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Medically Reviewed By:
Dr. Patricia Sullivan MD MPH on 10/5/2021
The Benefits of Quitting Alcohol
When you stop drinking alcohol, your life changes for the better. But this isn’t always obvious to those who find themselves amid all-consuming alcohol addiction.
In this guide, we go over the many amazing benefits of quitting alcohol. If you need fuel to help you begin your journey, we’ve got you covered.
If you are seeing the harm of alcoholism in your life, reach out for help! Call us today at (888) 906-0952 for a free and confidential consultation.
- Getting Sober Restores Your Health
- Consider Alcohol’s Effect on Nutritional Health
- Getting Sober Helps Your Complexion and Physical Appearance
- Getting Sober Helps You Take Back Control of Your Life
- Additional Benefits of Sobriety
- Stop Drinking and Get Your Life Back in Balance
Getting Sober Restores Your Health
One of the first and most obvious long-term benefits of quitting drugs and alcohol is better health. When you drink alcohol or use harmful drugs, toxins begin to build up in your body.
The toxins alter some of the body’s functions and make it more difficult to quit. They increase so much that most addicts need to go through a medical detoxification process to get sober.
When the toxins are gone, recovery is much easier. While the detoxification process itself may sometimes be uncomfortable, the benefits are enormous. Getting the body back to normal means that the addicted person is practically free of chemical dependency and in a much better position to overcome their addiction.
Quitting alcohol will increase energy levels, improved mood, better sleep quality, clearer skin, better concentration levels, and weight loss. “Drinking is linked to a host of diseases and cancers,” Dr. Andrew Thornber is quoted on the site, “so prolonged and excessive drinking can increase your chances of getting health complications.”
“Drinking is linked to a host of diseases and cancers, so prolonged and excessive drinking can increase your chances of getting health complications.” – Dr. Andrew Thornber
If you stop drinking, your liver will be able to recover, get rid of the excess fat, and start repairing itself.
According to an article on bustle.com, it only takes one month of sobriety to help your liver recover from some of the damage done by drinking.
A 2018 study found that after a month of sobriety, people showed lower levels of damaging liver enzymes than when the study started.
It has been established that long-term oxidative stress has been shown to play a role in liver disease, which can shorten life expectancy and make it hard for the body to eliminate toxins.
Consider Alcohol’s Effect on Nutritional Health
Numerous research and studies explain why you shouldn’t drink alcohol. Alcohol has a great impact on a person’s immune system. It reduces the production of white blood cells, which makes it harder for the body to fend off bacteria and germs.
Many alcoholics tend to struggle with bouts of pneumonia and tuberculosis because of this. The benefits of avoiding alcohol can include reducing the number of colds or similar diseases a person endures. Excessive drinking can result in robbing your body of vital nutrients.
When someone is an excessive drinker, they eat less than the amount of food needed to provide the body with enough protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. Alcohol can also interfere with the nutrition process, affecting digestion, storage, and excretion of nutrients. As a result, many chronic drinkers are malnourished. Once a person stops drinking, the body is better positioned to absorb nutrients and restore health.
Alcohol not only affects your overall nutrition, but it can also make you gain weight. Alcohol is filled with sugars and calories. If you binge drink, you can easily consume 600 calories or more in just one evening.
The National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse defines binge drinking as a pattern of alcohol consumption that brings blood alcohol concentration levels to 0.08 g/dLi. In most cases, this occurs after five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women. It doesn’t take long for the damages from alcohol to become apparent.
For those who want to maintain a healthy weight and good nutrition, staying sober is a big help.
Getting Sober Helps Your Complexion and Physical Appearance
Is there such a thing as an “alcoholic face?” This is a term referring to the negative effects that alcohol has upon the skin. Alcohol leads to dehydration, inflammation, lower collagen levels (which results in loose skin), broken capillaries on the face and nose, and jaundice (with chronic, long-term abuse). Inflammation of the skin caused by alcohol can lead to blotchiness and redness of the skin.
The stereotype of the “red-nosed” alcoholic probably arises from this condition. Alcohol consumption has also been linked to inflammatory skin disease psoriasis. Psoriasis causes skin cells to multiply much faster than normal, causing the skin to build up into bumpy red patches covered with white scales. But when you stop drinking, the skin’s elasticity returns and any discoloring around the eyes slowly disappears.
Most alcoholics suffer from either too much or too little sleep. That’s because alcohol interferes with your sleep-wake cycles, making it more difficult to fall asleep (and stay asleep) throughout the night. According to the verywellmind.com site, “it also relaxes the muscles in the throat, making you more prone to sleep apnea and snoring.”
As a side note, alcohol is also a diuretic, helping to promote the creation of urine. This leads to getting up in the middle of the night to urinate. Getting enough sleep is vital to anyone who wants to live a healthy lifestyle. If you want to get a good night’s rest, it’s best to do it naturally and not rely on alcohol.
Getting Sober Helps You Take Back Control of Your Life
The benefits of being drug-free don’t stop at the physical. Sobriety brings about better mental health habits as well. Heavy drinking can cause the hippocampus, a part of the brain critical to memory and learning, to shrink.
When a person quits drinking alcohol for several months to a year, they can help reverse the negative effects caused by drinking and restore the brain. Some of the effects on thinking skills can include attention, memory, and problem-solving.
Along with restoration to the brain, quitting can also come with mental health benefits.
Perhaps one of the most important mental health benefits of eliminating dependence on drugs is the ability to control one’s own life through one’s own choices. An alcoholic or someone addicted to drugs does not have that ability.
You can think of addiction as a desire inside you that forces you to do things that you know will harm you and your family. It’s possible to control that desire and get your life back in your own hands.
Additional Benefits of Sobriety
You can learn to enjoy being sober. It’s possible because you can learn how to make better choices and enjoy the benefits of sobriety. Sobriety has been called the opposite of craving.
It’s true for all kinds of cravings, not just addictions. Sobriety means an understanding that you don’t need to give in to any craving to live a happy, fulfilled life. Both the negative and positive desires that we all need to be under our power.
The long-term benefits of quitting drugs and alcohol will include learning to put aside other things that hinder you during your lifetime. Think of all the good things that are eluding you because you need to feed your addiction.
Think of the relationships and personal accomplishments that could be yours if you got your life back on track. What are the long-term benefits of staying sober? Self-control and personal freedom are treasures that we don’t appreciate until we lose them. Staying sober will keep those treasures close to you.
Stop Drinking and Get Your Life Back in Balance
There is a sense of balance that each of us needs to live a fulfilled life. It’s easy to see when someone else “goes too far” and begins to do things that are harmful to themselves or others. But it’s not always so easy to see it when we do it.
Recovery means understanding when we have lost the balance in our lives. Recovery doesn’t solve all of our problems, but it helps us understand those problems better to make better choices.
Most people who are addicted are blind or indifferent to the problems their addiction is causing.
If you can see the problems, then you can reach out for help. The benefits of avoiding alcohol can help you live and control your own life. Many long and short-term benefits of quitting drugs and alcohol exist.
You can take advantage of those benefits. There are people trained to help others overcome their addictions. Please get in touch with us today at (888) 906-0952, and we’ll get you in touch with rehab facilities near you.
Have questions about drug and alcohol treatment? Submit this contact form and we’ll be in touch!
Alcoholism Does Not Have to Define Your Life
Call now for a free and confidential over the phone consultation. We can help you reclaim your life and begin the process of recovery from alcoholism.