Alcohol use has varied effects on our bodies and chronic drinking can pose major health risks.
Brain and Nervous System
Alcohol affects the brain and the nervous system by slowing down the drinker's reactions and making them feel tranquilized and relaxed. Alcohol dulls the brain. When someone takes alcohol, their inhibitions are lowered making them more aggressive and hostile. When taken in higher dosage, alcohol can cause mental block out, impairing the person's concentration and ability to judge situations properly. This will also create distorted coordination and emotional reactions.
The liver is one of the primary targets of chronic alcohol use. Alcoholic hepatitis results when the liver cells are damaged due to recent heavy drinking. On the other hand, liver cirrhosis is a result of long-term excessive alcohol use wherein large areas of the liver are destroyed or scarred. Damage to the liver may become extremely serious and life-threatening.
The blood vessels found on the skin surface usually widen as a result of alcohol intake because of the alcohol's vasodilator properties. This is the reason why the skin of heavy drinkers appears flushed. Chronic alcohol abuse results in the inability of the blood vessels to shrink back to normal giving the person a permanent reddish look.
Cardiomyopathy is a major health risk heavy alcohol users are likely to suffer. Long-term alcohol use creates damage and weakens the heart's muscular tissue resulting in heart failure. Anemia and bleeding disorders can also result from chronic alcohol abuse.
Peptic ulcer disease is likely to develop in heavy drinkers. Alcohol can irritate the stomach lining and prolonged use can cause chronic stomach problems including peptic ulcers.
Alcohol has taken and affected so many lives. This is one of the major causes of traffic fatalities in the U.S.
When a person's coordination and judgment are impaired by alcohol, their capacity to drive a motor vehicle is lessened as well. Often, a person under the influence of alcohol believes that they still have the capacity to drive and this sometimes results in vehicular accidents that are fatal.
Other types of accidents resulting from the participants being alcohol-intoxicated may be fires resulting in injuries and loss of lives, boating accidents, water sports, and snowmobiling.
A man's ability to procreate is usually affected by alcohol use. The nerves that control erection and ejaculation are dulled by alcohol resulting in impotence. In women, on the other hand, chronic alcohol use results in a loss of sexual appetite.
Furthermore, alcohol intake during pregnancy can prove harmful and may result in fetal alcohol syndrome. Other ill effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy are low birth weight, slow development, and learning problems.