Alcohol abuse can have many side effects that affect someone’s well-being.
Learn more about alcohol side effects and treatment options.
Many different alcohol side effects can affect someone’s health and well-being. Side effects of drinking alcohol are increased with long-term alcohol abuse. Due to the many adverse side effects of long-term alcohol abuse, those struggling with a drinking problem must get proper help and support needed to recover.
To understand alcoholism and know if someone is struggling with a drinking problem, it’s important to know how standard, moderate, and excessive drinking looks.
A standard drink is roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol. This amount of alcohol can usually be found in 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits 1.
According to the CDC, moderate drinking is defined as two drinks or less per day for men and one drink or less per day for women 2.
Alcohol use can have many adverse side effects on the body. Alcohol side effects are increased when someone drinks excessively or struggles with an alcohol use disorder.
Common short-term side effects of alcohol include:
Heavy alcohol use in the short term can still have many adverse side effects that lead to poor decision-making and other potentially dangerous health issues.
There are many long-term side effects of alcohol abuse that can affect the body and mind. Side effects of alcohol abuse can be physical or psychological. Proper treatment is required for alcohol addiction to avoid any potential long-term health complications with alcohol abuse.
Alcohol side effects on the brain include:
Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways. Heavy drinking can change how the brain looks and works overtime, leading to poor mental health and cognitive functioning.
Alcohol abuse can lead to mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. Excessive use of alcohol can also exacerbate existing mental health problems.
Excessive drinking over a long period can lead to dependence on alcohol. Alcohol dependence will make someone feel like they can’t function normally without drinking.
When someone has a physical alcohol dependence, they will experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop drinking. This is one of the main side effects of alcohol detox.
Physical side effects of alcohol on the body include:
When you drink alcohol, it is processed through the liver. Excessive drinking is hard for the liver to process all the toxins out of the body. Over the long term, this can damage the liver and may lead to long-term health issues.
Alcohol side effects can impact the brain’s cognitive functioning in many ways. Long-term alcohol abuse can make it harder for someone to concentrate and focus or may lead to memory problems.
Heavy alcohol use can also be hard on the heart and the body’s cardiovascular system. Severe heart conditions may result as a side effect of alcohol abuse.
Alcohol abuse can be hard on the body’s endocrine system. This can lead to hormonal damage, increased stress, and changes in mood or behavior.
Alcohol abuse can result in erectile dysfunction in men and may disrupt menstrual cycles in women.
Alcohol side effects can result in a lowered immune system over time.
Long-term alcohol abuse can damage the musculoskeletal system leading to a higher likelihood of fractures, osteoporosis, and chronic joint pain.
Excessive drinking can put too much sugar in the body depending on the type of alcohol that is consumed. Drinking too many sugary beverages can lead to diabetes and other health issues.
To understand alcohol abuse side effects and how it can affect someone’s life, it’s vital to understand alcohol abuse and why it may occur.
Alcohol abuse is characterized by frequent and excessive drinking over a long period of time. Someone who struggles with an alcohol abuse disorder will continue drinking despite experiencing adverse alcohol side effects in their life.
Many factors can cause alcohol abuse. Common causes of alcohol abuse include:
During treatment, it’s important to pay attention to potential causes of alcohol abuse to treat any underlying conditions contributing to the addiction.
Many risk factors can make someone more likely to abuse alcohol. Common alcohol abuse risk factors include:
To determine if someone is struggling with an alcohol problem, it’s important to look for the signs of alcohol abuse.
Common physical signs of alcohol abuse include:
Common behavioral signs of alcohol abuse include:
If you’re wondering if you or someone you love may need help with an alcohol use disorder, you can look at the following warning signs of alcohol abuse.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with alcohol abuse, treatment options are available. Proper alcohol abuse treatment can help to avoid adverse alcohol side effects. Many treatment options are available for alcohol abuse to help facilitate recovery and maintain long-term sobriety.
One of the first steps in an addiction treatment plan is detox. During alcohol detox, withdrawal symptoms will be experienced. However, proper treatment and support can help lessen the side effects of alcohol withdrawal.
Inpatient rehab is often a good option for alcohol addiction treatment. Inpatient rehab involves staying at a treatment center for a duration of time while working through a recovery program. During inpatient rehab, you will detox, attend therapy sessions, and work on other life skills that will help with maintaining long-term sobriety.
Outpatient rehab for alcohol addiction can also be a good option for those with a less severe addiction or who don’t want to neglect work or family responsibilities while receiving treatment. Outpatient rehab involves attending regular treatment sessions throughout the week at a treatment center.
If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol abuse or other substance use disorders, San Diego Detox can help. San Diego Detox is a treatment center that provides personalized and evidence-based addiction treatment. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you every step of the way as you work through a treatment program and get on the road to recovery. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you.