Life Before And After Alcohol Addiction

Life Before And After Alcohol Addiction

The culture of drinking in the UK makes it easy to fall into the trap of feeling as though you need to drink to have a good time. This can lead to people finding that their only social interactions are fuelled by alcohol and this very easily leads to problem drinking for many people.

In England there are an estimated 589,101 dependent drinkers, who are drinking problematically and, in some cases, not even realising that they have an issue with alcohol dependence or addition.

Deciding to quit drinking can be a huge boost if you are dependent on alcohol, and can change most areas of your life for the better.

Physical Health

Before Quitting Alcohol

Everyone is aware that alcohol is not exactly a health food, even though some studies suggesting a positive link between moderate drinking and things like heart disease or certain cancers. The fact is that once you have an alcohol dependence you are likely to be binge drinking, which is a causal factor in a wide range of serious and even life-threatening conditions.

In the long term, alcohol puts you at risk of:

  • Various cancers including mouth, throat, breast, liver, colorectal and oesophageal
  • Hepatitis
  • Steatosis or ‘fatty liver’
  • Strokes
  • Heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Memory loss and trouble focusing
  • Decreased grey and white matter in your brain

Alcohol addiction also causes you to look older, lowering collagen levels and causing your skin to lose its elasticity. As a diuretic, alcohol dehydrates your body and can cause tightening of the skin, which further contributes to the “aged” look of some sufferers.

After Quitting Alcohol

Your physical health starts to improve almost immediately after quitting alcohol. Within just a few days you will start to notice improvements in your memory, focus and critical thinking, and your skin will start to lose the red flush that is brought on by tissue inflammation.

Over time, because your body is not preoccupied with ridding itself of toxins your immune system gets stronger and you stop getting ill all the time, your skin improves as collagen levels rise and most people lose weight.

Those who drink every day can take in hundreds or even thousands of extra calories, so on stopping drinking many people find that they lose weight quickly, without even trying.

 

Mental Health

Before Quitting Alcohol

Alcohol is often found as a factor in mental health issues of all types, thanks to its ability to relieve depression and anxiety initially. However, this calming effect only lasts for a very short amount of time and as you drink more you experience the negative effects of drinking on your mental health.

Alcohol is a depressant and, combined with the memory loss that is common in heavy drinkers, this can leave people with a severe sense of guilt or shame after drinking, as they try to piece together what they did. Alcohol also, conversely, can actually trigger periods of anxiety and depression, meaning in those who already suffer from these issues it can get much worse.

Sleep patterns are severely disrupted by alcohol meaning that alcoholics are often overtired and very serious alcoholics may even suffer from hallucinations.

After Quitting Alcohol

On quitting alcohol one of the first signs that people notice is that they are able to sleep longer and deeper than they have been able to in a long time. Sleep itself offers wonderful benefits for mental health. Your mood is likely to stabilise and anxiety will settle so that you are able to feel in control again.

Not only will quitting alcohol help to ease depression on a chemical level, it also forces you to work out new ways of dealing with mental health problems, such as anxiety, without relying on alcohol. Learning healthy ways to cope with things can help you to feel more in control of yourself and your life than you have done for a long time.

 

Social life

Before Quitting Alcohol

Alcohol is hugely damaging to your interpersonal relationships. As an alcoholic you tend to form fast friendships and bonds with people simply because you are all under the influence of alcohol.

You will end up with ‘drinking buddies’ that you don’t really have anything in common with, and who work more as enablers to your own habits, rather than having any beneficial role in your life.

Alcohol can also cause terrible damage to your existing relationships. People under the influence of alcohol are more likely to say and do things that they otherwise wouldn’t, including becoming violent to partners, family members or even strangers.

In the UK in 2015/16 alcohol was believed to be a factor in 39% of all violent incidents, and alcohol is often a feature of many domestic assault arrests as well.

After Quitting Alcohol

Quitting drinking allows you to take stock of everything that has happened and try to repair the damage that has been done. In many rehabilitation programmes there is a focus on making amends to those that you have hurt. With a clear head you are able to understand what you have done and why, and try to reconnect with friends and family who you may have caused harm to in the past.

It takes time to repair your social circle after quitting alcohol, not least because you will need to work out who is really there for you and who is simply a drinking buddy. Through rehab you should be able to identify the true relationships in your life and start trying to repair these, whilst cutting ties with the enablers who kept you tied to your drinking lifestyle.

 

Life Opportunities

Before Quitting Alcohol

Alcoholics find it hard to keep or get employment. Someone who is addicted to alcohol can be very expensive to an employer, with work days missed that need to be covered, the potential for accidents at work, decreased productivity and so on. Some employers believe it is not worthwhile keeping someone with an alcohol addiction on the payroll, so many alcoholics find themselves out of work.

Alcohol also hits you hard financially even if you do manage to hold onto a job. Alcohol releases dopamine into the brain, a surplus of which can make you overly confident and optimistic, as well as narcissistic. This can lead to bad financial decisions including making rash purchases and engaging in problematic gambling

After Quitting Alcohol

Once you are able to work without being drunk or hungover, you should find that you start doing better at your job, and are once again able to focus on your career. If you are out of work after rehab, your renewed focus and passion should help you to find a job far more quickly.

You will find that not spending money on alcohol makes you instantly better off financially, and then as you start to progress your career and make better decisions your financial situation really starts to improve.

 

Alcohol Addiction Treatments at Cassiobury Court

If you think that you are ready to quit drinking and don’t know how to start, Cassiobury Court can offer you a comfortable and secure place on one of our treatment programmes. Our alcohol rehabilitation process involves detox, medication, therapy and social activities that together will help you stay alcohol free and get you ready to live your best life after alcohol addiction.

We can be reached on 01923 369 161 or you can text HELP to 83222 to find out more.