Some harmful effects of alcoholism include chronic diseases such as anemia, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, cirrhosis and depression, as reported by WebMD. It also causes dementia, infectious disease, high blood pressure, pancreatitis and nerve damage.
In addition, heavy drinkers may develop fatty liver, fibrosis or alcohol hepatitis, advises the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Long-term drinking can cause stroke, high blood pressure, heart arrhythmias and cardiomyopathy. Excessive drinking can lead to cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver and breast and can weaken the immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to various infections. Mood and behavior changes also occur with excessive alcohol intake.