The Health Benefits of Giving Up Alcohol For Good

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From avoiding addiction to keeping one's heart, liver, and kidneys healthy, lots of reasons contribute to why many people would want to drop alcohol from their daily diet. Eliminating alcohol from one's diet can improve sleep, reduce the risk for diabetes and certain cancers, and improve one's overall mood.

What else can cutting alcohol out of one's life do?

Reduced Risks to Heart Health

Alcohol consumption, especially consuming alcohol to excess, has been linked to cardiomyopathy (drooping of the heart muscles). And that's just the beginning of the adverse effects of alcohol consumption on the heart. For example, drinking alcohol can also lead to weight gain, which is harmful to cardiovascular health.

Reduced Risk for Stroke

Alcohol consumption in one's youth has been directly linked to increased stroke risk. In particular, drinking to intoxication is associated with a significant risk for ischemic stroke in both men and women between the ages of 16 and 40.

Reduced Risk for High Blood Pressure

There is no scientific consensus on whether moderate drinking harms blood pressure. However, it is well known that heavy alcohol consumption is directly linked to increased high blood pressure. This phenomenon is apparent in both men and women who drink significant amounts of alcohol.

Sleep Better and Feel Better

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Alcohol consumption has been directly linked to less REM sleep per sleep cycle. That means people who drink alcohol will wake up feeling less rested and more prone to daytime drowsiness. Alcohol is also a depressant, meaning that consuming alcohol will ultimately make people more vulnerable to depression and anxiety. Halting alcohol consumption can stabilize mood and add REM sleep to each sleep cycle, improving one's emotional state and helping them feel more well-rested.

Healthier Liver, Balanced Hormones, and Calm Neurological Activity

Drinking alcohol directly affects liver health, mainly by adding fat to the liver and causing alcohol fatty liver disease. Quoting one study, "Fascinatingly, after only 1 month of not drinking, your liver will start to regenerate and liver fat levels will start to fall on average by 15%."

Alcohol consumption can imbalance hormone production, reduce one's sense of calm (by blocking progesterone production), or increase appetite (by increasing levels of the hormone ghrelin).

Alcohol consumption also increases the risk for dementia and other forms of brain damage. Quoting the same research cited earlier, "Alcohol reduces the volume of the brain's white matter (that transmits signals within the brain). Alcohol can damage the brain's frontal lobe (impulse control, memory, motor function, social and sexual behavior). This area of cognitive function is the most commonly affected by alcohol-related dementia."

If one were to cut alcohol out of their life completely, they'd likely have a healthier liver, more balanced hormones, and healthier neurological activity.

Benefits to the Family Members

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Health is not just a physical issue. Health is psychological, and it's also communal. For example, the family's mental and behavioral health should also be taken into account here. When one person in the family drinks alcohol (especially if they drink to excess), this can harm the rest of the family.

According to a white paper published in the journal Alcohol Research & Health, about 14 million Americans meet the criteria for alcohol abuse. More than 50% of Americans have a close family member or friend who struggles with alcohol addiction or alcohol abuse. About one in four American children is exposed to alcohol misuse or alcohol dependence within the family unit.

Removing alcohol from one's life is not only a wise decision for the individual person's health and vitality; it's a wise decision for the health of the overall family.

Why "Drinking Less" Isn't Enough

One of the horrible truths about alcohol addiction is that many people who drink too much think that all they need to do is cut down, that they need to drink less. Sadly, there is no such thing as simply "drinking less" for someone who already drinks to excess. The best approach for someone who is drinking alcohol, especially if they are drinking too much, is to stop consuming alcohol completely. Making a bold and definitive halt in alcohol consumption not only helps prevent the onset of all kinds of health problems that might have cropped up later in life, but doing so simply helps the individual enjoy life more in the here and now.

Addiction Treatment—Walking Away from Alcohol and Never Looking Back

In conclusion, it's fitting to quote study authors Bruun and Edwards et al., as their warning regarding alcohol consumption is appropriate. "Over the years, scientists have documented the effects of alcohol on many of the body's organ systems and its role in the development of a variety of medical problems, including cardiovascular diseases, liver cirrhosis, and fetal abnormalities. Alcohol use and abuse also contribute to injuries, automobile collisions, and violence. Alcohol can markedly affect worker productivity and absenteeism, family interactions, and school performance, and it can kill, directly or indirectly."

Alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction can have devastating effects on the health and vitality of those addicted and their families. If you know someone who is consuming alcohol and who cannot stop, please contact Narconon today.


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AUTHOR

Ren

After working in addiction treatment for several years, Ren now travels the country, studying drug trends and writing about addiction in our society. Ren is focused on using his skill as an author and counselor to promote recovery and effective solutions to the drug crisis. Connect with Ren on LinkedIn.

NARCONON ARROWHEAD

DRUG EDUCATION AND REHABILITATION