How Long Does It Take to Detox From Alcohol?

Too much alcohol affects your speech, muscle coordination and vital centers of your brain. A heavy drinking binge may even cause a life-threatening coma or death. This is of particular concern when you’re taking certain medications that also depress the brain’s function. Unhealthy alcohol what happens when you stop drinking alcohol use includes any alcohol use that puts your health or safety at risk or causes other alcohol-related problems. It also includes binge drinking — a pattern of drinking where a male has five or more drinks within two hours or a female has at least four drinks within two hours.

It can be hard to find (or even know) the balance of how much alcohol your body is able to handle. If you’re not sure if your drinking crosses a certain line or not, try measuring your alcohol intake. That’s especially true for those who drink large amounts for long periods of time. Quitting alcohol for one month seems like a short time, but a 2015 study found that many people who participate in Dry January continue to drink less six months later.

You May Have Trouble Sleeping

Of all your body’s organs, your liver takes the biggest hit when it comes to alcohol. Even if your relationship with drinking consists of occasional social drinking with friends or occasionally over-indulging in wine and cocktails during the holiday season, alcohol can still leave its mark. Hrishikesh Belani, M.D., M.P.H., is the primary care director of the LA County Health Services Ambulatory Care Network and an assistant professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.Dr. He is the co-chair of the LA County Department of Health Services HIV Best Practices Committee and member of the LA County Department of Health Services Substance Use Disorder work group.

what happens when you stop drinking alcohol

No participants had a history of known liver disease or alcohol dependence. Whether you’re challenging yourself to a no-drink stint (hello, Dry January) or considering cutting back on alcohol in general, your body can experience some real changes when you stop drinking. Here are some significant ways not drinking for 30 days or more can impact your body, mind, and overall health.

‘I’m a Doctor—Here’s How Your Body Changes After a Month Without Alcohol’

Try to schedule a rewarding activity for this “witching hour” timeframe. ​Drinking—especially a fine wine or scotch habit—is an expensive undertaking. Take a moment to crunch the numbers, adding up what you spend for drinks both at home and out on the town (factoring in tax and tip).

  • One of the most profound ways that alcohol affects you is through what it does to your body.
  • But a full detox is needed for the most benefit, and how much time that takes depends on a variety of personal factors.
  • If you’re concerned about someone who drinks too much, ask a professional experienced in alcohol treatment for advice on how to approach that person.
  • If you have these symptoms if you miss a drinking session, it can be dangerous to stop drinking completely too quickly without proper support.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms range from mild but annoying to severe and life-threatening. Over time, however, the body builds a tolerance to alcohol, and a person may have to drink more and more to get the same feeling. Meanwhile, the brain is producing more and more neurotransmitters, making a person further imbalanced. Alcohol plays a role in at least half of all serious trauma injuries and deaths from burns, drownings, and homicides. It’s also involved in four out of 10 fatal falls and traffic crashes, as well as suicides.

Impact on your health

But if you drink alone, or down multiple drinks a day, it could turn into an unhealthy habit. If you can’t control it, it may lead to a condition called alcohol use disorder. Giving up drinking may let you focus on your relationships, work, and health. It also may ease any depression and anxiety and elevate your self-esteem.

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