Do you worry that you’re drinking too much alcohol? Perhaps you’ve wondered what it would be like if you stopped drinking altogether. There are a number of benefits of quitting alcohol, from improved mood and well-being to relationships with family.
Whether you’re looking to save some money or want to live a healthier lifestyle both physically and mentally, quitting alcohol can provide you with a number of well-being and health benefits.
Learn some of the benefits that you can expect when you quit drinking and take positive steps towards a sober life.
What are the Benefits of Quitting Alcohol?
80% of Brits aged 18 and above say that they drink alcohol – and while drinking in moderation is fine, or so we think, alcohol can actually have a much bigger impact on our mental health, physical health, sleeping routine and finances. For this reason, it’s no surprise that more people are becoming ‘sober curious’ – especially when the long-term effects of alcohol use are becoming more widely known.
There are a number of negatives caused by heavy drinking or binge drinking, both on your health, your chances of developing diseases or cancers later in life and your mental health and relationships. If you feel like you can’t stop drinking or you are interested in the benefits of drinking alcohol, learn more here.
See the top 5 biggest benefits of quitting alcohol for good:
Improved Physical Health
One of the biggest benefits of quitting alcohol is the positive impact that this can have on your liver and other organs. Your liver is an important organ which has a number of key roles, such as filtering out harmful particles from the bloodstream including alcohol, bacteria, toxins and food additives.
Excessive alcohol use can cause the liver to become overloaded and cause serious health conditions such as fatty liver, hepatitis, liver disease and fibrosis. However, studies have shown that within 24 hours of quitting alcohol, the liver can begin to reverse its damage. In some cases, livers can become completely healed in as little as six weeks.
Reduced Cancer Risk
Alcohol can also increase your risk of certain cancers – the most common types being liver cancer, colorectal cancer, and head and neck cancer. It was reported that 750,000 cancer cases were caused directly by alcohol in 2020. So, reducing your alcohol intake can reduce your overall risk of cancer caused by alcohol abuse.
Improved Sleep Quality
Another way your body will benefit if you give up alcohol is by having better sleep. Many people believe that alcohol makes them sleep better but it actually disturbs your REM sleep, which is the deepest part of your sleep cycle, and will result in you feeling groggy the next day.
Over time, those who are drinking regularly and experiencing inconsistent sleep can suffer from a range of mental and physical health concerns.
Healthy Weight and Hydration
It is well known that alcohol dehydrates you, which is a major benefit of quitting drinking. If you are well hydrated, you will have more energy, your skin health will be healthier and hydrated, you will experience better memory, and can aid weight loss.
If you stop drinking you are also much more likely to become a healthier weight as you no longer drink empty calories which are often high in alcoholic beverages. This is another massive health benefit of giving up alcohol.
Improved Mental Health
Lots of people use alcohol as a way to deal with stressful days or as a way to cope after a sad or traumatic event. While you might feel more relaxed after an alcoholic drink, it can actually ruin your mental health and cause symptoms of poor mental health such as anxiety and depression.
As the alcohol wears off, you also typically feel worse than you did before. This is because alcohol is a depressant which means it disrupts the neurotransmitters in your brain and can affect how you think and behave.
Hangovers or withdrawal symptoms after drinking alcohol can also have a negative effect on your well-being, which is why it is important to stop drinking if you feel like you are experiencing these negative effects.
Research also shows that mental health problems and alcohol use are connected, which means those who drink alcohol regularly are more likely to develop mental health issues. The same research also found that those individuals with severe mental health concerns are more likely to struggle with alcohol use disorders.
Drinking cannot only make it harder to manage mental health symptoms but it can interact with treatment and medication too.
Quitting alcohol can improve overall mental health, including symptoms of anxiety and depression, and lead to overall better mood and self-esteem – experience the health benefits of giving up alcohol yourself.
Quitting alcohol can improve your relationships with loved ones, friends and even with your colleagues and employers, particularly if you struggle with alcohol abuse or regularly binge drink. For starters, quitting drinking can improve your mental health, as mentioned above, which makes it easier for you to deal with any difficult situations. Alcohol can also weaken communication and lead to misunderstandings and arguments, so without it, you’ll be more level-headed and able to talk things through calmly.
In worst-case scenarios, alcohol can lead to abuse and infidelity. In the case of alcohol use disorders, excessive alcohol use can also result in you prioritising alcohol over your loved ones which can lead to feelings of resentment. The good news is that as soon as you stop drinking, and can look at things more clearly, you can take small steps to rebuild relationships in both your personal and professional life.
If you are considering “why stop drinking”, it is worth considering the impact that your alcohol use has on your loved ones such as your partner or family members. Your behaviour or relationships may struggle as a result of your alcohol consumption, and this can have a detrimental impact on your relationships as a whole. Consider the benefits of stopping drinking alcohol for your family as well as yourself if this is the case.
Financial Benefits of Quitting Alcohol
It’s believed that the average person spends around £378 on alcohol every year. What’s more, if you’re struggling with alcohol addiction and are drinking more than the average person, this number could be much more. It goes without saying that quitting alcohol will give you more money to spend elsewhere in your life, whether you want to save it or have a goal in mind.
Quitting alcohol can also give you more clarity and focus which are both essential if you want to excel at work. This in itself has the potential to increase your income – especially if you’re self-employed or work on a commission basis. Giving up alcohol can be hard, especially if your colleagues drink socially or you feel pressured to drink to fit in. If you decide to stop drinking, there are plenty of benefits for your finances and work performance.
Improved Overall Quality of Life
Being sober has a number of short-term and long-term benefits for both your physical and emotional health. This in itself can lead to better sleep, more energy, and more meaningful relationships – all of which will lead to an improvement in your overall quality of life.
You may also find that your immune system is boosted and you’re not coming down with regular common colds, and alcohol also has an impact on memory and brain function so without it you’ll be better able to enjoy your days.
These aren’t the only benefits of sobriety. Skin health, gut health and weight management can also be positively impacted by quitting alcohol and will all help you to feel the best version of yourself, every single day.
What to Expect if You Stop Drinking Alcohol
If you are considering reducing your heavy drinking or are hoping to quit drinking altogether, you should consider the short and long term benefits of quitting alcohol.
Short Term Benefits
Conditions such as acid reflux and high blood pressure are common among people who regularly drink heavily. By reducing or quitting alcohol consumption altogether, you will immediately improve your health and experience a better quality of life without preventable health problems.
Upon stopping drinking, you will notice a number of positive changes such as healthier skin, brain functioning improvements and an increase in white blood cells.
You will be better hydrated and feel more energetic, healthier and generally better within yourself.
Long-Term Positives of Quitting Drinking
From gut health to health risks caused by substance abuse, there are plenty of long-term benefits to stopping drinking completely.
Some of the main health benefits of quitting alcohol includes:
- Improved finances
- Decreased risk of cancer, including breast cancer, liver cancer and bowel cancer.
- Easier to lose weight
- Decreased chance of heart disease
- Improved memory
- Healthier joints
- Improved physical and mental health
How to Give Up Alcohol
Are you wanting to give up alcohol but are not sure where to start or if you are capable of giving it up? Support from loved ones is key if you struggle to stop drinking, and it is important to consider the benefits of stopping drinking to keep you motivated.
There are two main ways to give up alcohol: a cold turkey approach and by slowly reducing your alcohol intake. If you experience alcohol addiction, going cold turkey can result in a number of withdrawal symptoms which can be difficult to manage, so support from loved ones or professionals is very important. However, if you do not have a substance addiction, the cold turkey approach is a fast way to experience the benefits of being sober.
If this approach does not suit you, you can also wean yourself slowly off alcohol until eventually, you stop drinking. This is also a beneficial approach and can show you the benefits of sobriety as you go.
Think about the reasons to stop drinking listed above to keep you motivated and on track.
Need Help Quitting Alcohol?
Knowing how to quit alcohol can be easier said than done which is why our friendly team is here for you every step of the way. At Ocean Recovery, we offer leading alcohol addiction treatment and services to help individuals to turn their back on alcohol addiction for good.
Using a combination of counselling and therapies, we can help you to start living the life you’ve always wanted in a safe and supportive alcohol recovery treatment centre.
We’ll also support you to deal with alcohol withdrawal symptoms and guide you through life after quitting alcohol. So, whether you’re ready to kickstart your alcohol-free lifestyle with some tried-and-tested quitting alcohol tips or just want to know more about what to expect, why not pick up the phone today and speak to one of our advisors?
John Gillen - Author - Last updated: July 28, 2023
John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.
Dr. Olalekan Otulana - Clinical Reviewer - Last reviewed: June 13, 2023
MBChB, DRCOG, MRCGP, DFSRH, FRSPH, MBA (Cantab)
Dr Otulana is a highly experienced GP and Addiction Specialist Physician. He is particularly interested in Substance Misuse Management and has a wide range of experience in the assessment, management and residential rehabilitation of patients with drug and other substance addiction problems. His main aim is to assess patients with addiction problems and determine their treatment needs for medical detoxification treatments and psychological interventions. He is also experienced in managing patients who require dual drug and alcohol detoxification treatments.
Dr Otulana started practising as a doctor in 2000 and has been in the field of addiction for over a decade. He is an Advanced Practitioner Member of Addiction Professionals and holds a Part 1 Certificate in Clinical Psychopharmacology from the British Association for Psychopharmacology. He is excellent healthcare service professional with a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from Cambridge University Judge Business School.
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