Long Term Effects of Alcoholism on the Body

How Long Term Alcohol Abuse Affects Various Organs in the Body

Alcohol is an unusual drug in many different ways, from its legality and widespread social acceptance to the insidious and often silent ways its physical dependency occurs. By the time many people realize they are dependent on alcohol, the physical nature of the addiction can make it difficult or even impossible for them to stop drinking independently.

Worse yet, alcohol takes a progressive toll on the body, with just about every organ system impacted in one way or another. And the longer the alcoholism or alcohol abuse continues, the worse the damage will be. Here are some of the long-term effects of alcoholism and the extreme impact drinking will have on your body until you get the help you need.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today at 877.969.1993 to learn how we can help. 


The effects of alcoholism and excessive drinking on the brain have been well documented, but many people do not understand just how significant the damage can be or how early in the process it can start. The fact is that alcohol is toxic to brain cells, and every drink kills off some of those irreplaceable neurons. If you are worried about someone’s drinking, pointing out the impact of drinking on the brain can be an excellent way to start the conversation.

Alcohol also interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and in some cases, its continued use can lead to irreversible brain damage. That is why alcohol is often associated with mental disorders, including depression, bipolar, and anxiety. If you want to protect your brain from the long-term effects of alcoholism, the best way entails stopping drinking immediately.


Alcohol also has a toxic impact on the liver, a vital organ susceptible to a wide variety of illnesses and chronic conditions. The long-term use of alcohol can vastly increase the chances of cirrhosis and fatty liver disease, but it can also raise liver cancer risk.

Liver damage is one of the most common consequences of heavy drinking, but the impact can be slow and gradual. The best way to avoid this long-term liver damage is to seek help with your alcoholism right away before the damage becomes irreversible.


In addition to its toxic effects on the liver, the long-term use of alcohol also can damage the pancreas, including significantly increasing the risk of pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest forms of cancer. Even worse, much of this damage happens silently, and many alcoholics do not know how badly they have been affected until the various diseases have progressed.


Alcohol is a dangerous toxin, able to infiltrate every part of the body. As the body’s filter, the kidneys take the brunt of this extreme toxicity, doing their best to filter out the dangers and keep the rest of the body protected.

As a result, kidney damage is typical among problem drinkers and long-term alcoholics. Direct kidney damage is often a consequence of long-term drinking, but alcoholism also increases the risk of kidney cancer and other life-threatening conditions.


Many alcoholics understand the brain damage and liver risks they are taking, but they may be surprised to learn that alcohol also damages the heart. In fact, alcohol use is closely associated with an increased risk of heart disease, including heart attacks, heart failure, and other life-threatening conditions.

When you drink, the contaminated blood is sent to your heart, and that contamination can have long-term consequences on the entire heart and vascular system. If you want to avoid the worst aspects of alcohol use, it is essential to seek treatment right away.


Even when used in moderation, alcohol can have a disruptive impact on the stomach and digestive system, causing the stomach to produce more acid than it otherwise would. This results in things like acid reflux and painful inflammation of the stomach lining.

If you have been experiencing unexplained stomach upset and drinking to excess, chances are your alcohol use is to blame. If you are ready to do an experiment and stop drinking, we encourage you to reach out to the staff at WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today.

Treatment for Alcohol Addiction at WhiteSands

As you can see, alcohol is a dangerous drug that can take a heavy toll on the people who use it excessively. One of the worst aspects of alcohol use and its damage is the progressive nature of the illness. Over time the heart problems, kidney damage, and loss of brain cells will continue to worsen, and the only way to break the cycle and repair the damage is to stop drinking as soon as possible.

If you are ready to get help with your alcoholism and break the cycle of bodily damage, we encourage you to pick up the phone today and or visit any of the numerous locations WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab has to offer.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

Jackie has been involved in the substance abuse and addiction treatment sector for over five years and this is something that she is truly eager about. She has a passion for writing and continuously works to create informative pieces that not only educate and inform the public about the disease of addiction but also provide solutions for those who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.