The longer a person abuses alcohol over time, the chances for developing alcohol dependence and experiencing the effects of alcohol abuse increase dramatically. Physical alcohol dependence is characterized by withdrawal symptoms when alcohol consumption is interrupted, by tolerance to the effects of alcohol abuse and by the presence of alcohol related illnesses. The most severe form of alcoholism is alcohol dependency which can eventually lead to death. Years of alcohol consumption and abuse can affect many body organs. The liver does most of the work breaking down alcohol for the body. Alcohol destroys the liver’s ability to regenerate cells which leads to progressive inflammatory injury to the liver. Eventually cirrhosis of the liver occurs. Malnutrition can develop due to a reduction in appetite, consuming empty calories that are void of any nutritional value in alcohol and anadequate absorption of nutruents in the intestinal tract. Other long term effects of alcohol abuse include heart muscle damage, nerve damage, damage to the brain, heart problems, erectile dysfunction in men, insomnia, depression, pancreatitis-chronic inflammation of the stomach and digestive organs, high blood pressure, increased cancer risks and fetal alcohol syndrome in the offspring of alcoholic women. Getting treatment for alcohol addiction is the best way to stop these physical effects of alcohol addiction before they start or stop them from worsening if they have already begun.