Alcohol & Addiction - Consequences

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Alcohol & Addiction - Consequences
Alcohol & Addiction - Consequences
Video: Alcohol & Addiction - Consequences
Video: Alcohol (Original Mix) 2023, February
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Alcohol addiction: consequences

Long-term, regular, high alcohol consumption can cause serious illness. Chronic addiction and its consequences not only affect the physical health of those affected, but also affect the psyche. Social life with close relatives, friends and work colleagues is often affected.

For example, the brain and nerves are damaged. Organs such as the liver, pancreas, the cardiovascular system and much more are also affected.

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Physical damages

Excessive and regular consumption of alcohol leads to severe damage to various body cells. In the case of alcohol dependence, the following organs and organ systems are mainly affected:

  • Liver: Chronic alcohol consumption causes the liver to become fatty (fatty liver) and thus to enlarge it. Inflammation of the liver (alcoholic hepatitis) also occurs. Harmful alcohol consumption can ultimately lead to liver cirrhosis with damage to liver tissue and loss of function. Since the liver is an important organ for metabolism, its loss of function leads to impairment of other body functions (e.g. blood clotting disorders). Cirrhosis of the liver can lead to liver failure and death. For more information, see cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Pancreas: If you are addicted to alcohol, alcohol-related pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) can also occur. Acute pancreatitis is life-threatening. However, chronic inflammation often develops. As a result of the damage to the pancreas, diabetes mellitus (diabetes) is possible.
  • Nervous system / brain: One of the most common neurological diseases associated with chronic alcohol consumption is alcoholic polyneuropathy - an inflammation of the nerves with pain and paralysis of the legs. The severe impairment of the brain can cause severe brain damage, for example brain atrophy, in which there is a loss of brain matter. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome also occurs. It is characterized by polyneuritis of the legs (disorder of the peripheral nervous system) and Korsakov's psychosis. This brain disorder manifests itself in the following symptoms, among other things: Loss of old memory, so-called confabulations (memory gaps are covered by excuses that those affected believe to be true) or deterioration in comprehension.
  • Cardiovascular system: Diseases of the heart muscle are also consequences of chronically increased alcohol consumption (such as enlargement of the heart muscle, heart failure).
  • Muscles: The muscles are impaired by regular alcohol consumption over many years. This can lead to muscle diseases.
  • Esophagus, stomach and intestines: The gastrointestinal tract as well as the oral cavity and esophagus are affected by alcohol consumption. Inflammation and ulcers can develop. Mucosal tears in the esophagus, inflammation of the gastric mucosa and / or damage to the mucous membrane of the small intestine are possible.

The risk of certain cancers (such as mouth, throat, esophagus or breast cancer) is increased with chronic alcohol consumption. Potency disorders, blood formation disorders or anemia (anemia) can also occur.

For years, high alcohol intake affects the brain. If alcohol is suddenly stopped, dysregulation and serious consequences (e.g. delirium tremens) can be expected. For more information, see Alcohol Addiction: Therapy.

Psychological consequences

The damage to the brain and nerves from long-term high alcohol consumption also affects the psyche. Various effects can be seen, for example severe mood swings, anxiety, depression and / or personality changes. Alcohol hallucinosis (acoustic and visual hallucinations due to the impaired brain function caused by alcohol) and delusions of jealousy can also occur.

Alcohol addiction not only has serious consequences for those affected, but also for their families, partners and children. They usually suffer greatly from the situation, as there is often a connection between violence and alcohol consumption. Difficulties in the workplace and accidents, for example in traffic or at home, can also occur. The social life of those affected is seriously affected. Third parties can also be affected (isolation of the family, friends turn away).

More information is available at

  • Relatives of alcoholics
  • Codependency
  • psyche

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