Excessive use of alcohol over long periods of time can cause fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis of the liver. Fatty liver disease is a condition in which excess fat builds up within the liver. Because the liver regenerates, the condition is often reversible if you stop drinking. Alcoholic hepatitis occurs when the liver is inflamed and cells begin to die. The condition can be life-threatening. Liver cirrhosis is a condition in which damage to the liver results in the formation of scar tissue which impairs liver function. Severe cirrhosis of the liver is life-threatening.