Woman contemplating while looking at a drinking glass.

Physical Effects of Alcohol on Your Body

Understanding the Short-Term and Long-Term Effects

The most recent findings from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health reported that over 85 percent of adults have admitted to consuming alcohol at least once in their lifetime. While drinking one alcoholic beverage may not pose significant health risks, excessive amounts and severe misuse of the substance can lead to incredibly damaging effects.

Short-Term Effects

While the immediate effects of alcohol are what often cause people to begin drinking in the first place, the longer one drinks alcohol, the worse the consequences become. Short-term effects of drinking alcohol include:

 
  • Feeling relaxed.

  • An overall sense of euphoria.

  • Mood changes, from negative to positive.

  • Slurred speech.

  • Nausea.

  • Vomiting and diarrhea.

  • Blurred vision.

  • Lack of coordination.

  • Loss of consciousness.

  • Poor decision-making.

While these effects may be temporary, some of them, like blurred vision and poor decision-making, can result in potentially life-threatening situations.

Long-Term Effects

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), or alcohol addiction, affects about 14.5 million people in the United States. With long-term excessive consumption, an individual exposes themselves to many harmful effects like:

  • Cardiovascular Risk: Excessive use of alcohol can lead to increased cholesterol levels.

  • Liver Disease: Your liver filters toxins like alcohol from your blood. While it can handle small amounts of alcohol, overuse can increase the risk of cirrhosis, liver cancer, and fatty liver.

  • Brain Damage: Long-term alcohol use can cause severe brain issues like memory loss, behavioral changes, and even brain shrinkage.

  • Pancreas Inflammation: An inflamed pancreas, pancreatitis, may occur due to alcohol addiction. Pancreatitis affects your body’s ability to digest food and absorb required nutrients, leading to malnourishment.

Further, alcohol abuse has been shown to increase the likelihood of bone fractures due to weakened bones. It can also increase the risk of various forms of cancer like breast, liver, esophageal, and colorectal cancer.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Cedar Oaks Wellness Center

While millions of people have consumed alcohol in their lives, alcohol itself has consumed millions of people’s lives. If you or someone you know is feeling helpless in their struggles with alcohol addiction, our team at Cedar Oaks Wellness Center offers a variety of treatment programs. Whether you require inpatient or detox treatments, our facility is here to help you start your journey toward sobriety.

Call us today at (513) 780-5201 or visit us online and learn how we can help you begin your path to recovery.