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What Happens When You Stop Drinking Alcohol?

What Happens When You Stop Drinking Alcohol

Deciding to quit drinking alcohol can come with a number of benefits. Whether a person has noticed an unhealthy pattern of drinking, is completely dependent on alcohol, or simply wants to give up alcohol for health reasons, anyone can experience the positive changes in the mind and body that come when the drink is put down.

For some people, quitting alcohol may be simple, or at least it will not cause withdrawal symptoms. However, for individuals who have been abusing or dependent on alcohol for an extended period of time, an alcohol addiction treatment program will likely be recommended. Vertava Health offers several programs that focus on helping people quit drinking and reclaim their lives in sobriety.

While the thought of giving up alcohol may seem daunting, the benefits a person can experience and the improvement in overall health and wellbeing are worth it for many.

Physical Effects Of Quitting Alcohol

Many people will begin to experience the physical benefits of quitting alcohol shortly after giving up the substance. Others may slowly begin to experience the physical effects of quitting drinking. How long and how much a person was drinking prior to quitting will influence the level of physical benefits experienced.

Physical effects of quitting alcohol may include:

Stronger Immune System 

Excessive alcohol consumption can decrease a person’s immune system and its ability to fight off infection and illness. In fact, heavy drinkers are more likely to contract diseases such as pneumonia. Quitting alcohol can immediately improve the immune system and increase a person’s ability to fight illness.

Weight Gain Or Loss 

Many people experience weight gain as a result of regular alcohol consumption. On the flip side, some individuals may lose weight from not prioritizing nutrition while actively drinking. When a person quits drinking, he or she may lose or gain weight depending on the individual’s previous habits when drinking.

Better Sleep 

Heavy alcohol consumption can disrupt sleep and prevent a person from getting high-quality sleep. Excessive drinking may also cause irregularities in breathing while sleeping. Quitting drinking can provide an almost immediate improvement in overall sleep quality.

Decreased Risk Of Cancer 

Regular alcohol consumption can harm antibodies that fight cancer. This can increase a person’s risk of a number of different cancers, including throat, breast, and liver cancer. Quitting drinking can greatly decrease an individual’s chances of cancer.

Improved Digestion 

Chronic alcohol consumption can cause damage to the pancreas and decrease the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. This can result in poor digestion and other health issues such as nausea, anorexia, and chronic diarrhea. Quitting drinking can improve digestion and increase the absorption of vitamins and nutrients.

Improved Cardiovascular Health 

Heavy drinking can significantly impact the heart and cause damage to its muscles. People who drink chronically are at an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and hypertension. Giving up alcohol can reduce the risk of heart problems and strengthen the heart.

As the body heals from alcohol use, a person will experience more and more physical benefits of giving up the substance. Some physical effects may take longer than others to be felt. However, overall, quitting drinking can provide a number of significant physical health benefits.

Mental Effects Of Quitting Alcohol

Physical changes aren’t the only benefits that come with giving up alcohol; many people will also experience a number of psychological effects as well. Individuals will likely feel more mentally clearer and less foggy as well as more emotionally stable after quitting drinking.

Other mental effects of quitting alcohol may include:

Improved Memory 

Regular alcohol consumption can affect the brain’s ability to store memories. This can result in forgetfulness that may interfere with daily life. Once a person stops drinking, he or she will likely experience better memory retention.

Healthier Brain Function

Several parts of the brain can become damaged as a result of chronic alcohol use. This damage can lead to a number of problems, including depression, trouble sleeping, and a decrease in brain cells. Quitting drinking can allow the brain to heal and will likely result in increased cognition and overall brain function.

Treatment Programs For Overcoming Alcohol Use And Addiction

Some people may be able to quit alcohol on their own. Others, however, may need professional help to successfully give up drinking. Additionally, individuals who are physically dependent on alcohol should not attempt to stop drinking on their own, as they may experience serious and even life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Vertava Health offers a number of treatment programs for individuals of every walk of life looking to overcome an addiction to alcohol.

To learn more about what happens when you stop drinking alcohol or to get more information on the alcohol addiction programs we offer, contact a Vertava Health treatment specialist today at 844.470.0410.