Before and After Alcohol Addiction – A Comparison

Before and After Alcohol Addiction - A Comparison

Alcohol addiction can affect anyone. It’s not dependent on race, gender or location. Once alcohol addiction takes hold, it only cares about finding the next drink.

Alcoholism is a disease. It affects the body physically and mentally. Yet because drinking is considered socially acceptable, it can be difficult to spot when someone has an addiction. Without help, addiction can lead to serious health consequences.

Moreover, alcohol is a carcinogenic poison.1 It wreaks havoc with your physical, mental, and overall life aspirations. Before and after drug addiction paints very different pictures. Quitting isn’t easy, but getting sober can change your life for the better.

Before and After Alcohol Addiction – Physical Health

During Addiction

Drinking a lot of alcohol in a short space of time (binge drinking) or being unable to cope without alcohol over a prolonged period can lead to several alarming health issues. These include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart problems, including irregular heartbeat
  • Risk of stroke
  • Fatty liver
  • Alcohol hepatitis
  • Cancers
  • Inflamed pancreas
  • Weaker immune system

You also may appear to age quicker as alcohol affects your skin and appearance.

Physical Health before and after addiction

After Addiction

It doesn’t take long for your body to notice the positive health effects of being sober. Though not everyone experiences the same symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol, delirium tremens (DT) and withdrawal symptoms should ease after the first seven days of being sober.

Within just one month, you’ll start to experience a range of health benefits like:

  • Better sleep. With alcohol no longer disrupting your REM and slow-wave sleep, you’ll wake feeling more refreshed after deeper sleep.
  • You’ll be better hydrated, resulting in fewer headaches and clearer skin.
  • You’ll be able to absorb more nutrients and minerals. Stomach issues like acid reflux and indigestion will ease.
  • Liver fat will reduce by 15% and sometimes up to 20%.2
  • Lower blood pressure reduces the risk of strokes.
  • Smoother, more even skin tone.

Before and After Alcohol Addiction – Mental Health

During Addiction

Some people turn to alcohol as they believe it’ll help relieve anxiety and help them relax. However, the relaxation effect is short-lived, and the more you drink, the worse anxiety becomes.

The truth is, alcohol is a depressant. It affects the neurotransmitters in the brain. That’s why heavy regular drinking causes depression, anxiety, and occasionally, psychosis.

Hangovers are another source of anxiety. Waking up not knowing what happened the night before and feeling ill and jittery contribute to worsening anxiety.

Alcohol also disrupts sleep patterns making alcoholic users more likely to experience negative mental health effects, even including hallucinations.

Mental Health before and after addiction

After Addiction

Giving up alcohol will improve your mental health. Just getting enough restful sleep is enough to make you feel better. Add to that less “hangxiety” and not stressing over chunks of memory loss, and your anxiety will begin to lessen.

It’s important not to expect miracles overnight. Instead, persevere with sobriety, and you’ll find that your mind and thought processes become clearer.

Once free from the grip of alcohol, you’ll be able to find new activities to help you relax. Yoga, meditation, and exercise are ideal ways to destress and unwind.

New friendships and support from family can also give your mental wellbeing a much-needed boost after alcohol addiction.

Before and After Alcohol Addiction – Relationships

During Addiction

It’s challenging for those addicted to alcohol to make lasting friendships unless they’re with other alcohol dependents. Unfortunately, friendships are often short-lived and shallow when somebody is under the influence of alcohol.

Friends who also drink may prevent you from giving up alcohol as they don’t want to lose their drinking buddy.

Furthermore, excessive alcohol use may lead to abusive relationships. When under the influence, it’s easy to say something you don’t mean or exaggerate an issue. People grow tired of drunken antics and disappointments. Friends and family may begin to distance themselves.

What’s more concerning is that alcohol is often the driving factor behind severe crimes like sexual assault, domestic violence, or homicide.3

Relationships before and after addiction

Relationships After Addiction

Getting sober enables you to think more clearly about relationships. A rehab center can help you look back on past mistakes and help you find ways to make amends if that will help you move forward.

Once sober, you can start to reconnect with your family. It may take time to build trust, but with help from your rehab team, you’ll have all the support you need to rebuild broken bridges.

You’ll make better choices with your friendship groups and discover new ways to enjoy socializing.

Before and After Alcohol Addiction – Life Opportunities

During Addiction

Alcohol not only takes away your health, but it also impacts your life choices. Everything depends on the next drink, and opportunities are limited. It’s difficult to hold down a steady job when drinking heavily.

You might not be able to afford the rent on your home and end up sofa surfing or, even worse, living on the streets.

The hopes and dreams you held onto before alcohol start to fade away and become harder and harder to remember. Life becomes the same, day in day out, focused on getting the next alcoholic drink.

Life opportunities before and after california rehab

After Addiction

Sober life opens up so many new doors and opportunities. Without hangovers or alcohol cravings, you’ll be able to focus on your career.

Financially, your circumstances will improve as your alcohol habit no longer needs funding. Buying a home or renting an apartment and living a happier, settled life are achievable goals when sober.

Want to Break Free from Alcohol Addiction? Call Clear Life Recovery Today and Start Your Journey to Recovery

Don’t wait to find help for your drinking problem or detox from alcohol. An alcohol detox center can help you stop drinking and guide you towards a healthier future.

From small moments like feeling better in detox to more significant moments like rediscovering your career aspirations, you do not experience your new life alone. You had enough of being alone in your addiction and isolation.

If you’re ready to work hard towards your goals, contact our compassionate, knowledgeable team at Clear Life Recovery to handle your treatment needs to help you flourish. 

Sources:
[1] https://www.cancervic.org.au/preventing-cancer/limit-alcohol/how-alcohol-causes-cancer
[2] https://www.ucl.ac.uk/liver-and-digestive-health
[3] https://iris.paho.org/bitstream/handle/10665.2/55138/PAHONMHMH210035_eng.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

About Benjamin Hogan

Over the years, Benjamin has held positions in many different areas of alcohol and drug addiction services all over the country. He made a name for himself as an interventionist and has held certification as a Certified National Drug and Alcohol Interventionist (CNDAI-II). Benjamin specializes in helping support families of people struggling with addiction by focusing on education and instilling healthy boundaries to ensure lasting changes. Addiction is a progressive disease, but using an evidence-based approach, an intervention, when done correctly, can help to increase the willingness of a loved one to seek sobriety faster.

"In my experience, by helping families make necessary changes, they not only get their lives back, but they also help change the mind of their loved one more quickly. In an intervention, family and other loved ones take a proactive approach, instead of waiting and being stuck between fear and (false) hope. I realized in my own recovery, that when my family changed, I had to change in response. That is where I found sobriety. This is why I believe in what I do!"