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Effects of Alcohol Addiction

The negative effects of alcohol addiction include both physical and psychological consequences, many of which will last long after an individual has stopped drinking. Generally, there is nutritional deficiency, illness, liver damage, disease, impaired judgment, accident, mental instability and behavioral changes which come with alcohol addiction. Organ damage or even organ failure are also possible and could lead to fatality.

Alcohol addiction has a very bad impact on the liver and can lead to liver disease, cirrhosis, hepatitis and fibrosis. When alcohol addiction goes untreated for a prolonged period of time, the effects of this disease can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, and other heart conditions including coronary heart disease which may lead to death.

The wearing down of the immune system that alcohol addiction causes can make an individual more susceptible to certain diseases and conditions such as Tuberculosis or pneumonia. The lowered immune system may also be to blame for infections and other illnesses. Those who suffer from alcohol addiction may take longer to heal from illness or injury and they may become sick more often than an individual who does not drink or who does not drink regularly.

Psychologically, the effects of alcohol addiction can lead to mental illness, a lack of concentration, an inability to control emotions, depression and violent or suicidal tendencies. People who abuse alcohol for a prolonged period of time are likely to become very depressed, to withdraw from friends and family members, and to suffer long term psychiatric complications from the chemical imbalances that are caused by alcohol addiction.

Short Term Effects of Alcohol Use

When a person first drinks an alcoholic beverage, the alcohol is quickly absorbed by the stomach and enters the bloodstream to disperse into the tissues. The actual effects of the alcohol will depend on the individual’s size, weight, age, amount of food consumed before or while drinking and his or her sex. The short term effects of alcohol include:

  • dizziness
  • talkativeness or an openness that makes social situations easier to handle
  • slurred speech
  • disturbed sleep or insomnia
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • impaired judgment
  • impaired coordination
  • headache
  • dehydration
  • fatigue

Long Term Effects of Alcohol Use

Long term use of alcohol can have a number of side effects on the mind and the body. Alcohol addiction causes physical dependence on the substance that makes it difficult to cease drinking without suffering withdrawal symptoms. The long term effects of drinking include:

  • anxiety
  • tremors
  • damage to the organs such as the heart or liver
  • mental retardation
  • irreversible physical complications
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