Alcoholism is a disease that can affect both children and adults, but it doesn’t affect everyone the same way. For some people, just one drink can result in intoxication, while for others, many more drinks are necessary to create the same effect. A “drink” is classified as 12 oz. of beer, 5 oz. of wine or 1.5 oz. of distilled spirits, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). In terms of the effects on the body and brain, excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of various health issues for any user.
Despite the harm associated with alcohol consumption, the effects are reversible most of the time. Identifying problematic drinking early and getting into treatment can reverse many of the mental, emotional and physical side effects of heavy drinking. However, at a certain point, the damage is too severe. For example, liver failure and cirrhosis are complications of heavy drinking that are permanent. Permanent health damage should not deter a person from seeking treatment since SUD treatment can still improve a person’s quality of life.