What Happens When You Stop Drinking?

what happens when you stop drinking

Declaring your independence from alcohol is a significant life milestone that brings many benefits. You may be aware of some of the things you can expect to experience when you stop drinking, but other advantages are less immediately obvious. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Strengthen Your Immune System

Many long-term, heavy drinkers suffer from health problems such as fatigue, malnutrition and obesity, all of which can weaken your immune system and leave you more vulnerable to infection or illness. Alcohol damages the liver and pancreas, which can degrade immune function and cause the body to be more susceptible to other problems as well. Alcohol also inhibits the production of a type of white blood cell that seeks and destroys viruses and cancer cells.

2. Look Younger

Alcohol can prematurely age you. It is a diuretic, which means it can dehydrate your skin and make wrinkles appear more prominent. Drinking alcohol can also make you look older by causing broken capillaries, which are the tiny blood vessels near your skin’s surface. As you get older, these blood vessels will become less elastic, and alcohol can make them burst, leaving you with red, spidery splotches and discoloration around your nose, cheeks and jawline.

When you stop drinking and commit to a sober lifestyle, you will notice you look younger due to increased hydration, accelerated cell turnover and more water absorption.

3. Save Money

Maintaining a drinking habit can be expensive. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on alcohol every month, you can set aside more of your hard-earned money in a retirement fund or high-yield savings account, planning for a brighter future.

4. Lose Weight and Focus on Nutrition

Alcoholic beverages contain hundreds of empty calories, especially if you combine them with sugary mixers like soda and fruit juice. Even if you otherwise make healthy food choices, you may still be overweight due to alcohol consumption. Substance abuse can also harm your digestive system, making it harder for your body to absorb vitamins and minerals from the meals you eat. When you stop drinking, you will lose weight, and you can start making nutrition a recovery priority.

5. Improve Your Self-Esteem

Addiction brings a host of complex emotions. For example, you may carry a heavy burden of guilt and shame because your drinking habit is out of control. Getting sober will renew your self-esteem and give you a sense of accomplishment.

Get Treatment to Stop Drinking at New Found Life

Even if you rationally understand the reasons to stop drinking and all the ways it can benefit your life, you may discover your relationship with alcohol has become too complicated for you to end it on your own. Uncomfortable and dangerous withdrawal symptoms can make it extremely challenging to quit drinking without help, and you’ll need to identify the underlying causes of your unhealthy habits to avoid a return to alcohol abuse.

New Found Life is a California alcohol rehab dedicated to helping people recover from addiction and renew their lives. Learn more about our evidence-based continuum of care, then reach out anytime to speak to one of our admissions counselors.