What Are the Long Term Health Effects of Alcohol?

Now that the new year has begun in earnest and the government’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is now fully operational, we here at Clearinghouse Navigator are committed to providing a robust eLearning resource center to help all stakeholders maintain immediate and ongoing compliance with the new requirements of 49 CFR Part 382, Subpart G.


That being said, we are also committed to providing content on our site and within our blogs that relate to the adverse impacts that drugs and alcohol can, and do, have on the lives of people in our trucking industry. Today, we are focusing on the long term health effects of alcohol and how  preventing these issues in the days, weeks, and years to come can result in a healthier and happier life. 

Alcohol’s Effect on the Human Body 

Having a glass of wine or a bottle of beer with dinner is not usually cause for alarm, but more copious amounts of drinking can have some serious and negative impacts on the human body both in the short term and over the course of a lifetime. For our purposes today, we will be examining the long term impacts. 


Over time excessive drinking can pose some serious health concerns, including: 

  • Heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and other heart-related diseases are associated with excessive alcohol intake. Chronic heavy drinking is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease. 
  • Liver diseases such as Alcoholic Liver Cirrhosis and Alcoholic hepatitis.
  • Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon.
  • Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.
  • Learning and memory problems, including dementia.
  • Digestive diseases such as ulcers and Gastritis.  
  • Social problems, including lost productivity, family problems, and unemployment.

Related Health Effects 

In addition to the negative health effects that long term and chronic use that alcohol can have on the body, there are other health effects that can also occur. Risky behaviors that could occur due to alcohol use and abuse include: 

  • Motor vehicle crashes.
  • Slips, falls, and accidental injuries.
  • Alcohol poisoning from high levels of alcohol in the bloodstream.
  • Miscarriage and stillbirth or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) among pregnant women.
  • Violence including homicide or suicide. 
  • Risky sexual behaviors, including unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners. These behaviors can result in unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

For a complete rundown on how chronic alcohol use and abuse can impact every organ and system in your body, check out the graphics on Healthline that show the cumulative effects of drinking wine, beer, or spirits can take its toll.