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The Effects of Long-Term Alcohol Abuse

a man and his family suffer from the long-term effects of alcohol abuse

Alcohol is one of the most prevalent and addictive substances consumed in the United States. Its effects can initially be subtle but build in the body over time. Due to its prevalence, it is easy to dismiss alcohol as relatively harmless. Unfortunately, this can lead to many harmful consequences, including addiction. Alcohol rehab can help. Finding alcohol rehab in Asheville, North Carolina, has never been easier.

Discover recovery at Insight Recovery in Asheville. Our compassionate, experienced team is here to help you combat the harmful effects of long-term alcohol use with evidence-based treatments and a supportive, sober community. If you or a loved one suffers from alcohol addiction, reach out to our friendly team at 828.826.1376 for more information about our alcohol rehab in Asheville, NC.

What Are the Effects of Long-term Alcohol Abuse?

Long-term alcohol use can impact the body and psyche in many ways. However, it is not necessary to suffer from addiction or an alcohol use disorder to experience the harmful effects of alcohol on the body. For example, a single instance of heavy drinking can lead to increased blood pressure.

Excessive drinking constitutes more than four drinks at a time for women and more than five drinks at a time for me. It also includes the consumption of more than eight drinks per week for women and more than fifteen drinks per week for men.

Using alcohol excessively and over a long period of time causes many changes in the body and the social fabric of our lives. Long-term alcohol abuse can lead to:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Injuries
  • Suicide
  • Homicide
  • Sexual assault
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Miscarriage, stillbirth, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) in infants
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Stroke
  • Jaundice
  • Fluid retention in the abdomen
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Intestinal bleeding
  • Digestive issues
  • Weakened immune system
  • Learning and memory problems
  • Dementia
  • Mental health issues including depression and anxiety
  • Social struggles including family issues, money problems, and job-related issues
  • Alcohol dependence or addiction

While many of these consequences are severe and sometimes devastating, the negative effects of alcohol abuse can be mitigated and often even reversed with effective alcohol addiction treatment.

Treating Alcohol Use Disorder

Although the consequences of alcohol abuse can be severe, addiction is a treatable illness, and effective treatment can heal many of the adverse effects of alcohol abuse. The first step to treating an alcohol use disorder is detox.

When a person detoxes from alcohol, they may experience withdrawals, cravings, and other unpleasant effects while their system is ridding itself of this poison. Medically-assisted detox can help ease this process and the transition into the longer recovery program.

The most effective treatment for alcohol use disorder is sobriety. An effective addiction treatment program can create a solid foundation and provide community support, tools, and processes for transitioning into a new, sober lifestyle.

Treating alcohol use disorder may include inpatient and outpatient programs, 12-step or other peer support groups, individualized counseling, group counseling, and family therapy.

Reach Out to Insight to Discover Your Recovery

At Insight Recovery, our compassionate, multidisciplinary team has extensive experience treating alcohol use disorders. We’re passionate about helping you discover your unique path to recovery. We value quality over quantity, and our founding clinicians created the recovery center that they most needed. Our founding clinicians see clients in Asheville daily. Our focus is on healing the whole person, mind, body, and spirit, and we’re utterly dedicated to this mission. At Insight, you’ll find a sober, supportive community of experienced professionals dedicated to helping you recover your best and healthiest self through evidence-based, holistic methods.

Located in Asheville, NC, we offer partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient services, and a wealth of additional recovery resources in a clean and comfortable environment. Reach out to us at 828.826.1376 to discover recovery.