These Are The ‘Immediate’ Benefits Of Stopping Drinking

Some benefits set in as quickly as an hour after stopping.

As we recover from the festive season, many people are undertaking Dry January — a 31 day challenge to abstain from alcohol for “a total body and mind reset”.

While some people use this as an opportunity just to detox after a heavy drinking season, others use it to get started on a full-time sobriety journey. Last year, 175,000 people signed up for the official challenge and this year, they’re hoping to reach 200,000 people.

But, what actually are the benefits of stopping drinking? And how quickly do you see them? If you’re tired of hangovers and spending more than you should on alcohol, learning how good sobriety is for your well-being might just spur you on.

Lucy Moon, a content creator who has been publicly on a sobriety journey since 2021 said in a recent video about being sober for two years, “my life is just so much better since quitting... it’s so whole and rich now and I’m immensely grateful for that. Life has a degree of regularity and predictability that I never had before.”

The benefits of not drinking alcohol

According to addiction counsellor Luke Worsfold, who spoke to the Daily Mail, an hour after stopping drinking, your blood pressure will begin to improve which will in turn benefit brain cells and improve the delivery of nutrients. Then you’ll find balance will improve and your mind will feel clearer.

Research published in the British Medical Journal found that just a month off alcohol can lower blood pressure, reduce diabetes risk, lower cholesterol and reduces levels of cancer-related proteins in the blood.

Additionally, research conducted by the University of Sussex found that after Dry January, more than 70% of people who take on the challenge have a healthier relationship with alcohol altogether.

Alcohol Change UK says that this is because, “being alcohol-free for 31 days shows us that we don’t need alcohol to have fun, to relax, or to socialise. It helps us learn the skills we need to manage our drinking.

“That means that for the rest of the year we are better able to make decisions about when we drink and how much, so we can avoid slipping into drinking more than we really want to.”

Which is excellent when you consider that over 60 health conditions including liver disease, seven types of cancer and high blood pressure are all linked to alcohol consumption. Sadly, alcohol is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability for people aged 15-49 in the UK.

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