What are the long term effects of alcohol abuse?
We all know that drinking a lot quickly will cause a “hangover”, a short-term effect of alcohol which includes any or all of the following to varying degrees – headache, nausea, vomiting and shaking.
Because of its effect on vision, judgment, concentration and coordination, drinking a lot is also a common cause of accidents, particularly car accidents and drowning.
These are short-term effects, which may or may not dramatically affect you and other people. However, what research is finding more about all the time are the long-term and permanent effects of alcohol, especially when it’s absorbed in large quantities by a child with a still-developing brain.
Some of these effects are “cognitive”, which means they affect the brain and the way you think. These are listed above. They are among “physical” effects, which may be permanent, such as:
- Stomach inflammations
- Frequent infections
- Skin problems
- Liver damage
- Brain damage
- Foetal alcohol syndrome (a possible effect on an unborn child in the womb of a woman abusing alcohol)
- Damage to reproductive organs
- Memory loss
- Confused thinking
- Heart and blood disorders
- Weight gain, with the related cardiovascular problems and risk
- of diabetes
Long-term alcohol overuse can also lead to relationship problems and your ability to function at school or work.