How Long Does It Take to Detox From Alcohol?

According to American Addiction Centers, drinking increases stress in the body, which disrupts normal production and regulation of the stress hormone cortisol. Alcohol use can worsen existing how to take a break from drinking anxiety and depression and lead to new diagnoses. Cutting back can improve symptoms, including “hangxiety” – struggling with hangover-related anxiety, restless sleep, and irritability.

benefits of taking a break from alcohol

Since embarking on this journey a year ago, Stangland has noticed she has less brain fog, she sleeps better and her skin has improved. Just like a broken bone or infection needs time to heal, so does an overworked liver. While this depends on the amount of alcohol you have had over the years, your liver can see partial healing within two to three weeks, but this will depend on your health history. For most people, participating in month-long challenges will provide a range of benefits and little downside, even over the longer term. You might hear psychologists refer to something called the “rule violation effect”. This is when you’re working hard to not drink, but one day give in and have a glass of wine or two, then give up on your goals altogether.

good reasons to take a break from alcohol

In fact, more than a third (35%) of US adults of legal drinking age participated in Dry January in 2022. That’s according to CGA, a company that researches food and drink. If someone chooses not to drink, they are under no obligation to explain their decision. Don’t press them and suggest “one drink won’t hurt you” or ask intrusive questions such as “Are you not drinking because you’re pregnant?

benefits of taking a break from alcohol

In severe cases of withdrawal when symptoms are not treated, a person may experience generalized tonic-clonic seizures, delirium tremens, and even death. It can cause memory loss and interference with brain development. For college students, being dry is the best thing to do,” he said. Alcohol is metabolized by the liver and an enzyme called dehydrogenases.

Giving up alcohol for just 1 month has lasting benefits

We all have that friend who took a timeout from booze, and just swears they look better, feel better, and suddenly have the boundless energy of a baby gazelle. So maybe it’s time to see for yourself what happens when you stop drinking. Do you have friends you only spend time with when you’re drinking? Try spending some alcohol-free time together and you may be surprised by the more meaningful levels of interaction you can reach. Instead of meeting for a drink, why not organise a walk followed by a healthy breakfast, or perhaps a trip to the beach or a museum?

Sometimes, being there is just about wanting to be social and fit in. Another social club member, Kathy Kuzniar, says she used to obsess over whether there was enough wine in the house. She says she feels calmer since she became sober, and she has lost 30 pounds. You might not think consuming alcohol has an impact on your personal relationships or daily life until you take a harder look, Thiry says. What’s more, alcohol contributes to more than 200 diseases, including those affecting the liver, pancreas, and heart.

What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Drinking Alcohol?

This kind of deterioration is responsible for disease like Alzheimer’s, which we can lower the risk for when we cut down on heavy drinking. There are also links between alcohol and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, anxiety, depression, long-term cognitive impairment, infectious diseases, nerve damage, liver disease… the list goes on! The simple act of reducing your alcohol intake may be one of the kindest things you can do for your body in the long term. In addition to the health benefits, when you stop drinking for any amount of time it automatically saves you money. Research shows that drinking large amounts of alcohol before bedtime leads to decreased sleep onset and disrupted, poor quality sleep later in the night.

“Nutrition therapy is very important in terms of feeding the liver and giving it the building blocks it needs to restore itself,” says Dr. Lindenmeyer. Another thing that will help your liver’s journey in recovery is good nutrition. There’s no miracle diet by any means, but the Mediterranean diet, for example, can help fill some of the nutritional gaps you may have due to alcohol use. If you suddenly have a craving for alcohol, try doing some vigorous exercise or doing something you love instead. These things release the same feel-good chemicals in your brain as alcohol. They won’t make you feel intoxicated like alcohol but they may make you feel happier and more relaxed.

Take note of your mental health

Just being dry for 1 month and going back to drinking in excess is a bad idea. If you are drinking in excess, it’s better to cut your alcohol intake,” said Dasgupta. “If heavier drinkers remove alcohol for a longer period of time, they might see weight loss, improvement in body composition, less stomach fat, improvement in triglycerides (one of the fat particles in the blood),” she said. Dr. Dasgupta said for social and moderate drinkers, participating in a month break won’t make much difference to their bodies.

“Those early days of abstinence from alcohol were so tough, because I had no friends,” he says. Chris Marshall is a certified substance abuse counselor and the founder of Sans Bar, a venue for “the nightlife experience” without the alcohol, in Austin, Texas. “Oh my gosh. Well, one thing that was noticeable to pretty much everybody was my overall health and, like, my skin, my eyes. … I lost weight,” says Stephanie Forte, who works in sales in the beauty industry. Long-term, excessive drinking also raises the odds of developing dementia. In fact, studies show that even a low amount of alcohol—less than one drink for women and less than two for men—can negatively impact sleep quality.

Timeline for Quitting Alcohol

Patient does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Patient aims to help the world proactively manage its healthcare, supplying evidence-based information on a wide range of medical and health topics to patients and health professionals. Hallucinations usually diminish after 7 days, though for some, they can last up to 1 month. “We came to a realization that we were drinking way too often and way too much,” says Zaleski. He welcomes to Sans Bar people who are in recovery and those just curious about the sober life, as long as they are substance free when they arrive and while they’re there. After one month, the researchers documented a reduction in the participants’ GGT.