What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Drinking Alcohol?

Whether you drink socially or indulge in alcohol more frequently, it could always be a good idea to stop drinking for at least a period of time to cleanse the body and mind. While enjoying one or two drinks a night can be healthy, it can easily turn into a habit that is difficult to reverse.

Some people resist quitting alcohol because of commonly-known withdrawal effects, but they don’t last forever. In fact, one might notice positive effects as little as a few days after they stop drinking. 

The Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol, commonly referred to as a “toxin,” changes the normal effects of the human body and slows down the brain. When you drink, your brain releases more stimulating chemicals; and if you quit, it will still produce those chemicals. This causes the body to need a recovery process, which is known as withdrawal.

 

What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Drinking?

The body goes through many changes when someone goes from drinking heavily to not drinking at all. Due to the shock, the body and brain have to adjust to the lack of depressant (alcohol). During this adjustment period, people may notice short-term and long-term effects, which tend to improve the longer one goes without drinking:

Immediate Effects

When someone quits, they might start experiencing withdrawal symptoms anywhere from a few hours until a day or two after having their last drink.

Common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Cold sweats & claminess
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Risk of seizures
  • Appetite loss & shakiness
  • Fatigue with inability to sleep

These symptoms are most severe from 24-72 hours after drinking; but after about a week, the person should begin to feel better and more refreshed. After about a month, they might start to recognize more mental clarity, the start of weight loss, and better sleeping patterns. Once the sobriety becomes more permanent, more benefits will begin to arise.

Long-Term Changes

Once someone stops drinking for a longer period of time, especially after drinking for a while, they might experience:

  • Less injuries from accidents
  • Stronger immune system
  • Decreased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Liver relief or repair
  • Reduced risk of liver & other types of cancers
  • Lower blood pressure
  • A sharper brain & more clarity
  • Better skin & higher hydration levels
  • Increased appetite

Quitting drinking can not only have positive short-term effects after some withdrawal symptoms, but it can drastically improve your health in the long run. If you think that stopping might be a good choice for you or a loved one, it’s time to take the next step.

The Key to Achieving Sobriety

People who drink infrequently but still want to quit can usually do it on their own by finding healthier coping mechanisms & using alternative treatment methods. However, for those with alcohol abuse disorder, medical attention & rehabilitation are necessary.

Since people who drink more have more intense withdrawal symptoms and have a harder time quitting for good, inpatient care is typically their best option. Professionals will offer them symptom treatment methods, therapy & counseling, an alcohol-free plan, and more.

If you or someone you know is interested in quitting drinking alcohol, contact our specialists at 844-345-1543 to learn about next steps and short-term or long-term care.

 

Sources

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/ss/slideshow-quit-alcohol-effects

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/what-happens-to-your-body-when-you-quit-alcohol-for-30-days#The-bottom-line

https://www.menshealth.com/health/a32858083/8-things-that-happen-when-you-stop-drinking-alcohol/

http://www.eatingwell.com/article/291290/what-happens-to-your-body-when-you-quit-drinking/

https://www.verywellmind.com/symptoms-of-alcohol-withdrawal-63791