Heavy alcohol consumption can cause major health problems and is the leading cause of disease and death in the United States. Alcohol has damaging effects on the body and brain, can take years to recover from, and in some cases can even be permanent. It is important to educate yourself on the long-term health effects that can arise from heavy alcohol consumption and if needed, seek professional support to help achieve complete abstinence from alcohol.
Nearly one-third of people with major depression also have an alcohol problem. Many people who struggle with mental health problems (such as depression and anxiety) turn to alcohol for relief and to self-medicate. Studies have shown that heavy drinking actually worsens depression and can lead to suicide. If an individual struggles with both alcoholism and a psychiatric disorder, it is important to get treatment by professionals in integrated addiction care.
Heavy drinking (more than 3 drinks a day) has a direct toxic effect on the heart. Also, drinking too much alcohol puts more fat into the circulation in your body, raising your triglyceride levels. Alcohol abuse can damage the heart and lead to high blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and stroke. Other serious problems include fetal alcohol syndrome and sudden cardiac death.
Drinking a substantial amount of alcohol can lead to a bigger risk of getting cancer. The types of cancers linked to alcohol abuse include cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, breast, colon, and rectum. Alcohol can act as an irritant and cause damage to body tissues. Cells that are damaged may try to repair themselves, which could ultimately lead to DNA changes in the cells, and can be a step toward cancer. Cancer risk rises even higher in heavy drinkers who also use tobacco.
The liver is the largest internal organ and one of its most important functions is to filter the blood of toxins and help the body get rid of waste products. Heavy alcohol usage can cause damage to the liver and increase your risk of developing cirrhosis of the liver. After years of heavy drinking, the body starts to replace the liver’s healthy issues with scar tissue. As the disease progresses and there is more scar tissue, the liver will stop functioning completely.
One of the major negative health effects of alcohol abuse is its effect on the immune system. The immune system is a network of cells, tissues and organs that work together to defend the body against disease, infection and viruses. Heavy drinking suppresses the immune system, which weakens the body and makes it easier to contract diseases such as pneumonia, respiratory infections, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
About Residence XII
Residence XII offers alcohol treatment and drug rehab for women that empower women while leading them on their journey to recovery. At residence xii, we welcome all women (+18) and aim to provide the highest quality inpatient and outpatient treatment for addiction available. Residence xii also offers a family program aimed at helping family members and loved ones understand how to best help the patient in recovery. Contact us for a free drug and alcohol assessment or to learn more about how we treat women with drug or alcohol dependency. Residence XII is State Licensed by CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) and a member of the NAATP (National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers).