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Alcohol abuse encompasses a spectrum of unhealthy alcohol drinking behaviors, ranging from binge drinking to alcohol dependence.
Prolonged use leads to cirrhosis and liver failure.
With cirrhosis, patients develop an inability to process hormones and toxins.
The inability to process toxins leads to liver disease, such as hepatic encephalopathy.
Alcohol abuse can result in brain damage which causes impairments in executive functioning such as impairments to working memory, visuospatial skills, and can cause an abnormal personality as well as affective disorders to develop.
Globally, alcohol consumption is the seventh leading risk factor for both death and the burden of disease and injury.
In short, except for tobacco, alcohol accounts for a higher burden of disease than any other drug.
The social skills that are impaired by alcohol abuse include impairments in perceiving facial emotions, difficulty with perceiving vocal emotions and theory of mind deficits; the ability to understand humour is also impaired in alcohol abusers.
A smaller volume of consumed alcohol has a greater impact on the older adult than it does on a younger individual.
Individuals with an alcohol use disorder will often complain of difficulty with interpersonal relationships, problems at work or school, and legal problems.
Additionally, people may complain of irritability and insomnia.