What Happens When You Quit Alcohol?

When it comes to substance abuse, its symptoms, and the effects of quitting alcohol, there's no better time than now to explore the science and ask experts what really happens. As soon as alcohol leaves your system, your nervous system will start to accelerate, which can lead to sleep disorders and more frequent wake-ups during the night. Additionally, since alcohol is often made with inflammatory ingredients such as sugar and wheat, and mixed drinks often include added sugars, abstaining from alcohol can help you avoid these triggers for inflammation. In the long run, excessive alcohol consumption weakens the immune system and the body's ability to repair itself. Quitting alcohol for 30 days or more can reduce factors such as joint pain, headaches, and body aches, according to Scheller.

It's also clear that alcohol consumption increases the chances of developing several types of cancer, including in the esophagus (digestive tract), mouth, throat, and sinuses. When you stop drinking, your body has a chance to recover from the damage of alcohol, but it may take some time to feel like yourself again. Heavy drinkers and people with alcohol use disorders may experience uncomfortable mental and physical health effects when they cut back on alcohol or stop drinking abruptly. In fact, alcohol consumption accounts for 6 percent of all cancers and 4 percent of all cancer deaths in the United States. Abstaining from alcohol for a long time can significantly lower the risk of developing these types of cancer in the long term, according to Wirtz.

Because of these risks, you may need medical attention during the alcohol withdrawal process. In the short term, you are no longer at risk of alcohol poisoning or suffering from violence associated with alcohol consumption. The rate of miscarriages or stillbirths also decreases dramatically. For young people, the risks of accidents, injuries, and violence far outweigh any possible benefits of drinking alcohol. Reducing your intake or quitting altogether can lower your blood pressure, levels of fats called triglycerides, and your chances of heart failure.

Sophia Streeby
Sophia Streeby

Addiction recovery expert from experience and training - I want to help others Quit drinking alcohol and find freedom from addiction daily.