What Are The Short And Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse?

When trying to understand the short and long term effects of alchol abuse you’ll first need to know the effects of alcohol can vary from person to person, there is no denying that alcohol abuse can lead to some very serious and potentially life-threatening symptoms. Some people can limit their drinking, but for others, drinking can quickly turn into an addiction thus making it extremely difficult for them to control the amount of alcohol that they consume.

It is important to note that the effects of alcohol can be greatly influenced by the amount of alcohol that is consumed, how long the alcohol abuse has been happening, the medical history of the individual, and other underlying health issues that the person may have.


The Retreat of Atlanta drug and alcohol detox facility offers Alcohol Addiction Treatment for those individuals who struggle with alcohol abuse. While individuals stay at the Medical Detox offered at the Retreat of Atlanta, they will experience a serene and restful detox process under the care of our medical and nursing staff.


In this article, we are going to discuss the short-term and long-term effects of alcohol abuse and how it can have a significant impact on the body. We will also look at the signs and symptoms of both short-term and long-term alcohol abuse.

The Short-Term Effects of Alcohol

Even though a person may not be consuming alcohol regularly they can still experience the short-term effects of alcohol. These effects can alter the mind and the body and sometimes cause severe short-term symptoms.


This does, however, vary on the person’s age, weight, gender, and general liver function. In many cases even consuming one drink can lead to intoxication and raise a person’s blood alcohol content.


Fortunately, the effects of short-term alcohol abuse can be relatively mild but may sometimes lead to more severe symptoms.


The short-term effects of alcohol can include the following:

Go to to learn more about binge drinking and the effect that it can have on the human body.

The Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse on the Body

Long-term alcohol consumption can lead to many chronic physical and mental health issues. Sadly, chronic alcohol abuse can even result in damage to the vital organs such as the liver, heart, and pancreas and has been known to cause multiple types of cancer.


Alcohol that is consumed in large and continuous amounts is associated with numerous health problems including:

At The Retreat of Atlanta, we know all the different ways that detoxing from drugs and alcohol can affect you.  Therefore, our trained addiction treatment center technicians work with the individual to achieve a solid foundation for that individual’s sobriety. Many of the uncomfortable physical feelings that happen during detox are from drugs and alcohol. These can include the physical, social, emotional, and spiritual. are intimate and our drug and alcohol detox staff is trained to cater to every individual’s unique needs.


Chronic alcohol abuse is associated with many serious health problems and can affect the body in a multitude of ways. Below is a breakdown of how chronic drinking can affect the various parts of the body making it difficult for the body to run as it should under normal circumstances.

The Digestive System

Alcohol can wear down the lining of the stomach cause it to produce an abnormal amount of stomach acid. This can significantly contribute to ulcers and other serious stomach problems.


Chronic alcohol use affects the nutrient breakdown, absorption, storage, transportation, and excretion of waste materials. This can lead to a severe nutrient deficiency in the body as well as impaired blood sugar control.

The Pancreas

The abuse of alcohol can cause the pancreas to create harmful substances in the body. When this happens, it can lead to a condition called pancreatitis which is the inflammation of the pancreas. This can significantly impair digestion.

The Central Nervous System

Chronic heavy drinking leads to a Thiamine and vitamin B1 deficiency in the body which can lead to a syndrome called Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome.


Symptoms of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome can include:

Liver disease caused by excessive alcohol consumption can also harm the brain and result in symptoms such as:

Cardiovascular Health

The overconsumption of alcohol causes a disastrous effect on cardiovascular health and can be linked to high blood pressure, trouble pumping blood through the body, irregular heartbeat, stroke, blood clots, and heart attack.

The Liver

One of the most severe complications of chronic alcohol abuse is liver disease. Over time consistent alcohol abuse causes the liver to become inflamed and scarred. This is when conditions such as fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis may start to develop. There is also a chance that a person may develop liver cancer.

The Bones

Calcium is an important nutrient that is used to maintain healthy bones. Consuming too much alcohol can also cause a disruption of the production of Vitamin D in the body which is needed to absorb calcium.

A lack of calcium in the body can cause osteoporosis which can lead to an increased chance of bone fractures.

Reproductive Health

Alcohol consumed regularly and in large amounts can have a devastating impact on the reproductive system. These can include:

The Psychological Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol depresses the Central Nervous System and can have several inconsistent effects on the human brain and even cause changes in the functioning of the brain. Central Nervous System functions such as breathing, speech, thought, memory, and movement can be significantly impacted by consuming too much alcohol.


The mental effects of alcohol can include decreased inhibition, impaired judgment, slower reaction times, loss of consciousness, and mood changes. Even temporary use of alcohol in excess can lead to the following symptoms:

Fortunately, these disorders are often temporary and usually occur after sporadic alcohol intoxication or withdrawal. Alcohol abuse can be linked to several other mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. These disorders could have developed separately from alcohol use or have been made worse by extreme alcohol abuse.


The Retreat of Atlanta has an Individual Therapy Program as well as a Group Therapy Program that will teach alcohol-addicted individuals how to identify triggers, cope with cravings, develop a relapse prevention plan, and understand the underlying conditions behind their addiction to alcohol.


Once an individual can understand the contributing factors behind their alcohol abuse, they will be able to take steps to prevent relapse and maintain long-term sobriety. The alcohol detox offered at the Retreat of Atlanta gives individuals the resources needed to enable individuals to achieve a full recovery from alcohol abuse

How to Recognize Alcohol Poisoning

Binge drinking is extremely dangerous and can lead to extreme physical harm and alcohol poisoning. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) classifies binge drinking as a drinking pattern that leads to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 g/dL and above.


Excessive drinking can quickly lead to alcohol poisoning. The signs of alcohol poisoning can include the following:

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to seek medical attention immediately as alcohol poisoning can lead to permanent brain damage and even death. Call 911 if you feel that a person is experiencing the symptoms of alcohol poisoning.


The Retreat of Atlanta is staffed 24/7 by professionals trained and experienced in alcohol detox and addiction treatment. The care team at the inpatient drug and alcohol medical detox will lessen any discomfort the alcohol-addicted individual will feel as they are weaned off their alcohol dependency.


The Retreat of Atlanta allows the individual to partake in addiction treatment programs and addiction treatment therapy. Setting you or your loved one up for success.

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