The Benefits of Quitting Alcohol

For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health . We’ve tried, tested, and written unbiased reviews of the best online therapy programs including Talkspace, Betterhelp, and Regain. If left untreated, withdrawal can progress to complicated alcohol withdrawal. These symptoms generally appear 12 to 24 hours after your last drink.

  • It helps to keep busy with activities you find enjoyable and that promote health and well-being.
  • Studies have also connected alcohol consumption with an increased risk of stroke, especially for people under 45 years of age.
  • How long does it take for your skin to clear up after quitting drinking?
  • This damage can lead to strokes, hypertension, heart arrhythmias and heart disease.

Treatment providers can connect you with programs that provide the tools to help you get and stay sober. Alcohol rehab counselors provide support during the highs and lows of alcohol withdrawal. Counselors also look to see if there are underlying factors that may have influenced an alcohol addiction and coach patients on how to work through various matters. Outpatient rehab allows patients to attend to their daily responsibilities while in recovery.

A quick look at 10 of the best apps to stop drinking alcohol

There’s no right answer, but you should go into quitting with a roadmap for your journey ahead. Very often the people in your life — friends, family, co-workers — are affected by your drinking in ways you might not even realize. They may be worried or afraid for your health and safety, or they may fear your drinking puts their safety at risk. As a specific example, an analysis of the electronic medical records of over 73 million people—including 1.26 million people with alcohol use disorder —was published in Nature . Uncontrollable shaking, usually in the hands, is a common sign of alcohol withdrawal.

This option is best suited for those with less severe forms of alcohol abuse since individuals will be around drinking triggers and other influences. Alcohol affects multiple bodily functions that results in alcohol withdrawal when attempting to stop. First and foremost, excessive drinking excites and irritates the central nervous system. Alcohol has a sedative effect on the brain in which it suppresses certain neurotransmitters, causing people to feel at ease after drinking. This is why when consuming alcohol, people experience initial feelings of happiness, increased sociability, and relaxation. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome occurs when a person abruptly stops drinking after heavy alcohol use and may trigger life-threatening health complications.


While studies have shown baclofen may be effective in reducing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, including tremors, it is an “off-label” use of the drug at this time. Benzodiazepines are used to treat withdrawal symptoms such as tremors but must be used under close medical supervision, as they can be dangerous. Valium, Librium, Ativan, and Serax are benzodiazepines that may be prescribed to treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Serious side effects can occur with any benzodiazepine, as well as possible dangerous interactions with other drugs or medications. Heavy alcohol consumption causes changes in brain chemistry, slowing brain activity and reducing energy levels.

Lieber C. Relationships between nutrition, alcohol use, and liver disease. Try your best to have patience as your mind and body heals and you relearn a life without alcohol—and take pride in how far you’ve already come. Heavy drinking can cause thehippocampus, the part of the brain critical to memory and learning, to shrink. A 2021 study involving 371,463 people further found that alcohol use contributes to an increased risk of cardiovascular how to taper off alcohol disease, regardless of how much is consumed. This is why many people who consume large amounts of alcohol over extended periods of time tend to struggle with bouts of pneumonia and tuberculosis. While you can expect some sleep-related issues in early recovery, the longer you abstain from alcohol , the greater the improvements in your sleep quality. Heavy alcohol consumption has also been linked to psoriasis, an inflammatory skin disease.

Outpatient Treatment

While cirrhosis scars from excessive drinking are irreversible, quitting alcohol and leading a healthier lifestyle can help your liver heal from alcohol-related liver disease. A study done byMerck Manualsshows that liver damage can begin to improve as early as 24 hours after a person stops drinking, and in some cases, it can be completely healed within six weeks. The extent that the damage is reversed depends on a wide range of factors. These include the amount of damage present and whether there are other concerning factors such as obesity. A severely damaged liver may be permanent, but the best way to prevent additional liver damage is to not drink alcohol. Belinda Gordon-Battle is a licensed clinical therapist and life consultant based in Miami while providing therapeutic services across the globe.

How long after you stop drinking does your body change?

Most people will stop experiencing withdrawal symptoms in less than a week, in which time their body will begin to restore its normal function and quality of life can already improve considerably. Some improvements in sleep occur as early as seven days, and these gains increase in the week after.

People with alcohol use disorder are three to four times more likely to die early than those without alcohol use disorder. Thompson WL, Johnson AD, Maddrey WL Osler Medical Housestaff. Diazepam and paraldehyde for treatment of severe delirium tremens. All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional. How COVID-19 Has Impacted Alcohol AbuseAs the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the numbers of alcohol abuse have continued to rise, causing concern across America. Be prepared to discuss any problems that alcohol may be causing. You may want to take a family member or friend along, if possible.

Health Risks of Heavy Drinking

The site provides self-help tips and strategies that can aid you in quitting. Most people who try to moderate use without lowering tolerance do not find much success. You are already aware that it takes more alcohol to get the same buzz you used to get.

stopping alcohol use

Cynthia is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor and is EMDR trained. Cynthia utilizes the therapeutic modalities of CBT, Motivational Interviewing, EMDR, and Solution Focused Therapy.

If you or aloved one is trying to quit drinkingand would like assistance, pleasecontact us. We would be happy to go over alcohol detox and the withdrawal timeline with you, as well as explore treatment options and programs available for chronic alcohol use. A recent study by the University of Hong Kongfound that overall mental health improves when participants quit drinking, especially women.

stopping alcohol use

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