Recognizing the Long Term Health Effects of Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse affects the lives of millions of people around the world causing an array of long term health effects and complications. Not only does the CDC estimate that there are more than 88K deaths that are attributed to excessive alcohol consumption each year, studies further estimate that alcohol abuse results in 2.5 millions years of potential life lost annually. Unfortunately, recognizing the long term health effects of alcohol abuse isn’t always top on the agenda of important things to do for most people; that is, at least not until they begin to suffer from some of the consequences as a result of their drinking behaviors.
A number of neurobiological problems are likely to arise as a result of chronic heavy drinking. Alcohol abuse can cause memory loss and dementia. Neuropathy and stroke are also probable outcomes for people who regularly abuse alcohol.
Myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation and hypertension are all common in people who drink alcohol regularly. These long term effects of alcohol abuse can cause serious heart related health conditions that can lead to fatal consequences if left untreated.
Depression is very common in chronic alcohol abusers. Anxiety is also a common problem in people who drink alcohol for a prolonged period of time. In fact, anxiety makes it more difficult to quit drinking and many users will require anxiety medication following an addiction to alcohol. The risk of suicide for people who abuse alcohol is greatly increased with each year that they suffer from this addiction.
Alcoholism often leads to social isolation and instability. The user may lose his or her job, become less productive and may suffer from great problems in relationships as a result of the alcoholism. Social instability continues to spiral out of control as the addiction progresses.
Many different types of cancer can be attributed to excessive alcohol abuse. Cancer is one of the long term effects of alcohol abuse that is still being researched but to date, drinking has been found to increase the risk of colon cancer, breast cancer, liver cancer and throat, esophagus and mouth cancers.
One of the most widely known long term effects of alcohol abuse is the damage that occurs to the liver. Liver diseases including hepatitis, cirrhosis and other serious complications can arise from prolonged alcohol abuse.