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The Effects of Alcohol on the Body

The Effects of Alcohol on the Body

Waking up with a hangover is far too familiar for many. Pounding headaches, blurry vision, and oftentimes, serious regret. A 2019 survey by the NSDUH reported that 85.6 percent of individuals age 18 and over have consumed alcohol at some point in their lifetime. Although hangovers only last a day or two, the effects of alcohol on the body can be more detrimental than we understand. 

Aside from the common headaches and nausea, alcohol can affect different parts of the body, including:

The scary reality is, even moderate alcohol consumption can cause a variety of detrimental physical ailments. Continue reading to learn about the different effects of alcohol on the body.

The Brain

Alcohol interferes with both the communication pathways, as well as the cognition of the brain. Thus, causing clumsiness, mental fog, slurred speech, and slow reaction time. Moderate or severe alcohol consumption affects the hippocampus, leading to difficulty retaining information and recalling old information. These issues lead you down a road of self-sabotage. For example, causing you to flunk out of school, quit or get fired from your job, and ruin friendships. 

Because alcohol consumption causes mental fog and slow reaction time, many injuries and accidents occur when under the influence. Drunk driving cause over 10,000 deaths a year and 800 in Florida alone in 2021.

The Heart

One of the leading factors of heart disease is alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption, whether long-term or occasional, can damage the muscle of the heart beyond repair. Some of the risks associated with alcohol consumption include:

The Liver

The liver helps cleanse the body of toxins and infections, as well as plays a crucial role in the digestion process. When damaged, the liver has the capability to heal itself and regenerate over time. Alcohol can cause permanent damage to the liver, not allowing the damage to be reversed. Some of the potential problems caused by alcohol consumption include: 

  • Steatosis, or fatty liver disease 
  • Alcohol hepatitis
  • Fibrosis
  • Cirrhosis 

Someone living with cirrhosis who continues to drink has less than a 50% chance of living more than five years after being diagnosed. Unfortunately, liver damage caused by drinking does not show any symptoms until it’s too late.


Alcohol consumption can also lead to different cancers. These include head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer. Alcohol damages the immune system which causes the body to be less prepared to fight off infections.   

Get Help Today

If you are struggling with an addiction, whether to alcohol or other substances, there is hope. Harm Reduction Center is a private health care facility located in South Florida that offers all levels of outpatient treatment. We understand the effects of alcohol on the body and are prepared to help you pave your path through treatment. Contact us today for more information!