The first few weeks of recovery are often the most difficult, but they can also be the most rewarding. Here we look at five ways in which just 30 days without alcohol can totally transform your life.
Giving up alcohol can dramatically improve your physical health and general wellbeing in a surprisingly short space of time. Even in the first few weeks, as your dependence on alcohol fades, your body and mind begin to recover at the astonishing rate that only the human body can. Embracing these positives can be key to a successful recovery from alcohol addiction.
Giving up alcohol is never easy and it’s important to get all the support you can. If you’ve been drinking heavily for a long period of time, it’s a good idea to seek professional advice first, as going cold turkey can have severe physical and psychological side effects. The right alcohol addiction treatment programme can guarantee your wellbeing while guiding you through those first weeks safely and maximising your chances of staying sober long after the first 30 days have passed.
Whether you seek professional help or decide to go it alone, 30 days without alcohol is an excellent first step towards getting sober: short enough to feel attainable, but long enough to allow you really appreciate the benefits of life without alcohol.
Here are just some of the benefits you’ll experience in your early weeks without alcohol. Don’t expect for all of these to kick in during the first week or so, but by the end of the month, you will:
1. Be Healthier
It’s only logical that the body begins to recover when we stop drinking. However, a 2013 study carried out by New Scientist and the Institute for Liver and Digestive Health at University College London Medical School found that our bodies recover from alcohol at a much faster pace than previously believed.
The study of 10 people who stopped drinking for five weeks and four who continued drinking found that for those who abstained:
- Liver fat, a common precursor to liver damage, fell by an average of 15 per cent and up to 20 per cent in some cases. This suggests your chance of developing cirrhosis drops dramatically even in the first month you quit drinking.
- Blood glucose levels fell by an average of 16 per cent, significantly reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Blood cholesterol, a leading cause of heart disease, fell by almost 5 per cent.
2. Be More Productive
Giving up alcohol, even for a month, not only adds hours of quality time to your life, you’ll have more energy and enjoy increased increased concentration. Almost everybody who takes the ‘one-month challenge’ does better in their professional lives, enjoys better relationships with family and friends, and often channel their newfound spare time into healthier pursuits like sports and hobbies.
3. Sleep More Soundly at Night
While alcohol can help you fall asleep faster, it deprives you of the restorative rapid eye movement (REM) sleep that you really need. If you are a regular drinker there is a good chance you will find it difficult to fall asleep and experience sleep disruption in the early days of recovery. However, once the first couple of weeks are over you will begin to sleep better at night. The New Scientist study mentioned above found that sleep quality improved by 10 per cent among those who gave up alcohol for a month.
4. Look Better
Continuous heavy drinking can take a heavy toll on your overall appearance. Most alcoholic drinks are high in calories, while poor diet and obesity are often linked with alcohol abuse disorders. Alcohol also dehydrates the skin, depriving it of the vitamins it needs and resulting in a flushed, bloated and unhealthy appearance after prolonged use. The good news is that the body begins to heal as soon as you quit drinking. Your skin will begin to recover, your metabolism will improve and, even after just one month, the chances are that you’ll like what you see in the mirror.
5. Be Richer
Whether you’re regularly out until all hours or you like to tuck into a quiet bottle of wine in the evening, drinking is an expensive habit — especially in Singapore. It is, however, an expense that longer-term drinkers tend to forget about and automatically factor into their monthly budget. Even one month without alcohol could save you hundreds of dollars. Keep track of your alcohol spending for a month to see just how much better off you are financially without alcohol.
Going Beyond 30 Days
If you’re a regular drinker, going 30 days without alcohol is a major achievement. You’ve put the worst of the withdrawal symptoms behind you, you’re feeling healthier and happier, and you’re in an excellent position to push on and quit your drinking habit for good. Already your chances of relapse have been vastly reduced. Every day you extend your abstinence will make the recovery process easier and more likely to be successful.
Getting The Help You Need
Every year, thousands of people successfully complete the ‘one-month challenge’ with little or no outside help. That said, a tailored 30-day inpatient programme at an alcohol addiction treatment centre will vastly improve your chances of completing your first 30 days and going on to a successful recovery.
The Cabin Singapore offers alcohol addiction treatment programmes that are specifically designed to get you through those crucial first weeks. Contact us today to find out how we can help you enjoy all the benefits of 30 days without alcohol.