Alcohol Health Risks

Alcohol is widely consumed, but the health risks associated with it are often overlooked. Most people know that drinking too much will lead to serious health problems such as liver damage, but there are other lesser-known health issues that can occur even in moderate and occasional drinkers. Let’s take a closer look at some of the health risks associated with consuming alcohol.

man lies on table drunk being watched by young child

Image by Laura M from Pixabay

Short-Term Side Effects of Excessive Drinking

The short-term side effects of excessive drinking include impaired judgement, poor coordination, and slurred speech. These symptoms are caused by the depressant effects of alcohol on the body. When someone drinks too much alcohol at once, they cannot think clearly or move around easily. This can lead to dangerous situations, such as accidents or injury, due to impaired coordination or decision-making.

Bad Breath & Liver Damage

In addition to the short-term risks associated with excessive drinking, there are also long-term health risks that come with heavy drinking. One of these is bad breath caused by acetaldehyde—a toxic by-product of alcohol metabolism—which accumulates in the body after prolonged alcohol consumption. Another major long-term risk is liver damage from cirrhosis—scarring of the liver tissue caused by inflammation due to alcohol consumption over time. Long-term heavy drinkers are also at increased risk for cancer in various parts of the body due to their weakened immune systems from excessive drinking.

Heart Disease & Depression

Excessive drinkers may also suffer from heart disease because of elevated triglyceride levels and an increased risk for hypertension (high blood pressure). Not only that but excessive drinking has been linked to depression since it affects both brain chemistry and mental health. It’s important to note that while moderate amounts of alcohol can have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, those benefits disappear when a person consumes more than two drinks per day for men or one drink per day for women.

Heart Risks

Excessive alcohol consumption can also increase your risk for heart disease by raising blood pressure levels, increasing bad cholesterol levels, and causing abnormal heart rhythms. It can also lead to stroke due to increased clotting factors in the blood caused by alcohol consumption. Long-term use has been linked to an increased incidence of cardiomyopathy (stiffening of the heart muscle), which can cause heart failure if left untreated.                                                          

Gastrointestinal Issues             

Alcohol use has been linked to a higher incidence of stomach ulcers, inflammation in the stomach lining, pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), and oesophageal cancer due to chronic irritation caused by acidic beverages such as wine or hard liquor mixed drinks. People who consume large amounts of alcohol are also at an increased risk for developing gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining) which can cause severe abdominal pain and vomiting if not treated promptly. 

Alcohol Addiction & Abuse

Heavy drinking is defined as consuming more than 8 drinks for women or 15 drinks for men per week on a regular basis—but it’s important to remember that everyone’s body processes alcohol differently, and even small amounts can be dangerous for some people. If you find yourself unable to control your drinking habits or feel like you need a drink in order to cope with stressors or daily life activities, then it’s possible that you may have an addiction or abuse problem with alcohol and should seek professional help immediately.                                           


While moderate drinking may not carry as many long-term risks as heavy drinking, there are still potential short-term side effects that should be considered before consuming alcohol. It is important to remember that everyone responds differently to different levels of consumption; some people may experience more severe symptoms than others, so it is best practice to always drink responsibly and never exceed recommended guidelines for safe consumption levels set forth by your doctor or healthcare provider. By understanding all potential risks associated with overconsumption, you can make informed decisions about your own individual tolerance level for alcohol consumption going forward.

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