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Side Effects of Alcoholism

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Steve was an executive for a successful company. He had always turned toward alcohol to get out of dealing with his emotions. Then, his wife divorced him. She had told him that it was either her or alcohol. Still, he couldn’t stop. He was consuming more and more alcohol than he initially would drink when he was married. And the side effects of alcoholism, such as nausea and depression, were starting to take hold of his life. He knew he needed help but didn’t know how to get it.

Steve isn’t the only one who has felt this way. In 2019, 2,079,000 Californians have been diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder. But despite alcohol use disorder being a shared condition, people experience it differently and need individualized treatment tailored specifically to them. Pacific Sands is a 15-client maximum facility, allowing us to focus on you and your treatment, which is not always the case with larger facilities. 

Steve experienced unique side effects, and everyone has their own story. What other side effects of alcoholism could someone experience? 

Short-Term Alcohol Side Effects You May Not Know About

Drinking alcohol during one night might result in several short-term side effects. Many people are probably aware of a hangover, which results in symptoms following excessive alcohol intake. Those symptoms can include headaches, poor concentration, increased sensitivity to light, and a feeling that the room is spinning. However, a few other short-term effects can come from a night of drinking. These include:

  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Risky or violent behavior
  • Interpersonal conflict
  • Irritation of the stomach lining
  • Drop in blood sugar
  • Dehydration 
Side Effects of Alcoholism

Long-Term Alcohol Use: How it Affects the Body

Alcohol has several effects on the body, brain, and mental health. These effects happen over time and with excessive and repeated use of alcohol.

Alcohol and the Central Nervous System  

Alcohol impacts how your brain communicates with the rest of your body. This increases your chances of experiencing injuries or other negative consequences because alcohol makes it harder for your brain to control balance, speech, judgment, and memory. Alcohol can also create blackouts or gaps in a person’s memory associated with alcohol use. These gaps can affect either short-term or long-term storage. Alcohol use can also create motor coordination issues and sleepiness.

Other Ways Alcohol Affects the Body

The brain is not the only area that can be impacted by alcohol use. One of those areas is the stomach. Sometimes, alcohol can affect the stomach because it can rob the body of vital vitamins, damage the stomach lining, and cause ulcers. It can also weaken the heart, causing the heart not to be able to function correctly. In extreme cases, this can lead to shortness of breath, fatigue, and heart failure. It can also cause the heart to beat irregularly. It is known to cause several cancers, including pancreatic and liver cancer. Speaking of the liver, it can also cause liver failure. 

Alcohol Use and Mental Health

Alcohol use can exist alongside other disorders, such as depression and anxiety. If depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) exist first, you might have a higher chance of developing an alcohol use disorder. It is also possible that using alcohol long-term can create new or worsening mental health conditions. Alcohol use can also result in regular feelings of worry, sadness, dysphoria, and irritability.

Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning is a medical emergency and requires 911 to be called to save the person’s life. It occurs when you consume more alcohol than your body can handle. This causes the brain to begin to shut down life-support functions. Some symptoms that occur when someone is experiencing alcohol poisoning include:

  • Seizures
  • Trouble breathing
  • Clammy skin
  • Dulled responses
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Slow heart rate
  • Low body temperature
Side Effects of Alcoholism

Get Help For Your Alcohol Use Disorder Today!

Alcohol addiction treatment can be both terrifying and liberating. Recovery from alcohol is possible. While many side effects of alcoholism withdrawal are not usually life-threatening, complications can occur. This is why involving a medical professional in your recovery journey is necessary. 

Alcohol Detox

An alcohol detox provides a safe and comfortable space to receive care as you withdraw. Withdrawal is your body’s way of removing alcohol from your body, and it’s a necessary beginning to a life in recovery. In detox, medical professionals will monitor you to help you through any complications you might experience from withdrawal. 

Inpatient Treatment 

After detox or withdrawal management, you will have the option of attending an inpatient program to help you learn skills and techniques typically found in cognitive behavioral therapy  (CBT). You can connect with peers and learn how to achieve your recovery goals. Treatment in an inpatient program typically lasts 30 days to 12 months, depending on your needs. 

If you are ready to start your recovery journey, Pacific Sands helps you take the first step towards a new life in Santa Ana, CA. We can highlight the strengths that you have and help you overcome any barriers, both physical and mental. For more information about our facility or alcohol use disorder treatment, call us today at 949-426-7962.

FAQs About Alcohol Side Effects

What are the side effects of being an alcoholic?

Several side effects are associated with alcohol use disorder. These side effects include impaired balance, liver disease, depression, memory gaps, and interpersonal conflict.

What happens to your body when you drink alcohol every day?

If you drink alcohol every day, it can lead to things such as heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and liver disease.


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