Immediate Health Risks:
Excessive alcohol consumption has effects that increase the risk of harmful health conditions, such as unintentional injuries, falls, drowning, and burns; violence, including spousal/partner and child; risky sexual behaviors, such as unprotected sex, increased risk of sexual assault and/or sex with multiple partners, all of which can result in unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.
Consuming alcohol during pregnancy can result in stillbirth or miscarriage, as well as a combination of physical and mental birth defects that will last a child’s lifetime.
Another consideration to alcohol abuse is alcohol poisoning, a medical emergency that results from high alcohol levels that suppress the central nervous system. Alcohol poisoning can result in loss of consciousness, low blood and body temperatures, coma, and respiratory depression.
Long-Term Health Risks:
Excessive alcohol use over time can lead to chronic diseases, neurological impairments, and social problems, such as dementia, stroke, cardiomyopathy, hypertension, depression, anxiety, suicide, unemployment, family problems, cancer (mouth, throat, liver, esophagus, liver and colon), liver diseases (alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, hepatitis C), pancreatitis, and gastritis. Additionally, excessive drinking may result in memory loss and shrinkage of the brain. Research suggests that women are more vulnerable than men to the brain damaging effects of excessive alcohol use, and the damage tends to appear with shorter periods of excessive drinking for women than for men.