Alcohol is a psychoactive, central nervous system depressant that works by slowing down vital functions in one’s body. Harvard Health explains that “alcohol directly influences the stomach, brain, heart, gallbladder, and liver. It affects levels of lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides) and insulin in the blood, as well as inflammation and coagulation. It also alters mood, concentration, and coordination.” Hence, drinking too much alcohol can cause an array of unwanted physiological consequences. To truly feel good about quitting drinking, it is helpful to focus on the positives and understand some of the many ways your body heals after you stop drinking. Over time, your body can begin to recover from the influence of alcohol, and you can expect:
- Improved immunity: Alcohol interferes with the immune system by preventing it from producing enough white blood cells to fend off germs and bacteria. After you stop drinking, you will get sick less as your body will be better able to ward off illnesses.
- Enhanced nutrition: Drinking can deplete your body of vital nutrients and can interfere with the digestion, storage, utilization, and excretion of nutrients. When you stop drinking your body can begin to properly absorb the nutrients needed to function optimally.
- Better skin: Heavy alcohol consumption has been linked to psoriasis, an inflammatory skin disease. When you stop drinking, your skin can gradually restore itself.
- Decreased inflammation: Heavy alcohol use can lead to systemic inflammation, or prolonged inflammation throughout your entire body. After you stop drinking you become less susceptible to joint pain, headaches, and body aches.
- Healthier liver function: Chronic and excessive alcohol consumption destroys liver cells, and the liver is integral to filtering out and detoxing our bodies of harmful substances. Research indicates that 90% of alcohol in the body is eliminated by the liver. Abstaining from alcohol can give the liver a chance to regenerate and recover a substantial portion of liver function.
- Decreased risk of cancers: Alcohol is a known carcinogen, which is a “substance, organism, or agent capable of causing cancer.” Approximately 50% of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, and larynx in America are associated with heavy drinking. Data from one study suggests that least 4% of the world’s newly diagnosed cases of esophageal, mouth, larynx, colon, rectum, liver, and breast cancers in 2020, can be attributed to alcohol consumption. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the more alcohol you consume, the greater your risk of developing certain types of cancer.
- Reduced cardiovascular risk: A 2021 study involving 371,463 people found that alcohol use contributes to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Quitting alcohol may lower your blood pressure, levels of fat called triglycerides, and chances of heart failure.
For Information and Support
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org