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How Alcohol Addiction Impacts Life Expectancy

person sits at the edge of their bed in a dark bedroom and thinks about an alcoholics life expectancy

While in the United States, alcohol may be legal for people of a certain age, its consumption can significantly impact an individual’s life expectancy. Most individuals are well aware of the immediate repercussions that arise from excessive alcohol consumption, including hangovers, accidents caused by drunk driving, injuries resulting from intoxication, blackouts, and alcohol poisoning. However, the long-term effects of alcohol addiction on an alcoholic’s life expectancy are often overlooked.

Woodland Recovery Center offers alcohol addiction treatment in Mississippi to those who experience alcohol misuse and addiction. Our treatment center treats patients who are with this addiction and equips them with the tools they need to gain control over their lives. Please call us today at 662.222.2989 to learn more about the benefits of alcohol addiction treatment.

What Is the Life Expectancy of Alcoholics?

If you have wondered, “How long do alcoholics live?” You are not alone. Many individuals are curious about the life expectancy of those struggling with alcohol misuse and addiction. However, the answer to this question is complex since various factors play a role in determining an individual’s life expectancy.

Excessive consumption of alcohol can have detrimental effects on a person’s physical well-being, particularly when it is misused over a prolonged period. This substance has the potential to cause significant harm to one’s health. The result may be a series of ailments and conditions that can significantly shorten a person’s life.

The exact figures on the life expectancy for alcoholics vary and are hard to determine. This is because some people may have concurrent medical conditions or live in environments that are not conducive to their well-being.

Factors That Reduce an Alcoholic’s Life Expectancy

The average lifespan of an alcoholic depends on a variety of factors, including the individual’s overall health, genetics, and level of alcohol consumption. An alcoholic’s life expectancy tends to be shorter than that of the general public because heavy drinking on a regular and long-term basis can increase the risk of developing several life-threatening diseases and conditions.

The potential issues and medical conditions that can impact the life expectancy of alcoholics include:

Fatal Accidents from Alcohol

Fatal accidents from drinking may be a result of drunk driving, overdose, or injuries while impaired, like serious falls. While these deadly accidents can occur after just one episode of heavy drinking, people with alcohol use disorders are more likely to put themselves in these dangerous situations more often because of their regular drinking.

Alcohol and Cardiovascular Health

Long-term and heavy alcohol use can lead to a variety of cardiovascular diseases and issues that may be fatal. In particular, heavy drinking has been associated with:

  • Hypertension
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Strokes
  • Heart attacks

These conditions can significantly decrease a person’s life expectancy, and individuals with alcohol use disorders are more likely to suffer from these ailments than those who do not drink heavily.

Alcohol-Associated Liver Disease

A common reason for health concerns and deaths from alcohol addiction is liver disease. The liver is responsible for filtering the toxins from substances such as alcohol out of a person’s body. When someone drinks excessively, their liver may struggle to keep up with the high levels of toxins, leading to damage and possibly permanent scarring. This damage can eventually result in fatal conditions like cirrhosis and liver failure.

Alcohol and Cancer

An alcoholic’s life expectancy may also be shortened by a variety of cancers as well. Cancer can develop because of damage to cells and tissues in the body from prolonged alcohol use. The areas most likely impacted include the mouth, throat, liver, colon, and esophagus.

Suicide Risk

Alcohol addiction has also been associated with an increased risk of suicide. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to a higher risk of depression and other mood changes that are linked to suicidal behavior.

Alcohol and the Immune System

Long-term alcohol misuse can also decrease life expectancy due to a weakened immune system. Too much alcohol can make it harder for the immune system to fight infections and disease. For example, chronic drinkers are at a greater risk of contracting lung diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than moderate drinkers or people who don’t drink at all.

Alcohol’s Effects on Aging

Alcohol can indirectly affect the mortality rate by impacting the process of aging. Health conditions can worsen with alcohol misuse, and some medical conditions may be more challenging to treat after years of heavy drinking. Some alcohol concerns may even get overlooked and be mistakenly associated with old age. Although you may not be experiencing any severe health effects from drinking, seeking alcohol addiction treatment could still extend your life.

Can Overcoming Addiction Improve Life Expectancy?

Yes, overcoming alcohol addiction can significantly improve life expectancy. By addressing and managing the addiction, individuals can reduce their risk of developing alcohol-related diseases, improve their overall physical and mental health, and enhance their quality of life.

Here are some specific ways that achieving sobriety can positively impact longevity:

  • Reduction of alcohol-related diseases – Sobriety reduces the risk of developing chronic conditions such as liver disease, cardiovascular issues, and various cancers.
  • Improved mental health – Overcoming addiction often leads to better mental health, reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety that can accompany heavy drinking.
  • Enhanced immune system – A healthier, stronger immune system that is better equipped to fight infections and diseases.
  • Better cardiovascular health – Eliminating alcohol can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart attacks, and improve heart function.
  • Decrease in fatal accidents – Reducing risky behaviors and improving overall safety can decrease accidents and injuries.
  • Healthier aging process – Treatment can slow down or reverse some negative aging effects exacerbated by alcohol, leading to a healthier and potentially longer life.

Achieving and maintaining sobriety can set the foundation for a longer, healthier life, allowing individuals to engage in and enjoy their personal and professional relationships fully.

What Impact Does Alcohol Addiction Treatment Have on an Individual with Addiction?

Fortunately, with the proper treatment and support, an individual struggling with alcohol addiction can significantly improve their overall health and life expectancy. When seeking help from a professional treatment center like Woodland Recovery Center, individuals can learn how to manage their addiction and make positive changes in their lives.

Treatment for alcohol addiction may include therapies such as counseling, behavioral therapy, and group support sessions. These approaches help individuals address the underlying causes of their addiction and develop healthy coping mechanisms to maintain sobriety.

Additionally, our treatment center provides a safe and supportive environment where patients can focus on their recovery without distractions.

Here are a few ways alcohol addiction treatment can extend life expectancy:

  • Improved physical health
  • Emotional and psychological healing
  • Support network
  • Healthy coping mechanisms
  • Prevention of relapse

Seeking help for alcohol addiction can be the first step toward a longer, healthier life.

Call Woodland Recovery Center to Start Your Alcohol Addiction Recovery Journey

At Woodland Recovery Center, we recognize the immense challenge of conquering alcohol addiction, and we firmly believe that no one should face it alone. Our comprehensive alcohol detox program ensures a safe and gradual withdrawal from alcohol, while our array of addiction treatment programs empowers you to build the skills and resilience needed to maintain long-term sobriety. Call us today at 662.222.2989 or contact us online to get started on alcohol addiction treatment or get more information for a loved one.