What Are Some Concerns with Chronic over Consumption of Alcohol

Long-term alcohol abuse also results in excessive accumulation of lipids and disease in liver cells (fatty liver) as well as other cells throughout the body. Alcohol-related liver disease is the sixth leading killer in the United States. Luckily, the most important liver cells (hepatocytes) can regenerate themselves if the damage is not too severe and the alcohol abuse ceases.

Other direct or indirect effects of alcohol abuse include impaired drug metabolism and elevated blood uric acid levels. The latter can lead to gout and kidney stones. Barbiturates, which are sedative drugs (pen-tothal, pentobarbital, seconal), are metabolized and inactivated by one of the same mechanisms that metabolizes alcohol. Since the metabolism of alcohol is given higher priority than the inactivation of barbiturates, these drugs stay active longer and build up in the body. Barbiturates depress the CNS, breathing, and heart activity. Therefore, combining barbiturates with alcohol can be a lethal combination.

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