top of page

Effects of Alcohol Addiction on Health

heart health and effects of alcoholism.

You won’t necessarily feel alcohol’s impact on your body right away, but it starts from the moment you take your first sip. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, which means it slows functions involved with the body and mind.

Because effects like lowered inhibitions, trouble concentrating or a wine headache don’t last long, you might not worry about them. But alcohol use can begin to take a toll on anyone’s physical and mental well-being over time. Drinking too much can take a serious toll on your health.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), here’s how alcohol can affect your body:

Brain Health

Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These disruptions can:

  • Change mood and behavior

  • Make it harder to think clearly

  • Make it harder to move with coordination

Heart Health

Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including:

  • Cardiomyopathy - stretching and drooping of heart muscle

  • Arrhythmias -iIrregular heart beat

  • Stroke

  • High blood pressure

Liver Health

Heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver, and can lead to a variety of problems and liver inflammations including:

  • Steatosis, or fatty liver

  • Alcoholic hepatitis

  • Fibrosis

  • Cirrhosis

Pancreas Health

Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.


According to the National Cancer Institute there is a strong scientific consensus that alcohol drinking can cause several types of cancer. Based on data from 2009, an estimated 3.5% of cancer deaths in the United States (about 19,500 deaths) were alcohol related.

  • Head and neck cancer, including oral cavity, pharynx, and larynx cancers

  • Esophageal cancer

  • Liver cancer

  • Breast cancer

  • Colorectal cancer

Immune System Health

Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for disease. Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections – even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.

Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who do not drink much.

Getting Help For Addiction

If you or somebody in your life seems to have an issue with alcohol or drugs, or is suffering from addiction, professional help may be the best option for recovery.

At Care Addiction Center, we offer treatment plans that address every facet of your addiction, serving individuals in Geneva, Batavia, Sycamore, St. Charles, and Kane County, with online addiction treatment available anywhere in Illinois. 

To get started on the road to recovery, or if you have questions about helping yourself or a loved one, call us today or schedule a confidential assessment online and begin treatment.


Die Kommentarfunktion wurde abgeschaltet.
bottom of page