Alcohol addiction or alcoholism is a chronic disease that affects nearly 15 million people 12 years and older, according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism report of 2019. This condition is associated with compulsive alcohol drinking, loss of control over intake, and negative emotional states when there’s no alcohol available.
Quitting alcohol is not easy, especially if you’ve been drinking for several years. However, you can stop drinking effectively if you seek help from an addiction recovery center. This will help you get the support and medication needed to recover from alcohol use disorder. You will also enjoy several benefits that come with your decision. Please continue reading to learn more about the importance of quitting alcohol.
Why You Should Consider Quitting Drinking
The conscious decision to quit drinking is a significant step towards healthy and sober living. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been drinking for a few years or several months, but quitting alcohol will help you face life more clearly and help you achieve several physical and mental health benefits.
Here are more reasons why you should stop drinking alcohol:
- Alcohol can be addictive.
- Alcohol is a depressant, leaving you sad and anxious after initially feeling less happy or stressed.
- Alcohol lowers your inhibition and increases impulsivity, which can make you do something that you may regret.
- You reduce the possibility of getting into an accident.
- You will save a lot of the money that you spend buying alcohol.
- You will do away with painful hangovers.
People with alcohol dependence may experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms when they decide to quit drinking. There are many health risks involved with alcohol withdrawal. Therefore, people should consult with a medical professional before quitting.
6 Benefits of Quitting Alcohol
Now that you understand why you should consider quitting drinking, below are the six main benefits that come with this kind of decision:
1. Improves Your Sleep
Contrary to popular belief, alcohol can affect your sleep by causing insomnia and sleep apnea. With insomnia, alcohol disrupts the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep stage, which leads to sleep disruption. Therefore, people who drink before sleeping experience insomnia and sleep the next day excessively.
This can cause a vicious cycle of dependence on alcohol to fall asleep and consuming caffeine during the day to stay awake. You can avoid this kind of experience if you quit drinking alcohol. With sleep apnea, studies have shown that alcohol increases the risk of sleep apnea by 25%.
Sleep apnea is characterized by temporary loss of breathing or abnormal breathing while sleeping. It occurs when there’s a physical blockage of the back of your throat, resulting from the brain’s inability to control the muscles that control breathing correctly. Some studies suggest that alcohol can cause sleep apnea by relaxing the throat muscles, creating more resistance while sleeping. Therefore, if you quit alcohol, you will improve your sleep by avoiding the disrupted sleep caused by alcohol.
2. Improve Your Mental Health
Alcohol affects the part of the brain that controls inhibition. That’s why people struggling with alcohol addiction feel relaxed, less anxious, and more confident after the drink. However, this effect wears off after a while, resulting in more negative feelings, such as anxiety, depression, and anger.
Alcohol also slows down how the brain processes information, affecting your actions and their possible consequences. In the long run, it reduces the number of neurotransmitters in the brain, whereas you need to maintain a certain level to ward off instances of anxiety and depression. Therefore, you end up drinking more to relieve these difficult feelings, resulting in a cycle of dependence.
However, if you decide to quit drinking, you can reduce these effects, increase self-confidence and decrease depression and anxiety.
3. Improve Your Body Health
Alcohol affects body health by interfering with the immune system and inhibiting the production of white blood cells. That’s why people struggling with heavy drinking take time to recover from diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis. However, once you give up alcohol, you will improve your health and instances of illnesses, flu bugs, and colds.
4. Decrease Your Risk of Cancer
Alcohol is one of the preventable risks of cancer. It accounts for 6% of all types of cancers and 4% of cancer deaths in the US. It’s linked to cancers that affect the esophagus, breast, liver, mouth, and colon. By quitting drinking alcohol, you will limit the possibility of developing these cancers or the recurrence of secondary primary tumors.
5. Strengthens Your Memory
Alcohol can cause short-term and long-term memory loss. Short-term memory loss occurs when someone experiences a blackout where they don’t remember key details of their experiences. This happens from the effect of alcohol on the hippocampus, which helps people form and maintain memories.
Long-term memory loss occurs when alcohol damages the hippocampus and the brain nerve cells. Drinking too much alcohol also causes a deficiency in thiamine or Vitamin B-1, vital in providing energy to the nerve cells. Thiamine deficiency can result from failure to eat healthy food, excessive vomiting, and stomach lining irritation caused by excessive alcohol intake. This can cause dementia if it’s not controlled.
Abstinence from alcohol for several months or years ensures that there is effective absorption of thiamine and reverses the potential adverse effects of short or long-term memory loss.
6. Live Free of Addiction
Quitting alcohol helps you live a life free from addiction. These benefits cut across your social life and finances. Your social life is affected at home, school, and work. This occurs when someone becomes abusive toward their loved ones, drops out of school, and fails to meet their work commitments.
Addiction affects people financially when they spend more than they earn. Therefore, they go over their credit limit, which drops their credit score. Eventually, this results in a cycle of financial problems.
Fortunately, once you decide to quit drinking, you will live a life free from the effects of addiction. This will foster your relationships, enhance your academics, build your career and help you save for your future.
Find Help for Alcohol Addiction with No Matter What Recovery
The best way to recover from alcohol addiction recovery is to find a loving and supportive environment. No Matter What, Recovery offers a compassionate community and accepting environment to help you recover from alcohol addiction in Los Angeles, CA. We utilize evidence-based treatment programs and therapeutic modalities to ensure that people with alcohol use disorder get the best addiction treatment and live a happy and healthier life. Contact us today, and let’s help you start your journey to recovery from addiction.