Day: December 18, 2014

stop-alcohol

The Many Benefits of Giving Up Alcohol

The Many Benefits of Giving Up Alcohol For Good

Drinking alcohol can be an enjoyable social experience: If it wasn’t enjoyable on at least some levels then it wouldn’t be such a popular pastime!  Research shows that each American drinks an average of 556 drinks every year [1] and whilst obviously some people will drink much more and some people will drink much less, it still shows that we are a nation who regularly consume excessive amounts of alcohol. The health benefits of regularly consuming very small amounts of alcohol are widely reported in the press [2], and it is true that drinking very small amounts of alcohol can be beneficial for your heart health and your blood pressure however the negative aspects of regularly consuming large amounts of alcohol are much more dangerous and by far outweigh any positives. In fact, giving alcohol up for good is much more beneficial for your health than drinking it: this is doubly true if you are regularly drinking more than the recommended daily alcohol allowance.

A Focus on Health

The health benefits of giving up alcohol for good are monumental. Drinking regularly can cause unwanted side effects such as indigestion, upset stomachs, and regular headaches.[3] After just a week or two without that regular alcohol ingestion though you will find that these symptoms disappear and that you feel fresher, happier and healthier. Regular alcohol consumption can also interfere with your sleeping patterns, causing your sleep to be disturbed. This can leave you feeling tired and lacking energy during your day to day tasks: again, something you will find that quickly changes once you give up alcohol for good. These short term health benefits of giving up alcohol are also accompanied by many long term benefits too. Cutting back on the amount of alcohol you drink (or better still, giving it up completely) will lower your risks of developing several serious and life threatening diseases, such as live disease, cancer, stroke, and even heart disease. Your liver health in particular [4] will benefit from giving up alcohol completely, and you will find that both your liver fat and levels of blood glucose levels will drop. Whilst an occasional glass of red wine may well be good for your heart, you’ll find that the benefits of giving up alcohol completely are far greater. If you are alcohol dependent, or are aware that you regularly drink more than you should then this is especially true, and giving up alcohol is far more favorable than regularly consuming more than you should.

Unexpected Benefits

As well as the health benefits of giving up alcohol, you will also find that there are several unexpected financial and social benefits too.[5] You will immediately find that you are saving a lot of money, and you will be able to use that for something constructive such as clearing any debts, making a down payment on your own home or simply taking a long overdue vacation. Many alcoholics or regular heavy drinkers don’t really realize quite how much money they are spending on alcohol: when you are drunk you may keep ordering drinks, or leave your credit card behind the bar and spend much more money than you can afford. Just a month or two off the booze and you will quickly see that unspent cash accumulate. Drinkers and alcoholics often assume that they need alcohol to have a good time, and their social lives often revolve around their local bars and clubs. However another benefit of giving up the booze will actually be the effect on your social life, which you are likely to see improve. You’ll make new sober friends (either through your rehab program or in your local AA meeting) and will enjoy trying your hand at new activities that don’t revolve around beer: why not take up a new active hobby that you’ve never tried before?

Giving up alcohol has so many incredible benefits and every aspect of your life will be positively affected by choosing to remove the booze. Why not try it for yourself and see how wonderful your alcohol free life could be?

Post written by:  Anne Fielding

 

Additional Reading

[1] “How normal is your drinking? Navigating the alcohol consumption curve”, Slate 

[2] “Alcohol: Balancing the risks and the benefits”, Harvard School of Public Health

[3] “Take a break from alcohol”, Drink Aware

[4] “Our Liver vacation: Is a dry January really worth it?”, New Scientist 

[5] “5 Unexpected Benefits of Sobriety” Recovery.org 

Blackouts – Are They Real or Just an Excuse? – BreakingTheCycles.com

How many times have you found yourself uttering incredulous gasps, “What do you mean you don’t remember?” or engaging in an argument with someone you care about because of something they said or did while they were drunk? Have you ever had them just stare at you, stone faced, as if to challenge your recollection and/or flip it around to somehow being “your fault,” something you’d simply dreamed up or were blowing all out of proportion?

Surprisingly, perhaps, your loved one might incapable of remembering their behaviors while intoxicated – even if they were fully “there,” (meaning not passed out but still standing, talking, doing ‘stuff’). This is because they’ve likely experienced an alcohol-induced blackout.