A Look at the Physical Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Physical Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abusers are heavy drinkers who continue to drink no matter the consequences.  This form of substance abuse can result in the destruction of families, careers, goals and often times, lives. Abusers and addicts are not the same but both experience the physical effects of the excessive consumption of alcohol. Individuals who are considered alcohol abusers don’t necessarily have to drink daily but rather when they do drink, they endanger themselves or others with their misuse of the substance. The dangers of alcohol abuse are many, and it is important to know just how harmful the effects can be.

The Effects of Excessive Alcohol Use

Dependency is just one possible side effect of alcohol abuse and addiction. Other effects can be life-threatening and even fatal. Excessive alcohol use can have negative effects on the brain, heart, liver, pancreas and immune system. Below are some shocking national statistics that reveal the truth behind alcohol abuse.

  • 2013: 72,559 deaths caused by liver disease among individuals ages 12 and above, 45.8 percent involved alcohol. Among males, 48.5 percent of the 46,568 deaths caused by liver disease involved alcohol. Among females, 41.8 percent of the 25,991 deaths caused by liver disease involved alcohol.
  • 2011: 48 percent of all deaths caused by cirrhosis were alcohol-related. The percentage of alcohol-related cirrhosis was highest (72.7%) among individuals ages 25–34, followed by individuals ages 35–44 (70.3%).
  • 2009: alcohol-related liver disease was the primary cause of almost one in three liver transplants in the United States.

Not everyone is identical when it comes to addiction; certain people are more susceptible than others but everyone should know the parameters of alcohol use as well as the dramatic effects of overuse.

Increased Risk of Cancer

A study done by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states, “Drinking alcohol increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, esophagus, pharynx, larynx, liver, and breast”. In the same national study, it is estimated that 26,000 deaths were averted in 2005 because of reductions in ischemic heart disease, ischemic stroke, and diabetes from the benefits attributed to moderate alcohol consumption”. On the other hand, alcoholics also had a 40% excess risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a scholarly journal titled Alcohol Abuse and the Risk of Pancreatic Cancer.  The proof is in plain sight, and best practice is to moderate or stop usage of alcohol, altogether.

The health benefits of alcohol moderation and abstinence are plenty, and there are community clinics and centers available to help you win the battle of alcoholism. Contact Advantage Mental Health Center for information on how we can help you or your loved ones.