It’s no revelation that alcohol is a culprit in thousands of deaths each year. In addition to alcohol-induced violence and accidents, drunk driving crashes, and alcohol poisoning, problem drinking causes fatal liver disease. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol causes 88,000 deaths per year in the U.S., and 25,000 of those deaths are attributable to chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, both side effects of heavy, long-term drinking.
The liver is one of the biggest and most important organs in the body. It filters toxins and other waste from the blood, breaks down food and converts it into energy, and aids in digestion and overall gut health. Drinking too much can cause liver disease and jeopardize this critical organ. Before lifelong scarring occurs, problem drinkers should find an addiction recovery center to help them quit drinking.
How does alcohol cause liver disease? Experts believe that when a liver tries to break down alcohol, the process causes stress and damage in the liver’s cells, leading to scarring and inflammation. Overall, drinking more alcohol than the liver is able to process will damage liver cells and lead to harm. Without treatment in an addiction treatment center, heavy drinkers are in serious danger of permanently damaging their liver and causing lifelong health problems.
The three main types of liver disease caused by alcohol are fatty liver disease, hepatitis, and cirrhosis. Fatty liver disease occurs when heavy drinking causes the liver to store excess fat in its cells. It’s the first step toward more permanent damage, but is reversible if the drinker abstains from drinking and achieves more moderate consumption. However, most people with fatty liver don’t realize they have it, and are less likely to seek out an addiction recovery facility to detox from alcohol.
Hepatitis occurs when the liver becomes inflamed. Side effects include nausea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and fever. According to the American Liver Foundation, up to 35% of problem drinkers have hepatitis. Depending on whether the hepatitis is mild or severe, the effects may be reversible, but in severe cases people may experience liver failure and even death.
Cirrhosis is the most dangerous and advanced form of liver disease, and occurs when scar tissue replaces and overruns healthy tissue. The American Liver Foundation estimates that between 10 and 20% of alcoholics have cirrhosis. Unfortunately, cirrhosis is non-reversible. However, abstinence from alcohol may mitigate the symptoms of cirrhosis and ward against additional harm. If possible, alcoholics should find a drug rehab program to help them detox and stay sober.
If you or a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, please call or email our caring representatives, and we’ll help you find a luxury drug rehab program to fit your needs. Our professional and experienced staff will treat clients with dual diagnosis and shepherd each client through a monitored, safe detox process. Clients will attend one-on-one and group meetings, become a part of a welcoming and supportive community, and walk away with practical skills for fighting relapse and upholding sobriety. Please contact us today at Intervention Drug Rehab Assocation to establish a firm foundation for lifelong recovery, healing, and hope.