What Are The Long Term Effects Of Alcohol Abuse

depressing effects of alcohol

There are prices to pay in adulthood for alcoholism in youth. Even if one seeks treatment and becomes sober at a young age, the drinking done in earlier years will prove to be problematic later on. Compared to non-drinkers, drinkers, even those who got sober at a young age, have two to three more medical problems, according to new research published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol & Drugs.


Medical problems are not the only concern when it comes to long term effects of alcohol abuse. Adults who currently are or have been alcoholic drinkers at some point in their life have higher scorings of depression when evaluated. Alcohol abuse has a long term effect on mental health as well as physical health. Though treatment methods used in recovery facilities are helpful in getting the brain back to a normal state, the effects of alcohol abuse are immense. Depression is a common co-occurring disorder with alcohol abuse, but it can also be a result of alcohol abuse. Alcohol and any other kind of substance abuse produces a hyper amount of the neurotransmitter dopamine. The brain produces dopamine at a natural rate for feelings of pleasure and reward. Extended periods of alcohol abuse result in the chemical dependency of the brain on alcohol to produce dopamine. In other words, the brain cannot feel pleasure on it’s own anymore. After sobriety, the brain regains its ability to produce dopamine without alcohol. However, if the severity of alcohol abuse was high, the brain might suffer ongoing impairments with mental health, leading to higher rates of depression.

Long Term Effects

Other long term effects of chronic alcohol abuse can include:

  • Liver Damage: alcohol can lead to fatty liver disease, liver cancer, liver failure, and cirrhosis. By abstaining from alcohol, many liver conditions can be recovered. Chronic alcoholism can lead to complete liver failure or need for a liver transplant.
  • Pancreas Damage: pancreatitis can result from long term alcohol abuse
  • Wet Brain: wet brain is the old term used to describe permanent brain damage as the result of chronic alcoholism. Slurred speech, impaired cognition, and damaged motor functions are symptoms of wet brain. This kind of brain damage is often irreparable, especially if an alcoholic does not choose to get sober.

Avalon By The Sea uses the sanctuary model of treatment to help alcoholics recover from their attachments to old and harmful behaviors. Freedom from alcoholism is a possibility. Come to Avalon to heal. For a confidential assessment and more information on our programs of treatment for alcohol abuse, call 1 888-958-7511.

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