Unfortunately, even when people don’t think twice about their recreational binge drinking, the reality is that the body and mental health of the individual is keeping score. In fact, the overall well-being of an individual who abuses alcohol does not have a fighting chance when alcohol is introduced into the system repeatedly and in large doses.
However, there is hope for someone willing to walk on the path of sobriety from alcohol use. Reversal of health side-effects caused by alcohol abuse is possible, especially if alcohol abuse is dealt with in the early stages. As such, by becoming aware of what alcohol abuse can do to the body, along with what benefits are associated with quitting, one can mitigate the impact alcohol has on their future lives immediately.
The Benefits of Quitting Alcohol
Once an individual stops drinking, not only will their body start to reverse the effects alcohol has on their system, but they will also start to feel better, too. Because alcohol use, especially misuse and abuse, is accompanied with various health side-effects, quitting alcohol can improve many facets of life. Some health and mental health conditions that an individual is at risk of developing when misusing alcohol include:
- Alcoholic hepatitis
- Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat)
- Digestive problems
- High blood pressure
- Sexually transmitted disease
- Hearing loss
There’s even research that indicates alcohol abuse can cause damage to an individual’s brain, liver, and cardiovascular system, however, these side-effects can begin to heal once drinking has stopped and the individual walks out a path of sobriety.
It is quite common that once an individual stops abusing alcohol that they start to see significant improvements in their overall well-being. Some of these improvements may include:
- Clearer complexion: Alcohol use can do a number on an individual’s skin health. Long-term alcohol abuse is even correlated with things like broken capillaries on the face and nose, dehydration, inflammation, jaundice, and reduced collagen levels. As such, once a person enters into recovery they may gradually start to see their skin health begin to restore.
- A better quality night’s rest: Alcohol abuse is associated with poor sleep quality. This is due to the fact that alcohol hinders an individual’s natural sleep-wake cycles, which is why it may be more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep when abusing alcohol. Although a person may have sleep problems early in recovery, the quality of sleep is most likely to improve the longer someone is in recovery.
- Better weight management: Because alcohol can derail the body’s metabolic system along with robbing the body from receiving adequate nutrients, it is quite common to see a person in alcohol recovery start to maintain a healthier weight. Furthermore, alcohol is composed of sugars and empty calories and, as such, quitting alcohol can help to replace the calories the body can’t metabolize properly with other necessary nutrients it needs. This is especially true if a person walking on the path of recovery choses to replace alcohol with proper nutrition and exercise.
- Improved mental health: A lot of times alcohol abuse is accompanied by another mental health disorder, like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Although it is unclear if the mental health disorder drives an individual to abuse alcohol or if alcohol causes a mental health disorder, the reality is that, overall, alcohol does exacerbate the symptoms of a mental illness. Therefore, by quitting alcohol and developing a life of sobriety instead, an individual may begin to see noticeable differences in their state of mental health.
- Better immunity: Since alcohol weakens the immune system, giving up drinking may help an individual ward off colds, the flu, and other illnesses much easier.
- Increased nutrient absorption: Like previously stated, alcohol robs the body of vital nutrients. In fact, alcohol interferes with the way the body digests, stores, utilizes, and excretes nutrients, causing many drinkers to struggle with malnourishment. Furthermore, it is quite common for a person suffering from an alcohol abuse disorder to “drink” their meals instead of eating the adequate nutrients needed to sustain a healthy body, creating an even greater deficit of the proper nutrients a body needs to live a healthy lifestyle.
- Decreased risk of cancer: Alcohol is a carcinogen, which increases one’s risk of developing certain types of cancer, particularly: breast cancer, colon and rectal cancer, esophageal cancer, laryngeal cancer, liver cancer, oral cancer, and throat cancer. Therefore, quitting alcohol use can decrease the risk of these cancers taking root in one’s life.
- Improved cardiovascular health: Abusing alcohol is correlated with an increased risk of heart problems, like: atrial fibrillation, heart failure, hemorrhagic stroke, ischemic stroke, myocardial infarction. Quitting alcohol consumption, therefore, can mitigate cardiovascular distress in the body.
- Increased memory and thinking capabilities: Alcohol abuse is correlated with shrinkage in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that is essential for memory and learning. Stopping alcohol use can help reverse the effects that alcohol has on this part of the brain and, thus, improve the quality of one’s thinking, problem solving, memory, and attention.
Quitting Alcohol For Good: How to Quit Alcohol Use Successfully
Quitting alcohol use, especially heavy alcohol use, can be one of the most beneficial things a person can do for their overall health and well-being. As such, it is imperative that if an individual is struggling with abusing alcohol that they seek help immediately. Not only will this significantly enhance their quality of life now, but it will also help to reduce the chances of something more severe, like cancer or heart problems, from occurring in the future.
If you or a loved one is struggling with abusing alcohol, it is imperative that appropriate, medical help be sought immediately. One of the most effective ways to ensure sobriety is successfully maintained for the long-term is to attend an inpatient drug and alcohol rehab where they can safely and gently guide you onto the path of recovery immediately.
Reach out to a premier inpatient rehab if you are ready to start walking on the path of fulfillment, free from alcohol use today. Your future self will thank you for investing in your overall well-being right now.