Drug Rehabilitation Blog

How Long-Term Drinking Impacts Your Health

How Long-Term Drinking Impacts Your Health

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

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:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Weakened Immune System
  • Stroke
  • Memory Problems
  • Fertility Issues
  • Pancreatitis
  • 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:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • 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.

36 Comments

  • Caroline

    I can attest to the memory problems & the coping mechanisms for bipolar. Fortunately I have stopped drinking now and my life is much richer for it.

    • helen

      i think that drinking effects every aspect of your life.. People don’t really realize exactly just how much it effects things. It has an impact on your energy, your motivation or rather, lack of and even how your family life is, the while family can suffer.

  • ell

    I drink alchohol, and while I don’t consider myself a heavy drinker, this article is certainly informative and an eye opener.

  • Ben Rogers

    I wish more people knew about this during their high school years. Hopefully drug and alcohol education has improved.

  • Russell

    The statistics of fatalities and injuries blew my mind! I had always know about the physical and mental health risks, but you never really here a whole lot about the other type of statistics and how their numbers effect the world. This is always good information as people with severe alcohol problems need to seek help.

  • Jacob

    I have family members who are alcoholics and I realize the serious impact it has had on their lives. Drinking can destroy lives! The mental and physical risks alone are enough to keep me away from drinking. I wish everyone who struggles with this to seek recovery.

  • NAHE

    This one is likely an informative and also more functional. I’m really feel affection on this topics.

  • Judy Workman

    My first husband and my second husband were both alcoholics. Hopefully enough people see this post to save some one. This is a good post with a lot of good information.

  • Paul Cook

    Very brief but informative article about the dangers of drinking too much. A lot of people I know might be a bit surprised by this information. But knowledge is power and knowledge applied is wisdom. Will be sharing this with others.

  • onie

    othis is really helpful site. I wish people who are looking for some solution can came across to this site.

  • Austin King

    One of my best friends that I grew up with, died of alcoholism. He was only thirty two. He endured the effects of drinking and in the end it caused him to have major health problems. RIP Jarrod.

  • Billie Martz

    This is an insightful post that clearly points out the dangers of excessive, long term drinking. Alcoholism is very tough to conquer, but it can be done with the proper support, determination, and, when called for, an inpatient treatment program.

  • Jim Madison

    Alcohol is more than a gateway drug. It can wreck your health and relationships.

  • Emilia

    very useful post…

  • Jack

    I’m glad I’ve never drunken a single alcoholic beverage before, and I never will after reading this information

  • Samantha B

    Articles like this need to be seen my the masses. Many times addicts are made to be the enemy. However, addictions usually stem from other issues, just like the mental health list above. I can see why someone who is just trying to cope with life with an undiagnosed mental health issue would turn to alcohol or other substances. It is a vicious cycle that can cause a downward spiral. I also see people who are suffering from short-term depression turn to alcohol and causing a long term problem. I know I have in the past been going through a hard time and during that time had way to many drinks, and way to many days in a row. Luckily, I was able to pull myself out of the funk, but rehab is a necessity for those people who cannot cope and pull them-self out of it. It is a slippery slope. I just hope those who need help get it and can turn their lives around for the good.

  • Social WEBsy

    Knowledge about the impacts drug addiction is essential for a higher standard of living.

  • Angie

    This blog post has some great information in it. I never really realized the effects of long-term drinking. Many of today’s mid-20’s go out frequently to drink themselves into an oblivion and don’t really realize that they are doing damage to themselves by doing that. They are putting their health at risk!

  • blondeys

    This is definitely true. I know several people who are suffering from health issues related to alcoholism. It’s best to seek help before it is too late. It definitely has an effect on a person mentally, and so many accidents are DUI related. Thanks for the information.

  • Alen

    Are Energy Drinks Bad for us?

  • Alan Hayes

    I am dealing with the effects of long term drinking I got diabetes and high blood pressure so if people say drinking is not harmful they are wrong.

  • Sam

    I agree. Long-term drinking can impact one’s health not only is it detrimental to the health but also excessive drinking can cause a lot of issues such as memory loss, depression, and more. There are a lot of people who abuse themselves into drinking, and it’s quite complicated once they start doing so.

  • Richard

    People normally don’t get addicted to alcohol right away they only get attached to it after a significant period of time of drinking. Then they crave it more and more.

  • maamko

    After a very long dependence on alcohol stopping abruptly causes seizures. Drug rehabilitation programs play a very good role to make this transition smooth.

  • Regina M

    Unfortunately “social drinking” is widely accepted and even considered cool behavior, but let’s not pretend it is not as dangerous as any addiction. Those few drinks a day add up. They are also devastating for family life, relationships in general, work, etc. And don’t even get me started on drunk driving! It costs thousands of lives yearly, including the victims that were just at the wrong place at the wrong time.

  • Nick

    Clearly alcohol intake is linked to several common diseases in this globe.
    I’d have to say I wonder what choices can be made towards reducing alcohol intake globally, and if the pro’s outweigh the con’s of these sorts of things.

  • Taylor

    Long-term drinking is very bad for depression. It is also bad for your liver and can drain energy. Drinking is a terrible addiction and should be treated just as it is any other drug addiction.

  • Johanson Connor

    I didn’t know this facts, thanks for posting. Very useful article

  • Jake Dell

    Good post and great info. Personally, I always feel better mentally & physically when I’ve put the proverbial cork in the bottle. I wish more would do the same. JD

  • Katherine

    Drinking in moderation is one thing and some people seem to think that as long as one does not drink to excess then they will not be adversely effected by alcohol. This is so far from true and this blog is spot on. I think that a lot more people need to be educated on how alcohol effects one and what it does to health, short and long term. There is a lot of incorrect data out there making it seem okay to drink regularly.

  • jacky

    bipolar disorder is hard…

  • Amanda

    Drinking affects many people in many ways. It is very easy to be able to continue to increase the amount that you drink if done often and enough. I remember when I drank alcohol finding more and more ways and reasons to drink. The spiral is a scary one. I think looking at all this information may get people to at least think twice before making alcohol such a staple in life. It is important for people to have the data on the effects of things such as alcohol so that they can better handle themselves and also be able to help people that have already gone to far.

  • Jonathan

    I grew up in a European family and I thought I “knew” all the risks to drinking. Until I read this article, I had no idea. Of course I knew drinking too much was bad for you but until I red this article, I never knew how bad it actually was for you. I believe if more people had this information they would not lead to excessive drinking. As from my personal experience the reason people first try drugs and alcohol is because they don’t know how bad it is for you. They “know” but they don’t really know. This is very good information to have and really hits home to me.

  • Walter

    I remember when I was a heavy drinker, and if you would have called me an addict, I would have punched you out and called you a liar. But in looking at it in hindsight, I can say that this is what I was. I was too blind to see the truth of my situation, and had it not been for people I loved to stop me, who knows where I would have ended up. I still remember coming off of it, and the withdrawals that I experienced. I do not wish that on anyone, but at the same time I wish that someone would have pointed to resources like this to help me learn how to not have it be such a painful experience to come off of them. I was dumbstruck by the number of deaths and hurt families and can vouch for most of the horrible side effects caused by consuming over a liter of alcohol a day for almost a year. Not even looking at how much damage I did to my liver and brain, but also looking at the amount of money that is wasted. I think that if people really took a good look at what it meant to have an alcohol addiction you would see the narrative change, but then again that is why it is very important for this information to be widespread.

  • Jessie Nancy

    Awesome! very useful post. thank you for sharing post.

  • Mary

    I think this is a very helpful post and and there is lot of information. My brother is an alcoholics. Hopefully he will get help from this.

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