What Does Alcohol Do to Your Health?
Today we’ll discuss some of the short- and long-term effects of alcohol on your body.
Short Term Effects of Alcohol On the Body
At first, alcohol can make you feel great—more relaxed, more confidence, happier and more social. But as you drink more, you’ll also find yourself experiencing slowed reflexes, reduced coordination, and impaired thinking. Then poor judgment, a decreased ability to control motor functions, and depression may kick in.
This is why alcohol increases the risk of motor vehicle accidents, suicide, injury, domestic violence, and drowning. Alcohol use has also been linked to violent behavior, including sexual assault, and an increase in unprotected sex among young adults.
Long Term Effects of Alcohol On the Body
Over time, drinking too much can do some serious damage to your health. Here’s how alcohol can affect each part of your body:
- Brain: Interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, which can change mood and behavior; makes it harder to think clearly and move with coordination. Binge drinking can cause blackouts, memory loss, and anxiety; long-term drinking can also result in permanent brain damage, serious mental health problems. and alcohol dependence.
- Heart: Damages heart muscle; causes irregular heart beat; contributes to high blood pressure and stroke
- Liver: Causes steatosis, or fatty liver, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and alcoholic hepatitis
- Pancreas: Makes the pancreas produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, which is very painful and can be fatal
- Stomach: Leads to stomach ulcers, internal bleeding, and gastritis
Then there are the overall effects, such as weakening your immune system, elevating your blood pressure, dehydrating your skin, and hastening osteoporosis.
Finally, drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of developing certain cancers, including cancer of the mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast, and colon.
It’s never too late to make a change that can lead to better health, both immediately and down the road.
Call Horizon Health Services at (716) 831-1800 to ask how we can support you in sobriety and recovery.