What happens when you stop drinking alcohol?

WHETHER you drink alcohol often or only once in a while – there are many benefits to your health if you cut out alcohol completely. 

But what exactly happens when you stop drinking alcohol? Here’s everything you need to know.

What happens when you stop drinking alcohol?

When you’re ready to stop, there are lots of benefits to your health – both short-term and long-term.

But first – if you think you may be dependent on alcohol, you should consult your doctor or another medical professional.

Being dependent on alcohol can cause physical withdrawal symptoms like shaking, sweating or nausea – if you have these symptoms, it can be dangerous to stop drinking completely too quickly without proper support.

Every single person is different and withdrawal from alcohol will vary for everybody.

Stopping drinking alcohol can have both short-term and long-term benefits for your health

Stopping drinking alcohol can have both short-term and long-term benefits for your health

Here are the most common symptoms encountered after making the decision to stop – and these are often linked to the amount you drink:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bad dreams
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling nervous
  • Irritability or feelings of excitement
  • Shaking
  • Quick emotional changes

You could also experience:

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Rapid heart rate or palpitations
  • Insomnia

The short-term benefits of cutting your alcohol consumption include saying goodbye to those dreaded hangovers.

You could also vastly improve your mental health if you make the decision to quit.

Regular, heavy drinking interferes with chemicals in the brain that are vital for good mental health – and so, can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety. 

Other short-term benefits include, improved energy levels, a better sleeping routine, clearer skin and potentially weight loss.

But what are the long-term benefits of stopping drinking alcohol?

By making the decision to stop – you could reduce your risk of developing many serious alcohol-related diseases.

How long after you quit drinking does your body return to normal?

The answer depends on things like your age, weight, and drinking history – every body is different.

If a person has become dependant on alcohol – it will take longer for their body to return to normal.

In most cases – it takes around one week to detox from alcohol.

However, if you’re a heavier drinking – your body make take a number of months or years to reverse the damage caused from drinking.

What are the effects of alcohol on the body?

You won’t necessarily feel alcohol’s impact on your body right away – but it starts from the moment you take your first sip.

And there a both short-term and long-term effects of alcohol on the body.

Dependent drinkers with a higher tolerance to alcohol can often drink much more without experiencing any noticeable effects.

The short-term effects include:

  • Feeling of relaxation or drowsiness
  • Changes in moos
  • A sense of euphoria
  • Impulsive behaviour
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Slow or slurred speech
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhoea
  • Changes in hearing, vision and perception
  • Trouble focusing or making decisions
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Memory loss

These effects might not last very long, but that doesn’t make them insignificant. 

Alcohol can also lead to more lasting concerns and effects on your body – these include:

  • Damage to the brain and nervous system
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Damage to the pancreas
  • Cancer – including liver cancer, mouth cancer, breast cancer and bowel cancer
  • High blood pressure and high blood cholesterol levels
  • Stroke
  • Weakened immune system
  • Depression
  • Dementia
  • Impotence or premature ejaculation
  • Infertility