If someone were to tell you that alcohol is one of the leading lifestyle-related causes of death in the United States each year, you might be surprised. Sure, drinking can cause you to make bad decisions, and there are health risks. However, many people don’t consider it to be as dangerous as some other substances or habits. A study from the University of California at San Francisco found that the abuse of alcohol, on average, leads to 1400 deaths related to disease, 17,000 motor vehicle fatalities and 500,000 injuries in the United States on a yearly basis. Those numbers are rather astounding. Let’s take a look at how long term drinking impacts your health.
Physical Health Risks of Long Term Drinking
Consumed in moderation, alcohol usually poses no health risks. However, it can be difficult to determine the line between moderate and excessive, especially for those with a predisposition to alcoholism. On average, it’s said that moderate drinking consists of just one drink per day for women and two drinks for men, at most. These numbers can be skewed based on weight, height and the kind of alcohol consumed.
Common physical health problems caused by or attributed to long term drinking include:
- Heart Disease
- Liver Disease
- Weakened Immune System
- Memory Problems
- Fertility Issues
- High Blood Pressure
These are just some of the more common physical health effects. In addition, there are serious risks of withdrawal for those highly dependent on alcohol.
Mental Health Risks
Severe long term drinking can also lead to mental health problems. Depression and alcohol often go hand in hand, and increased risk of suicide is commonly seen in relation to alcoholism.
Frequently, alcohol can be used as a way of coping with mental health issues like:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
As you can see, long term drinking truly can have an impact on your health, as well as on your relationships and daily life. Alcoholism can be tough to conquer on your own. Fortunately, an inpatient treatment program can help by offering professional support and guidance. With the right assistance, you can beat your addiction and learn healthy living skills to overcome your problem.