Alcohol Awareness Month
“Sobriety has given me a life I’d never had and to this day I feel grateful every single day and grateful for the fellowship of AA and life skills I’ve learned over the 22 years I’ve been sober, one day at a time. When I go to bed at night after not having had a drink, no matter what, it’s been a good day.”
– Nigel, Kennedy Street Recovery Story
One important thing to remember is that there is no one type of person that can be impacted by alcohol addiction. Those from all walks of life can find themselves in patterns of problematic drinking that interferes with their lives, relationships and jobs.
Current Alcohol Use in the UK
● Evidence suggests that businesses lose between £866 – £1062 million per year, in costs related to losses of labour and productivity from alcohol misuse alone.
● 24% of workers admitted to drinking during the workday in the past year.
● 22% of workers admit to making mistakes at work due to having a hangover.
● 15% of workers admit to being drunk at work at least occasionally.
● Public Health England’s data on the indirect effects of COVID-19 found that in June 2020, over 8.4 million people (1 in 5) were drinking at higher risk, up from just 4.8 million (1 in 10) in Feb 2020.
Benefits of Stopping Drinking
While many people know the negative impacts that excessive drinking can have, most don’t realize the significant benefits that come when you stop drinking.
Healthier Body – Heart, Liver, Immune System & More
Drinking heavily has a huge impact on your health and can lead to serious and even fatal consequences, including:
- liver cirrhosis
- fatty build up in the liver and heart
- increased risk of many types of cancer
- high blood pressure
- weakened immune system
- & many more.
The good news is, that stopping drinking can strengthen your body and reduce these risks significantly. The liver itself can repair and even regenerate on its own!
Improve Your Brain Function & Mental Health
Long-term alcohol abuse can impact the brain in a number of ways, including:
- impairing your motor function and reaction times
- issues with memory and focus
- mental health issues like depression and anxiety
It can be the cause of many serious injuries and accidents including burns, drowning, falls, and traffic accidents that can be fact. It is also often linked to suicide. When you stop drinking, your risk of these types of accidents dramatically decreases, and your brain function can begin to improve.
Although many use alcohol as a way to fall asleep at night, it actually disrupts the important stages of sleep, makes it difficult to stay asleep and can interfere with your breathing at night. Stopping drinking means that your body is able to get more good quality sleep, and can help you wake up feeling truly rested, and develop a healthier sleeping pattern for the future.
Weight Loss & Nutrition
Drinking excessively can deplete the body of vital nutrients, and those with alcohol addiction often use drinking to replace meals. It can also affect the body’s ability to digest food and absorb nutrients, which can have significant health impacts. Many types of alcohol are also incredibly high in calories and sugar, so cutting out drinking can help you to lose weight and stay healthy.
Alcohol addiction can have a huge impact on your relationship with those around you. It can lead to shame and guilt, cause you to become withdrawn or avoid loved ones in pursuit of drinking, and affect your mood and how you interact with others. Prolonged excessive drinking can also impact your brain’s ability to read other people’s emotions. One of the joys of reaching recovery is that it allows you to rebuild damaged relationships and develop more healthy connections, and allows you to connect with a supportive recovery community. Stopping drinking can also increase your sex drive and sexual performance, too!
“I’ve learnt to love myself because that little shy girl doesn’t need a mask in order to tackle life. She doesn’t need to put on a show or pretend to be anything other than the being that she is today. Annie is not afraid anymore for she has dealt with things that have at times seemed impossible to the point where death was the easier option. I now have a life I love. A home I cherish and bless every day. Family and friends who I have unconditional love for. A body and brain that are still working and working well. Plenty to celebrate!”
– Anon, Kennedy Street Recovery Story
Addiction is not always about the amount being consumed, but the impact that your drinking has on your life and your loved ones. You can check out some questions here that might help you to determine if you’re drinking might be becoming and issue.
But for those drinking excessively and who have become dependent, there are some signficant risks of withdrawal that can be dangerous, if someone is to stop drinking without the proper support to detox. Signs of withdrawal can include: cold sweats, racing pulse, nausea, vomiting, shaky hands, intense anxiety, and even seizures and hallucinations.
If you’re worried about withdrawal, you can use the Drinkaware Self-Assessment Tool, https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/tools/self-assessment, and it is important to discuss any of these concerns with your GP, who can help you access support to detox if needed.
At Kennedy Street, we don’t just want to help you to stop drinking but to also maintain sobriety and thrive in recovery! You can contact us today and find out how we can help you. Call our Recovery Helpline on 020 3416 3643 or Contact Us, and check out our Recovery Resources for more helpful tools and contacts to support you in your pursuit of recovery.
AA – Alcoholics Anonymous
For those seeking help with an alcohol problem. AA is about personal recovery and the continued sobriety of individual alcoholics who turn to the Fellowship for help.
0800 9177 650
Sobriety Counter – Stop Drinking (EasyQuit)
This is a great motivational app for those that have stopped drinking. It tracks several elements, including how long you’ve been sober, the relevant health benefits, motivational tips and money saved. It’s easy to use and highly rated.
iPhone app store
Android app store
This app helps you track your drinking from day to day, provides you with your current risk level, and also offers a GPS function that can offer you some encouragement if you’re near a ‘trigger’ location for you. Available on Google Play and App Store: