse and avoid or reduce the long-term effects of addiction.