Health benefits are one kind of reward for recovery, but not everyone knows that the body positively responds once you quit drinking and stay sober. While the experience of withdrawal may overshadow any thoughts of how long-term sobriety can help, several important benefits can be gained from an alcohol-free life.
Today, let’s talk about the healthiest things that can come from effective treatment for an alcohol use disorder.
At Origins Texas, we help guide your path toward recovery with holistic treatment services, personalized planning for substance use, and co-occurring mental health disorder evaluations.
Quitting Alcohol: 10 Major Benefits
While quitting drinking creates many health benefits, not all appear immediately. Some take longer to experience than others, but lasting sobriety will positively affect your body in numerous ways as your recovery continues.
Here are the top 10 benefits of giving up alcohol:
1) You’ll get better sleep
While alcohol causes drowsiness in many people, studies show that deep sleep is often interrupted, and REM sleep is diminished, leaving them feeling groggy the next day.
Alcohol alters your sleep cycles and makes it harder to fall asleep. Without it, you will experience a more restful sleep with less risk of sleep apnea and snoring. Expect this benefit to become more noticeable over time.
2) You’ll lower your blood pressure
Alcohol raises blood pressure and can add to health risks associated with high BP, such as heart attack or stroke. Without it, you should notice lower readings in your blood pressure. If it remains high, you should consult your doctor.
3) You may have fewer sick days
Alcohol in large amounts over time weakens your immune system by making it harder to produce sufficient white blood cells, making it easier to get sick. For this reason, heavy drinkers are more prone to fall victim to infectious diseases like pneumonia or tuberculosis.
Without alcohol, your body can bounce back and work better to remain healthy. That means less time spent missing work or other essential commitments.
4) You’ll make your heart healthier
Alcohol affects the heart in several ways, including raising BP (as mentioned above) and fat levels. This harm can result in strokes, hypertension, arrhythmias, and heart disease. After quitting alcohol, the risk of heart damage or heart failure goes down. This is another topic to discuss and track with your doctor.
5) You’ll help your liver heal
Your liver filters out harmful particles and substances, including fungus, bacteria, food additives, and alcohol toxins. Alcohol in large quantities over time harms the liver through cirrhosis, fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and liver cancer. Without it, the liver has an opportunity to heal itself through repair and regeneration. Like existing heart issues, liver damage requires treatment at a facility staffed by medical personnel 24/7.
6) You’ll control your weight better
Daily alcohol use can add pounds from the empty calories involved in drinking and food choices tied to drinking, such as eating fried foods. Without it, you can control what you consume and when. Improvements in weight control may be one of the first signs of your sobriety for other people, along with better-looking skin.
7) You’ll improve brain function
Daily alcohol use can affect the wiring of your brain’s neurotransmitters that control breathing, thinking, speaking, and other abilities, making it harder to stay focused, think clearly, remember things, or process information. The damage to your prefrontal cortex can potentially cause mood changes and depression.
Without alcohol, the brain regains an opportunity to function properly, affecting everything from speech to motor skills. Similar to other major organs, it may take more time to notice the health benefits of abstaining from alcohol for the brain.
8) You may improve your sex life
Alcohol use every day can affect a couple’s intimacy. Without it, the reproductive organs are more likely to function normally. The new attention to this part of a healthy, loving relationship can strengthen the connection between two people.
9) You’ll reduce your risk of accidents
Alcohol use is commonly connected to serious accidents and traumatic injuries. Without it, you’re more likely to avoid falls and traffic accidents caused by impaired driving. These safer scenarios become possible more quickly with even short-term sobriety.
10) You may lower the risk of cancer
Alcohol use daily can increase the risk of certain cancers, including mouth, esophageal, and breast cancers. Once you quit drinking alcohol, you may face less risk of developing those same types of cancer or other cancers. It’s not yet clear exactly what impact quitting drinking will have on each person’s overall potential for cancer risks.
Begin Your Recovery Today With Origins
Origins Recovery Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. It’s our primary mission to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration.
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For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1019.