Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse
Often when we talk about the long-term effects of alcohol abuse, we focus on the physical impact of the illness. However, the damage caused by alcohol abuse goes far beyond our bodies; it can impact every aspect of our lives, causing significant harm to both ourselves and others.
While alcohol is often thought of as a social lubricant, alcohol abuse is anything but. The social problems caused by alcohol abuse can include:
- Alienating friends and family
- Aggressive or violent behavior, especially toward loved ones
- Increased risk of separation and divorce
- Decreased intimacy due to sexual dysfunction
- Participating in damaging behaviors that hurt loved ones, such as lying or cheating
- Missing out on or disrupting important family events and social gatherings
While many alcoholics believe that they are in control of their drinking, the effects of alcohol abuse often creep into the workplace, threatening your professional reputation and your livelihood. These might include:
- Coming in late or not showing up to work due to intoxication, hangovers, or withdrawal
- Decreased productivity
- Careless mistakes
- Workplace accidents
- Aggressive or hostile behavior
- Drinking in the workplace
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While legal ramifications are often associated with illicit drug use, alcohol addiction can result in serious run-ins with the law, including:
- Arrest for drunk driving
- Increased risk of violent offenses or misconduct
- Increased risk of participating in illegal activities such as illicit drug use
- Augmented vulnerability to being a victim of crime, such as sexual assault
The impact of alcohol abuse on psychological and physical health cannot be underestimated; both immediate and long-term health consequences can be dire and can pose a serious threat to your quality of life, including:
- Aggravation of mental health disorders
- Cardiovascular damage
- Liver disease
- Alcohol poisoning
- Increased cancer risk
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Healing from Alcohol Abuse
The long-term damage of alcohol abuse can be painful to consider and difficult to acknowledge. In fact, your fear of these consequences may cause you to want to drink more,and if you have already experienced destructive effects you may be using alcohol to cope with your distress. However, drinking will not make the damage of alcohol abuse go away, it will only increase your risk of facing serious consequences in the future, and keep you from living life to its fullest.
Preventing the negative effects of drinking from occurring in the first place is the best way to avoid them. But it is never too late to start your journey toward recovery and heal from the damage of alcohol abuse. With the right treatment, you can take control of your life and begin to mend the wounds caused by your drinking, whether they are social, professional, legal, or health-related. Choosing a program with dedicated family programming can be particularly valuable for those whose relationships have been affected by alcohol abuse, giving you the structure and support you need to help you and your loved ones restore your bonds.
We invite you to contact us at any time to learn more about the long-term effects of alcohol abuse and the possibilities of treatment. We are always available to provide guidance to find the treatment necessary to nourish your mind, body, and spirit.