Death from Alcohol: The Life-Threatening Consequences of Alcoholism

What are the dangers of alcoholism?

If not treated quickly, the dangers of alcoholism include serious health issues that may result in death. Alcoholism refers to a person’s physical and psychological dependency on alcohol. It is considered a chronic disease that has a negative impact on both the physical and mental health of the user.

Alcoholism is commonly labeled as a “disease,” and affects not only the abuser but their whole family as well. Alcoholism can be very difficult for the emotional health of an alcoholic’s loved ones.

Some of the main characteristics of alcohol addiction include:

  • Tolerance to alcohol
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Inability to stop drinking
  • Relationship impairment

The Life-Threatening  Dangers of Alcoholism

What are the short-term health risks of alcoholism?

Some of the short-term issues associated with alcohol abuse may include:

  • Minor injuries
  • Violent behavior
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Risky sexual behavior
  • Miscarriage

How does death from alcoholism happen?

Death from alcoholism can occur after long-term abuse. Health risks of alcoholism can cause:

  • Stroke
  • Liver disease and liver failure
  • Cancer
  • Suicide
  • Driving accidents
  • Alcohol poisoning

Liver Disease

Liver disease is one of the leading causes of alcohol-related deaths; however, if treated in time, liver failure can be avoided. This serious disease occurs in three stages.

  • In Stage 1, lipids are being retained in the liver, and fat slowly replaces healthy liver tissue. The process of healthy liver tissue replacement leads to inflammation. Fortunately, however, Stage 1 of liver disease can be treated, and the damage can be reversed.
  • If liver disease is not treated, and alcohol abuse continues, Alcoholic Hepatitis (Stage 2) will occur. In this stage, the disease can still be treated.
  • Cirrhosis is the third and final stage of liver disease. In this stage, the damage caused to the liver by alcohol is irreversible, though worsening of the disease can be halted.

If the person refuses to abstain from alcohol, liver damage can be fatal.

Alcoholic Wet Brain

Many people who abuse alcohol suffer from Vitamin B1 deficiency. Consequently, this potentially fatal state leads to brain atrophy and dementia, which are very common amongst chronic alcoholics.


Many experts claim that depression comes hand in hand with alcoholism, which can easily lead to suicidal thoughts. People often turn to alcohol to feel better, and at the beginning, this works to their advantage. Later, as the disease progresses, alcohol starts to have an opposite effect and alcohol abusers often feel depressed and paranoid, and even experience hallucinations.

All of these negative aspects of alcoholism can trigger suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts, which are very common among alcohol abusers.

Alcohol Poisoning

According to statistics, in the U.S. six people die every day from alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning occurs when a person drinks a large amount of alcohol during a very short period of time (called binge drinking). Shallow breathing, low heart rate, and low body temperature are only some of the symptoms of this possibly fatal situation.

Traffic Accidents

One of the main causes of traffic accidents is driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). Alcohol lowers one’s reaction time, coordination, and cognitive processes. If the driver is intoxicated, they cannot see or hear well and may feel sleepy and tired. Any of those symptoms can be enough to cause a devastating accident and jeopardize a number of other people’s lives.


Alcoholism is a chronic disease with life-threatening consequences. Alcohol abuse causes major health problems to almost every organ in the system. It affects one’s liver, kidneys, brain, heart, and mental health.

And last but not least, not only does alcoholism affect the one who is drinking, but it also causes emotional health issues for the whole family.