Alcohol can affect the pancreas by causing small passageways in the pancreas to become clogged, leading to a pancreatitis. The affect of alcohol can bring about both acute and chronic pancreatitis. An acute attack of pancreatitis may be triggered by a night of binge drinking or a daily drinking habit that goes on for years. Consuming less than three ounces (less than a glass of wine) of alcohol a day for a period of years is enough to cause pancreatitis, too. The onset of acute pancreatitis may occur within hours of heavy drinking or up to two days after large consumption of alcohol. Alcohol abuse is the most common cause of chronic pancreatitis.