How Does Quitting Alcohol Impact Your Mind and Body?You are here:
The human body will accomplish many extraordinary things if we stop interfering with its efforts. It is common for people to focus more on how their physical self looks rather than how they feel inside. Unless health complications arise that force them to take notice. This is a common issue with people who drink alcohol regularly. If you drink alcohol more than an occasional social drink, you need to know the benefits of quitting alcohol.
The cumulative effects of continued drinking will catch up with you at some point. Unless you stop drinking, the health consequences will gradually worsen. So, you must decide if you want to keep putting your mental and physical health at risk. Let’s look at some of the ways your body will rejuvenate itself when the destructive effects of alcohol are eliminated.
The Most Notable Benefits of Quitting Alcohol
When you quit drinking alcohol, you will go through different stages of recovery. During alcohol rehab, skilled clinical staff and medical personnel will help you manage withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the severity of the addiction to alcohol, medications may be needed to help reduce cravings.
Detoxing from alcohol usually takes a few days, or even longer if necessary. After about 72 hours, the withdrawal symptoms are more manageable. Within a few weeks, most people are surprised to find they have lost weight. As a result, the risk of contracting hypertension, diabetes, and heart problems is reduced. The absence of alcohol calories contributes to this notable benefit of quitting alcohol.
Benefits of Quitting Alcohol: Healing Your Body
In addition to weight loss, you’ll notice other benefits in the first few weeks after quitting alcohol. For instance, within about 3 or 4 weeks, your blood pressure will drop. The benefits of lowering your blood pressure include:
- Reduced risk of stroke, liver damage, or heart failure
- Decreased chance of kidney problems
- Reduced risk of certain forms of cancer
- Improved fertility and libido
- Fewer headaches
- Improved respiration
- Reduced risk of eye problems and vision loss
Quitting alcohol will also help you sleep better, and when you’re well-rested you perform daily tasks with less stress and anxiety. All in all, quitting alcohol will make you feel like a new version of yourself.
Benefits of Quitting Alcohol: Healing Your Brain
We all know about the effects of alcohol on the brain when a person is inebriated. It causes a range of problems such as slowed reaction time, poor coordination, violent outbursts, memory problems, confusion, depression, and more. In most cases, these side effects are temporary. However, frequent heavy drinking can result in damage to the brain that may be irreversible.
When you stop drinking, you may be surprised at the way your brain will rebound. You can expect the following changes:
- Reduced anxiety
- Improved memory and cognitive abilities
- Reduced risk of dementia
- Improved mood, reduced depression
- Clearer thinking reduced foggy-headedness
Studies show that alcoholism is often accompanied by mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. The more a person drinks, these issues worsen, and it’s often difficult to know which came first, alcoholism or a mental health disorder. Removing alcohol allows the brain to heal and learn coping mechanisms for avoiding alcohol.
Signs That You Need to Quit Drinking Alcohol
The health claims of moderate drinking remain controversial, yet some individuals misinterpret the claims to mean drinking is okay. However, frequent drinking and binge drinking are very different from moderate drinking. So how do you know if it’s time for you to quit drinking completely? Here are some warning signs to watch for:
- You’ve tried to cut down but can’t.
- You have any symptoms of alcohol use disorder (AUD).
- Alcohol interacts with medications you take.
- You are pregnant or might become pregnant.
- Drinking causes you to injure yourself or someone else.
- You have a family history of alcohol abuse.
- Getting the desired effects requires more alcohol.
- You experience memory problems or blackouts due to drinking.
- You make excuses to justify your drinking behavior.
- When someone mentions your drinking, you become defensive or angry.
- You tell yourself you can quit anytime you want.
If you continue to deny that you have a drinking problem, it can escalate quickly and become a serious threat to your health. The first step to overcoming AUD is to break through the denial and reach out for professional help.
How Alcohol Abuse Impacts Family Members
Have you heard that alcohol addiction is a family disease? When a family member overindulges in alcohol, their spouse or children suffer in many ways. If you haven’t recognized the impact your drinking has on your family, here are some things you need to know.
- Studies show that the children of alcoholics are more likely to use drugs or alcohol themselves.
- Spouses of alcoholics are more likely to drink or use drugs as a coping tool.
- Children of alcoholics perform poorly at school and often have impaired cognitive skills.
- Growing up with an alcoholic parent can cause depression, anxiety, antisocial behavior, behavioral problems, relationship issues, and physical health problems.
- The child of an alcoholic is more likely to develop suicidal ideations.
Quitting drinking is the best gift you can give to your family. Your input and support are crucial to helping maintain a healthy, thriving family dynamic.
If You Want to Enjoy the Benefits of Quitting Alcohol, Contact Design for Change Recovery Today
Design for Change Recovery provides an exceptional alcohol detox and treatment program. We are a fully licensed and credentialed addiction treatment facility located in beautiful Lancaster, CA. Our treatment for alcohol addiction includes a variety of evidence-based therapies that will help you overcome your alcohol problem.
Reach out to us today by phone, email, or online to begin your journey to a sober, happy future for yourself and your family.
livestrong.com/ – What Are the Benefits of Lowering Blood Pressure?
healthline.com/ – Here’s What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Drinking for 30 Days
rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/ – Rethinking Drinking: To Cut Down or To Quit