Health Risks of Chronic Alcohol Use

Genetic factors often determine how your body responds to chronic alcohol use, but many scientists, doctors, and health professionals agree that heavy drinking for long periods of time is incredibly damaging for your health no matter who you are or what your genetics say. Consider these health risks of chronic alcohol use.

Mental Health

Excessive and prolonged alcohol use can contribute to poor mental health. Drinking has been linked to depression and dementia. Alcohol is detrimental to your ability to think clearly, and excessive use damages one of the most important organs in your body—your brain. It is harder to function when your brain is constantly under the influence of alcohol, and chronic exposure to this toxin can cause a breakdown of tissues and severe mental health problems.

Liver Disease

Your liver is what metabolizes alcohol in your body. Too much can overload the liver and cause problems like fatty liver or long-term inflammation that can cause hepatitis. Such extensive and prolonged damage can cause, ultimately, scarring of the liver and eventual failure.


When excessive drinking begins at a young age, it can negatively impact bone development causing severe problems and risks later in life. Even if heavy drinking begins later in life, excessive alcohol use impedes a balance of Vitamin D and calcium in the body, putting individuals at high risk for low bone mass. This can result in easier fractures and slower healing in adulthood and old age.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is one of the most common repercussions of chronic drinking. Excessive alcohol consumption causes blood vessels to be constricted, which contributes to high blood pressure. This automatically puts a body at higher risk for heart attack and stroke, and therefore heart failure. Chronic alcohol use puts a very heavy strain on the heart and binge drinking can often prove fatal.


It is perhaps a lesser known but equally disturbing fact that excessive drinking can result in a higher risk for various cancers. Alcohol can cause damage to cells in the mouth, throat, and esophagus—and it makes it easier for cancers of the liver and intestines to form.

Alcohol Abuse Isn’t Worth It

Mental health, liver disease, heart disease, osteoporosis and cancers are just a few of the health risks a person takes on when drinking. In addition to hurting your body, your drinking can also damage your social relationships and other aspects of your life as well. Stopping drinking can help to prevent further damage.

Consider A Sober Living Environment

If you are struggling to stay clean and sober, a sober living environment may be right for you. The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation offers men’s sober living residences in the beautiful coastal region of Charleston, SC.

Contact us today. We would love to talk to you about how we can help.