Health Consequences
Of Alcoholism

Long-term drinking of alcohol can have disastrous effects on the human body.

Some of the effects of alcohol consumption are acute, while other are short term and still others take many years of heavy drinking to evolve.

For many individuals having an occasional drink is enjoyment and does not lead to any serious harmful effects on the body.

Moderate use of alcohol is considered to be one drink per day for females and seniors and up to two drinks a day for males.

What is considered to be a standard amount of alcohol is a one 12-ounce bottle of beer or a wine cooler, a one 5-ounce glass of wine or when it comes to distilled spirits, 1.5 ounces of 80 proof.

The health consequences of misusing alcohol are many and they are often serious and far-reaching.

In the most serious of cases the misuse can become life threatening and if left unchecked, can lead to death.

Those who are heavy drinkers are more prone to certain types of cancer, in particular those that develop in the throat, the larynx (or voice box), the liver and the esophagus.

Heavy drinkers are prone to develop cirrhosis of the liver, which is often fatal.

Brain damage can occur as a result of alcoholism as can high blood pressure, an increased chance of a heart attack or stroke and problems with the functioning of the immune system.

Women who consume alcohol during their pregnancies increase their chances of doing harm to their developing fetuses.

Babies born to women who drink during their pregnancies fall victims to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and are commonly born with organ abnormalities, forms of mental retardation, hyperactivity and a variety of behavioral and learning related problems.

It is highly recommended that pregnant women avoid alcohol even in small quantities during their pregnancies. Nursing mothers should also do the same.

The cognitive abilities of the brain are affected by alcohol consumption as is attention span, coordination and the ability to sleep properly. These are all acute effects of alcohol consumption.

Alcohol also negatively impairs memory and concentration. On a long-term basis, brain cells die off as a result of heavy alcohol consumption as do the cells of the brain that provide the rest of the body with adequate nutrients and energy.

 Did You Know


Alcoholism is a progressive and potentially fatal disease. Alcoholism itself is not curable but it is possible to recover completely. Recovering from alcohol is to abstain from all forms of alcoholic beverages and medications that contain alcohol such as cough medicines.

Alcoholism is considered a chronic illness. As with any chronic illness, it affects entire families. As a result, the recovery process also affects the entire family and network of friends of the alcoholic. The good news is that these people can serve as a good support network to enable the alcoholic to abstain from drinking alcohol. The same way a family would support a chronically ill person is how the alcoholic should be treated because alcoholism is chronic.

Anyone who is an alcoholic will be an alcoholic for the rest of his or her lives.  Even though there is no cure for alcoholism, there is hope for the alcoholic.  That is where recovery comes in - the abstinence from all alcohol on the part of the addicted person.  This is where the control part of the disease comes into play.  It is important to be able to control the desire to have alcohol and to choose not to drink it. 

Unfortunately, the sheer nature of being an alcoholic is defined by the lack of an ability to control ones drinking.  In order to enter the recovery phase and thus control the disease itself, the alcoholic must come to the place where he or she is able and willing to take control and stop reaching for alcohol.

Research has shown that the alcoholic cannot willfully control his drinking and therefore should be abstinent. The alcoholic has to accept responsibility for his addiction and recovery.


Heavy consumption of alcohol over time weakens the work of the immune system making it more difficult for diseases, infections and other illnesses to be fought.

On a short-term basis this means that a person who misuses alcohol will be more susceptible to head colds and other respiratory related infections.

Interesting Facts

In order to help the loved one work through their alcohol addiction, the family members must accept that they did not cause the alcoholism, they cannot cure the alcoholism, and they cannot control the alcoholism.

Change your environment. If your work or social life constantly put you in a situation where you are tempted by alcohol it is strongly reccommended that you remove yourself from that environment.

The typical example being an alcoholic working in a bar. Change jobs or you may even want to consider moving.


The misuse of alcohol long-term can lead to gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers as well as cancers of the lips, esophagus, throat, larynx, liver and stomach.

On a short-term basis alcohol wrecks havoc on the gastrointestinal system because it serves to block the absorption of the nutrients the body requires for proper functioning.

This absorption blockage can lead to malnutrition among people who are addicted to alcohol. Cirrhosis of the liver and pancreatic cancer are two other very often fatal long-term effects of alcohol abuse.



 alcohol affects

Better Your Health

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What is the Attraction To Alcohol
Alcoholism is a Widespread Problem
The Difference Between Alcohol Dependence And Alcohol Abuse
FAQ's About Alcoholism Pt 1
FAQ's About Alcoholism Pt 2
A Brief Summary Regarding Alcoholism
Alcohol Abuse and the College Campus
The Brain And Alcohol
Health Risks For Women Alcoholics
Holiday Survival Guide For The Alcoholic
How A Child See's Alcoholism
Alcoholism Detoxification Steps
Alcoholism and the Workplace
The Children of Alcoholics
Common Questions About Alcoholism
Tests for Alcohol Use
Do All Alcoholics Need a Rehab Center
The Dangers and Penalties Of Drinking and Driving
The War On Drunk Driving
How To Determine When Someone Needs Professional Help
Some Facts About Alcoholism
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Diet Hints To Assist With Alcoholism Withdrawal
Helping Someone To Overcome Alcoholism
Alcoholism Risk Is Linked to Early Aged Drinking
A Portrait Of An Alcoholic
The Symptoms of Alcoholism
Basic Facts About Alcoholism
Hard Facts About Alcoholism
Cautions Concerning Non Alcoholic Beer
The College Campus And Alcoholism
Dangers of Alcoholism
Alcoholics Anonymous Steps 1-6
Alcoholics Anonymous Steps 6-12
What Causes An Alcoholic Blackout
New Shot to Treat Alcoholism
Alcoholism's Physical Effects
Group Support For Alcoholism
Threats From Alcoholism
The Truth About Alcoholism
Treating The Three Main Issues In Alcoholism
Treatments for Alcoholism
Vitamins and Supplements For The Alcoholic
Recovering From Alcoholism
Help Your Teen Avoid Becoming An Alcoholic
What Is Alcholism
Family Members Drinking Too Much
Explain Alcoholism
Who Are The Alcoholics
Women Fighting The Consequences of Alcoholism
Al Anon Support For The Alcoholic's Family
Health Consequences Of Alcoholism
Medications Used For Treating Alcoholism
Screening Tests For Alcoholism
What Is The Difference Between Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism
What the Bible Says About Alcohol Abuse
How to Stop Drinking Alcohol without AA
The Truth About Alcoholics Anonymous
Alcoholism - Curable or Just Controllable
The Causes of Alcoholism
So How Much Drinking Really Is Too Much?
Is Alcoholism Hereditary
What Children Need to Know About Alcohol
How to Recognize When Children are Drinking
What You Need to Know about how to Set Up an Intervention for an Alcoholic
How to Quit Drinking Without Gaining Weight