Alcohol – Long term effects

Long term
worse-for-wear-1438209-1280x960• Dependency and addiction. This is when the body and mind have become so used to having a drug regularly, that they can no longer feel normal without it, and stopping it can cause a range of problems (withdrawal symptoms). When the drug is alcohol, these include anxiety, shaking and trembling, sickness and craving (craving is when you can’t stop thinking about how much you want and need the drug); and with alcohol, when addiction is severe, withdrawal can lead to death, because the shaking and trembling is so intense that the body goes into convulsions (fits) and the heart stops
• Irritation of the lining of the stomach and intestines, ulcers (where the lining is worn away), and swelling. Bleeding and pain. Sickness and vomiting, sweating and inability to eat. Can lead to cancer
• Mood swings and depression
• Loss of ability to concentrate
• Difficulty remembering things
• Damage to immune system, so difficulty fighting off illness and infection
• Loss of ability to coordinate movement
• Legal problems – getting into trouble when drunk, making bad decisions that lead to police charges – like driving a car when drunk, getting into fights, breaking things.
• Social problems – being unable to do normal everyday things, and losing friends, jobs, money because of thistunnel-1226855-640x480

• Weakening of the muscles, thinness, pain, spasms and tenderness
• Damage to lining of the throat – leads to pain and vomiting, and can lead to severe bleeding, and cancer
• Heart problems – weakened heart muscle, palpitations, heart becoming abnormally large, high blood pressure, risk of heart attack and stroke (when blood isn’t getting to the brain properly, and the brain stops working. The effects of stroke are often permanent paralysis in speech and /or movement)
• Disease of the pancreas (pancreatitis) and cancer of the pancreas – the pancreas is an organ of the digestive system. Any disease in the pancreas is extremely painful
• Liver disease. The liver is the organ that gets rid of poisons and other substances that go into it in food and drink. Alcohol is one of these. The body has no use for alcohol and has to get rid of it. Long term use of high amounts of alcohol put a strain on the liver. If this goes on for a long time, the liver becomes swollen (hepatitis) and, eventually, permanently damaged (cirrhosis)
• In girls and women, an increased risk of breast cancer
• In both boys and men, impotence (inability to have or keep an erection during sex)
• In both sexes, infertility
• In pregnancy, risk to the unborn baby of brain damage and poor growth