Alcohol is highly regarded as a means to “take the edge off” in our society. The effect of alcohol in the body can be felt around 20 minutes after consumption. On entering the bloodstream, alcohol dissolves into the water of the blood. The alcohol is then distributed amongst the water contained in the tissue of the organs making them highly susceptible to the negative effects of alcohol abuse.  

There are many long-term effects of alcohol abuse. Binge drinking and large amounts of daily alcohol consumption can lead to many health issues. Research has shown that long-term use of alcohol causes deterioration in the body that may take years to repair or may cause permanent damage. Sometimes these effects are not exposed until later in life when it is too late to reverse the harmfulness that alcohol abuse generates.


The brain is incorporated of mostly water and needs blood to function. A blood stream that has a regular high blood alcohol content can particularly affect the brain.

  • Memory loss
  • Coordination
  • Muscle mobility difficulty
  • Poor Motor Skills
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome or “wet brain”


This organ plays a big role in the metabolism of the body by breaking down fats to produce energy. The liver is also responsible for eliminating harmful substances such as alcohol out of the body. Too much alcohol can make the liver struggle to process it and release toxic enzymes that damage liver cells.

  • Fatty liver
  • Hepatitis
  • Fibrosis
  • Cirrhosis

Digestive System

Excessive drinking can cause infliction on the digestive tract preventing intestines from absorbing vitamins and nutrients or digesting food.

  • Gassiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Gastritis

Circulatory System

Alcohol abuse can significantly affect the function of the heart. Long-term effects of alcohol can limit the heart’s main function of pumping blood through the body.

  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Clogged arteries
  • Stroke
  • Anemia
  • Heart attack
  • Cardiomyopathy


Pancreatitis is inflammation in the pancreas. The swelling of the blood vessels around the pancreas are brought about by alcohol abuse.

  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Immune System

Fighting off sickness and disease becomes more difficult with heavy alcohol consumption. Immune deficiency creates life-threatening complications in the body.

  • Cancer
  • Pneumonia
  • Tuberculosis


Alcohol can either make sugar levels rise or fall when drinking in excess. Consistent fluctuation can cause alcohol induced diabetes.

  • Reduces the body’s sensitivity to insulin
  • Side effect of pancreatitis
  • Excess calories can cause obesity

Sexual Health

Initially alcohol can lead to lower inhibitions, but chronic alcohol abuse can develop a lower libido and decreased hormone production.

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Low sperm count
  • Infertility


New Vista Behavioral Health is committed to helping you on your road to long term recovery. Begin our partnership today by calling 888-316-3665.

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If you are ready to pursue a life committed to your health, relationships and emotional well-being, you have a team that is willing to walk alongside you and restore hope for your future. Let us help you in taking the first step in your journey to recovery.

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