When Hazardous Drinking Leads to Serious Health Problems

For several years alcohol dependency exploration has revealed the fact that there is strong association between alcoholism and critical health conditions.

As an illustration, in 2005, scientific examination revealed that alcohol abuse and alcoholism cost the United States an estimated $220 billion annually. It can be stressed that this substantial alcohol-related cash disbursement was substantially more than the cost associated with cancer ($196 billion) or with obesity ($133 billion). While it is important to accentuate these facts, it is also noteworthy to point out that an interrelationship exists between all three of these health problems.

More correctly, chronic alcohol abuse and alcoholism are also highly interrelated with obesity and with cancer.

To be sure, substance abuse research has demonstrated the fact that alcohol addiction can augment the risk for different forms of cancer, especially cancer of the colon, voice box (larynx), liver, rectum, throat, kidneys, and the esophagus. Hazardous and recurring drinking can also result in immune system problems and harm to the fetus during pregnancy.

Heavy and Irresponsible Drinking Weakens the Drinker’s Organs and Systems

What is more, if alcohol dependency continues over a period of years, the individual’s body organs will more likely than not be affected in an unhealthy manner. As an illustration, chronic, abusive drinking is especially harmful to the liver due to the fact that the liver does most of the work of processing the alcohol that has been ingested. Unwarranted amounts of alcohol kills liver cells and obliterates the ability of liver cells to redevelop. This medical condition results in a progressive inflammatory malfunction of the liver that can sooner or later lead to cirrhosis of the liver, a serious and potentially incurable disease.

Abusive, long-term drinking not only can lead to acute liver damage, but it can also result in damage to the heart and to the brain. Physical damage this severe may be irrepairable and may, in turn, lead to severe disease or premature death.

The Importance of Alcohol Treatment

It is imperative, then, to know how to recognize the different alcoholism signs and symptoms so that the alcohol dependent individual can be given the opportunity to seek the quality alcohol counseling he or she needs.

Alcohol Dependency and Sophisticated Brain Research

Fortuitously, scientific investigation is continuously uncovering new and important information. Recent alcoholism research supplies a good illustration. Stated another way, for approximately the past ten years, complex brain-imaging scanning instruments have confirmed that repetitive and long lasting hazardous drinking alters the structure of the brain to a significant extent, as a consequence resulting in brain disease that can last months, years, or maybe as long as the person exists.

More correctly, medical investigation has revealed that individuals who have been drinking excessively for a considerable length of time increase their risk for developing permanent and serious transformations in the brain.

This type of damage may be directly related to the alcohol’s effects on the brain, to severe liver disease, or might be indirectly associated with the drinker’s poor overall health.

Hazardous Drinking, Malnutrition, and Mental Disorders

As a final example of different health problems that are considerably related to alcohol addiction, take into consideration the fact that in accordance with scientific research, the hazardous and repeated abuse of alcohol can result in erosive gastritis, a condition that lessens the absorption of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

This kind of organ malfunctioning is correlated with malnutrition and to a variety of critical mental and neurological syndromes including sleep disturbances, memory loss, and psychosis such as Wernicke’s Encephalopathy and Korsakoff’s syndrome. This latter health problem is a long lasting incapacitating medical condition that is exemplified by continual learning and memory problems.


It is apparent that repetitive, hazardous drinking is directly or indirectly associated with a variety of dangerous medical conditions that can and do result in dangerous illness and premature death. Such information needs to be highlighted and presented to everyone in our society so that a massive amount of individuals will be able to abstain from irresponsible drinking while others who have a drinking problem will get the professional therapy they need.

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