Some of the Benefits of Stopping Drinking That May Surprise You

Stopping drinking alcohol when a substance use disorder has developed is challenging. There is no easy way to go about combating addiction. But, the benefits that a person can experience once they stop drinking is a silver lining that many addicts can look forward to on their journey toward mental healing. So, what are the physical and mental benefits of stopping drinking?

You’ll Get Better Sleep

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. This means that it affects the central nervous system in a way that slows down its natural functioning. So, as a result, drinking alcohol can make a person more drowsy and sleepy. People who drink heavily or for long periods of time eventually find that they have sleep issues as a result of alcohol’s impact on the central nervous system. These sleep issues can include insomnia, not getting enough sleep, sleeping too long, and being generally fatigued. When people who have a dependence on alcohol stop drinking, they find that they can manage their sleep much better and instill sleep schedules into their lives. Thus, giving them all the benefits that healthy amounts and quality of sleep offers.

Improved Brain Function

Neurotransmitters are the brain’s way of communicating with the rest of the body so that we can function in healthy ways. But, drinking alcohol slows the communication of neurotransmitters, resulting in a number of negative effects including a person’s access to memories, increased risk for depression, mood swings, and the dying off of brain cells. Unfortunately, some of the damage to the brain that is caused by alcohol may never recover. But, for many people who quit drinking, some of the brain cells that are damaged by drinking regrow and repair themselves. This can result in eventual restimulation of important brain functioning like the release and making of mood-regulating chemicals including dopamine and serotonin. Therefore, giving people who quit drinking a chance to be happy and have healthy and manageable emotions without using the crutch of drinking alcohol.

Better Physical Health

There are a number of negative health effects that alcohol has on the body. Fortunately, when someone stops drinking, the body’s cells are given a chance to repair themselves. So, for many people, the negative physical effects of alcohol on the body can be repaired after some time. And, the risk for long-term and chronic illnesses as a result of drinking alcohol are reduced. Some of the physical health advantages of stopping drinking can include:

  • better heart and cardiovascular health
  • a reduction in the risk of developing cancer as the result of alcohol use
    improved immune health (lower risk of immune system deficiencies and illness as the result of poor immune system functioning)
  • better liver functioning
Improved Mental Health

Along with physical health, the mental health of people who quit drinking improves. Mental health can be compromised due to excessive and continual drinking because alcohol negatively impacts the brain’s functioning. Furthermore, the negative consequences of drinking can lead to relationship issues, which can lead to debilitating mental health states. Addiction comes in many forms, and alcoholism is one of these forms. When someone becomes addicted to alcohol, their main priority is to mask their emotions with the dulling effects of alcohol, which can lead to a plethora of mental health issues.

Some of the mental health benefits to quitting drinking can include:

  • better relationships and improved communication skills/boundary setting
  • reduced stress and anxiety levels
  • reduced depressive symptoms
  • improved focus and concentration
  • better mood management and fewer mood swings
  • improved energy levels
  • improved self-esteem and confidence

Take Advantage of the Benefits of Quitting Drinking for Yourself

Ready to feel better and take back control that drinking has had on your life? Delray Center for Recovery is an outpatient mental health treatment facility located in South Florida. We provide outpatient assistance for people struggling with substance use disorder including alcoholism. Find out how we provide assistance for people struggling with drug abuse and alcoholism on our website to learn more.

Coping with Depression after Alcohol Detox

It’s normal for alcoholics to experience a grieving period when they first enter recovery. An alcoholic who is not also suffering from depression will grieve for the drink itself. If you are suffering from a dual diagnosis of depression and alcoholism, the normal feelings of grief that most alcoholics experience when they enter an alcohol detox Delray Beach program will be exacerbated. Your addiction treatment program will need to include treatment for your depression symptoms, and you will need to manage your depression carefully in order to avoid relapse.

It’s not uncommon for people with alcoholism to also suffer from depression – in fact, there’s some evidence to suggest that drinking alcohol may exacerbate feelings of depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, many people who are already experiencing mental health symptoms abuse substances in order to cope. When substance abuse goes on heavily enough for long enough, addiction is inevitable.

Old Feelings Coming to the Surface

Alcoholics drink in order to escape from unpleasant feelings. When an alcoholic with a co-occurring disorder stops drinking, all those painful, depressive feelings that he or she has been suppressing for years bubble up to the surface rapidly. For dual diagnosis alcoholics in our alcohol detox Delray Beach program, this can lead to intense psychological discomfort.

Finding Depression Support in Recovery

If you’re like many of the dual diagnosis alcoholics in our alcohol detox Delray Beach program, you may feel that you don’t fit into the normal 12-step program. Often, people in the 12-step program frown upon the use of psychiatric medications for people in recovery, even though a recovering alcoholic who suffers from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or another mental illness needs these psychiatric medications in order to be well.

But that’s not the only reason why you, as a dual diagnosis recovering alcoholic, may feel out of place in the normal 12-step program. All too frequently, people who have never experienced mental illness for themselves do not understand the thoughts and feelings that a person with depression, anxiety, or another mental illness struggles with from day to day.

You need the support of others who can relate to everything that you are going through, both with your recovery from alcoholism and your mental illness. During and after your time in our alcohol detox Delray Beach program, you need to seek out a 12-step support group specifically for people with dual diagnosis issues, or an alternative recovery support group that caters to people struggling with dual diagnosis issues.

Tips for Recovering Alcoholics Coping with Depression in Alcohol Detox Delray Beach Programs

As a recovering alcoholic struggling with depression, you could be at a higher risk of relapse if you don’t seek the treatment and support you need to manage your mental illness. To some extent, the steps you take to manage your dual diagnosis are very similar to the steps a non-dual diagnosis graduate of our alcohol detox Delray Beach program would take to avoid addiction relapse.

You will need to work on building a sober support network. Choose sober friends who support your recovery, and who understand what it’s like to suffer from depression. Include other dual diagnosis recovering alcoholics in your sober social support network. As a person suffering from depression, you may find it hard to open up and reach out to make new friends. Start with the friends you make in our alcohol detox Delray Beach program and in your recovery support groups, and move forward from there.

Just as if you were a recovering alcoholic without a dual diagnosis, avoid relapse triggers. You may have to work harder to avoid these triggers, since you will be avoiding not only places, people and situations that make you want to drink, but also those that aggravate your depressive symptoms. This could mean limiting your time at family functions, holidays, weddings, birthdays or other events, or even avoiding these events altogether in your early recovery.

Do not be afraid to take psychiatric medicines to manage your depression symptoms during and after you leave our alcohol detox Delray Beach program. Using these medications does not count substance abuse, since you have a medical need for them. You should also work with a therapist, preferably one who understands dual diagnosis issues, to not only manage your depression symptoms, but also learn how to set healthy boundaries that can help you avoid relapse.

Here at The Delray Center for Healing, we specialize in treating dual diagnosis patients. Call us today at 888-699-5679 to start your journey towards recovery from addiction and mental illness.

Study Highlights Brain Differences in Women Needing Alcohol Detox Delray Beach Program

The results of a new study from Indiana University compared the brain activity of alcoholic women, like those who seek the help of our alcohol detox Delray Beach program, to that of women not addicted to alcohol. The study, which used functional magnetic resonance imaging or fMRI, found surprisingly distinct differences between the brains of alcoholic and non-alcoholic women. Researchers believe that the anterior insular region of the brain could play a strong role in the development of alcoholism in women.

Binge Drinking on the Rise in Women at Our Alcohol Detox Delray Beach Program

This study is part of a larger effort by researchers to better understand the gender differences between men and women who need the services like our alcohol detox Delray Beach program. Differences in the way that men and women process alcohol make understanding the mechanisms behind female alcoholism particularly important. Women become addicted to alcohol much more quickly than men, and experience physiological damage due to its effects much sooner. For women, the dangers of drinking too much alcohol include heart disease, liver damage and breast cancer. The threshold of safe weekly alcohol consumption for women has been set at eight drinks, compared to 14 for men.

However, binge drinking is on the rise among women. One in five teen girls binge drinks at least three times monthly. One in eight women between the ages of 18 and 54 binge drinks at least three times monthly. According to the CDC, a drinking binge is defined as consuming four or more drinks in less than two hours if one is woman, or five or more drinks in less than two hours of one is a man. The more often a woman binge drinks, the greater the danger that she will find herself in need of a program like our alcohol detox in Delray Beach.

Identifying Differences in Brain Network Activation Among Alcoholic Women

In order to better understand what causes women to need our alcohol detox Delray Beach program, researchers devised a set of “ecological” tasks. For the study, participants were asked to first make decisions about control stimuli – like food or neutral stimuli – so that researchers could establish a baseline for risky behavior in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic women.

Then, study participants were asked to make a decision about one of two situations regarding alcohol – a low-risk situation and a high-risk situation. In the low-risk situation, study participants were told to imagine they were in a bar, and that they had been offered a drink, along with two shots, and a ride home. For the high-risk situation, study participants were again asked to imagine themselves in a bar, where they were offered a drink, along with six shots, and no ride home.

Lindsay Arcurio, a grad student in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, said of the two scenarios, “We wanted to take a sledgehammer approach to really find the differences between cases that are definitely high-risk and those that are definitely low-risk.” In other words, by drawing such a clear distinction between the low-risk and the high-risk scenarios, researchers were better able to distinctly see the brain differences between women who do and women who do not need services like our alcohol detox Delray Beach program.

Women in the control group demonstrated less brain activity in regions associated with “approach behavior,” the sort of behavior required to decide to take the drink in a high-risk situation. Instead, these women demonstrated brain activity in the region associated with a relaxed, enacted or resting mental state, which many believe is also associated with thinking about one’s future.

In contrast, alcoholic women in the study did not demonstrate reduced activity in any of the three brain regions studied. Instead they demonstrated activity in the part of the brain associated with reward and pleasure, activity in the part associated with resting or thinking about one’s future, and activity in the part associated with cognitive control. Researchers believe these findings mean that women who need programs like our alcohol detox in Delray Beach have trouble switching between one region of the brain and another when making a decision regarding alcohol; they are unable to settle on an appropriate strategy.

Deactivating one part of the brain in order to activate another – what the researchers describe as “switching between networks” – is a function that’s associated with the anterior insular and anterior cingulate regions, where significant differences between the alcoholic women and the non-alcoholic women were found. This leads researchers to believe that the insula could be implicated in female alcoholism. New treatments for alcoholism in women could someday target this region of the brain.

If you’re struggling with alcoholism, you don’t have to face it alone. Call us today @ 888-699-5679 to learn more about our alcohol detox Delray Beach program.

Study Finds That Need for Alcohol Detox Delray Beach Offers May Be in Your Genes

New research out of the UK could explain why programs like our alcohol detox Delray Beach program are necessary. Researchers working with a consortium of five UK universities – Imperial College London, Newcastle University, University College London, Sussex University and University of Dundee – have found a gene in mice that, when working normally, regulates the amount of alcohol the mice drink. When the gene is faulty, however, it can make those mice drink to excess. The presence of this gene in humans could explain while some people find themselves in need of our alcohol detox Delray Beach program, while others don’t.

Why Do Some People Need Our Alcohol Detox Delray Beach Program?

The people who find their way to our alcohol detox Delray Beach program can no longer control their drinking. For some time, we have suspected that a person’s genetics contribute at least partially to the drinking problems that lead them to our alcohol detox Delray Beach program. The discovery by these British scientists of a gene linked to excessive drinking is more proof that genetics are a factor for those who find themselves in need of our alcohol detox Delray Beach program.

Researchers have linked excessive drinking behaviors in mice to a mutation of the gene Gabrb1. Mice without the mutation showed little to no interest in drinking alcohol when offered a free choice between an alcoholic mixture about as strong as wine and water.

Mice that did possess the mutation showed a strong preference for the alcohol, however. These mice happily consumed much more alcohol than water – as much as 85 percent of their daily fluids consisted of the alcoholic beverage. The mice drank so much alcohol that it affected their motor coordination and ability to move. The mice were even willing to work to earn the alcohol by pushing a lever repeatedly over long periods. If these mice were people, they would probably need our alcohol detox Delray Beach program.

The researchers found that the gene mutation caused spontaneous electrical activity in the reward center of the brain. If the same gene mutation is found in humans, it could provide a biological basis for the behaviors that lead so many into our alcohol detox Delray Beach program.

Can’t Control Your Drinking? You Need Our Alcohol Detox Delray Beach Program

If you find that you can’t control your drinking, our alcohol detox Delray Beach program can help. While genetics might contribute to alcoholism, they’re not the end of the story. With the help of our alcohol detox Delray Beach program, you can take control of your own behaviors, quit drinking and rebuild your life.

Tempted to detox from alcohol at home? Don’t be! If you’ve been drinking heavily every day for a long time, quitting suddenly could lead to serious, even life-threatening, medical complications. When you enter our alcohol detox Delray Beach program, you’ll have the medical supervision you need to make it through detox safely. The addiction specialists in our alcohol detox Delray Beach program will administer the medications you need to protect you from the dangerous complications that can arise during alcohol detox, like seizures.

What Comes After Our Alcohol Detox Delray Beach Program?

Our alcohol detox Delray Beach program is only the beginning of your recovery journey. Once you have finished our alcohol detox Delray Beach program, you’ll need to undergo addiction counseling to get to the roots of your addictive behaviors and develop the coping skills you need in order to resist the temptation to drink. Over time, the aftercare you receive following our alcohol detox Delray Beach program will help you grow stronger and stronger in your recovery.

There may be a genetic component to alcoholism, but that doesn’t mean you’re helpless to it. When you enter our alcohol detox Delray Beach program, you’ll get the help you need to detox from alcohol safely. Following your completion of our alcohol detox Delray Beach program, we’ll help you get the counseling you need to stay dry for good.

Call The Delray Center for Healing today at 888-699-5679 to learn more about our alcohol detox Delray Beach program.