There is no doubt that alcoholics who don't stop drinking are more likely to die early. This frightening fact is supported by sound medical research conducted over a number of years worldwide.
Several studies indicate that heavy drinkers who don't stop die approximately 20 years sooner than non-drinkers. This means that average age of death for alcoholic men and women is around sixty years. People who drink heavily at an early age have a greater risk of developing serious complications later in life. Chronic alcoholism affects the health negatively in so many ways that it is difficult to count.
Alcoholism is associated with debilitating diseases and chronic illnesses:
- People who consume more than five alcoholic drinks per day are more likely to develop cirrhosis a progressive and potentially fatal liver disease.
- Alcoholics have a higher chance of developing Hepatitis B and C than the general population. This is primarily because the lifestyle of people who drink heavily places them at higher risk of contracting the diseases.
- Heavy drinking can cause pancreatitis ndash a chronic inflammation of the pancreas.
- Heart disease is a leading cause of early death for chronic alcoholics.
- Heavy drinking makes people more likely to develop lung problems including severe pneumonia.
- Alcoholics may experience neurologic problems such as headache and chronic insomnia. The severity of the problem depends on the severity and length of the abuse.
- People who drink heavily tend to have more stomach problems including ulcers. This is partially due to violent vomiting which can damage the esophagus and stomach.
- Chronic alcoholism can affect mental function causing problems with problem solving judgment and short-term memory. Similarly alcoholics have a higher risk of stroke and brain diseases such as some forms of Dementia.
- Alcoholics are also subject to blackouts convulsions and severe withdrawal known as delirium tremens a potentially life-threatening condition that may cause severe anxiety trembling hallucinations and often deadly seizures.
Alcoholics are often deficient in important vitamins and minerals:
- Chronic alcoholics may be deficient in critical vitamins and minerals even if they adhere to good diets. One of the most serious consequences is Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome which can occur when alcoholics lack Vitamin B1 People affected by this syndrome may be troubled by confusion balance and memory problems. Eventually this serious condition may lead to irreversible brain damage and care-dependency.
- People who drink heavily may also be deficient in a Folate also a Vitamin B. Deficiencies may lead to severe anemia0 Babies born to Folate-deficient women may have serious birth defects
Heavy use of alcohol often leads to violence and accidents:
- At least half of all automobile fatalities are related to use of alcohol. The rate of death is higher for young people.
- Studies indicate that alcohol is involved in approximately 25 percent of suicides. When it comes to murder alcohol is involved more than half of the time.
- Alcoholic households tend to be more violent than the general population. This includes violence towards women children and pets.
It is important to remember that alcoholism is a chronic illness – not a sign of weakness or lack of character. Recovery after years of heavy drinking might seem impossible but skilled addictions professionals can help you achieve sobriety and improved health in various alcohol addiction treatment programs. If you have failed in the past don’t give up. Much of the damage can be repaired further harm can be prevented and life can be turned around for the better.