A year or so ago, I stopped practicing medicine on myself and got a family physician. (Health care is free here in Canada) I was very lucky in that (1) she was trained and had practiced in the U.S. and, (2) she is dammmm good looking. When I was introduced to her, she gave me a full health check. Yeah, a prostate check, too. Embarrassing but I'm healthy there.
Here in Canada, one of the questions on the exam is about smoking. Once I reported my cessation of smoking 40 years prior, she marked down the data but explained to me that I was still at risk for heart disease. I questioned it but she explained that the slight heart muscle damage was already done, cannot be undone and only shows when the heart is its weakest. Thus, my risk for heart disease is there even though I quit 40 years ago. True, the risk IS reduced once I had quit, but there STILL are damages to my heart muscle.
As for alcohol, yes, it does damage the brain (which is why you get hangovers after a deep drunk.) The brain does recover from most of the effects. The liver does not. The liver is an extremely complicated chemical processing organ. It does a lot of stuff for the body. Getting rid of the alcohol from the blood is one of its jobs. But, just like an overworked factory worker working 16 hours a day for 20 years, eventually something gives out. For the liver, this damage can be mild, like fatty liver. Or, it can be serious, like alcoholic hepatitis or cirrhosis. Mild liver disease, like fatty liver can be reversed completely if a person stops drinking alcohol. If it gets beyond mild, well, no matter how much you like to escape into a drunk, rapidly approaching death can't be wished or ignored away.
I'm not criticizing you, griffith. I'm just helping with some accurate data on all this.