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How does alcohol affect the body?

Brain: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways and appearance. These changes disrupt behavior and make it harder to think clearly or move with coordination.

Heart: Drinking over time or too much on a single occasion can cause stretching of heart muscle (cardiomyopathy), irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), stroke, or dangerously high blood pressure.

Liver: Alcohol makes the liver fatty and inflamed. Over time, this can be reversed if drinking is stopped. However, if it continues, the liver may scar (cirrhosis). Scarring is irreversible and can ultimately result in the need for a liver transplant.

Immune System: Alcohol can weaken your immune system and make it harder to fight off disease. This makes you an easier target for dangerous diseases such as pneumonia and tuberculosis.

Cancers: Alcohol abuse can result in cancers of many organs, including: the mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, and breast.

These medical concerns alongside the terror of social consequences such as drinking and driving should motivate you to avoid heavy drinking in the near future. If you or someone you love may be abusing alcohol, seek immediate help. In case of any life threatening emergency, remember to call 9-1-1.