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Top 10 Critical Reasons for Giving Up Alcohol

Lisa Taylor
Lisa TaylorAddiction Counsellor

Alcohol is such a big part of modern culture that we just assume it should be part of each of our lives. To run across someone who does not drink is unusual, to say the least. Unfortunately, it is not so uncommon to encounter people who have had to give up drinking because it has led to trouble in the past. Whether they were formerly problem drinkers, alcohol abusers or alcoholics, giving up alcohol completely was the only way to alleviate the problems drinking caused.

There are lots of good reasons for giving up alcohol for good. We have listed 10 of those reasons below. If you currently suffer from any kind of drinking problem, regardless of how mild or severe, we hope you will consider doing what is necessary to remove the influence of alcohol from your life. We can help you find treatment if you need it.

1. Potential for Alcoholism to Develop

Any person currently suffering from problem drinking could be headed for potential alcoholism if treatment is not sought out. Remember, alcoholism is not a condition that develops overnight. It starts as problem drinking, then progresses to alcohol abuse, and finally ends with alcoholism. The first and most important reason for giving up drinking is to avoid future alcoholism.

2. General Physical Health

Your physical health depends on your body's ability to fight sickness and disease as it was naturally designed to do. When you drink excessively, your body must devote a lot of resources to processing alcohol, resources that are being taken away from the natural function of protecting against illness and disease. Giving up alcohol can lead to better physical health.

3. Potential Liver Disease

People who drink excessively for long periods risk developing liver disease. The most common liver problem among alcoholics is cirrhosis, a disease in which the liver is unable to properly metabolise proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Over time, it can kill. The danger of cirrhosis is that it's often not discovered until irreparable damage has been done. Cirrhosis has no cure; once the liver shuts down the only two possible outcomes are transplant or death.

4. Potential Psychological Problems

Even moderate alcohol consumption affects the brain enough to be noticeable. If you have ever been intoxicated, you are fully aware of this. Alcohol impairs your perception, your judgement, and your thinking processes. Over time, persistent excessive drinking can lead to chronic depression and other mental illnesses. The presence of a mental illness alongside an alcohol addiction makes both of them much harder to treat.

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5. Developing Tolerance

A problem drinker who is not yet an alcohol abuser or alcoholic is only one step away from progressing to the next level. That step is realised in a condition known as tolerance. Tolerance occurs when the brain gets used to a certain level of alcohol in the system, thereby requiring an increase in consumption in order to experience the same pleasure. The level of tolerance is that which separates problem drinking from alcohol abuse and alcohol abuse from alcoholism.

6. Development of Dependence

Hand-in-hand with the physical condition of tolerance is a psychological and physical condition known as dependence. When someone has become dependent on alcohol, he or she is so used to having alcohol in the system that the body and mind are unable to properly function if drinking does not continue. The person who has developed dependence is known as an alcoholic or alcohol addict. This is the last and most devastating stage of problem drinking.

7. Destruction of Relationships

Those of us in the recovery community describe alcoholism as a family condition. Why do we say this? Because the effects of alcohol are not limited only to the drinker. Spouses, children and other immediate family members are also affected – at the very least emotionally, although physical abuse and other forms of violence are not uncommon with alcoholism. Alcoholics frequently lose their spouses and children because family members cannot stand to be around them anymore. Building enough trust to regain those lost relationships becomes harder with every day a person continues to drink.

8. Sexual Intimacy

There is a persistent myth in modern culture that alcohol enhances sexual intimacy. It may be true for a very small number of people, but they are the exception to the rule. Alcohol usually acts as a sedative to decrease both mental and physical performance. Not only do alcohol abusers enjoy less fulfilling sexual intimacy, enjoying such intimacy at all gets more difficult the longer a drinking problem is allowed to continue.

9. Loss of a Job

One of the benefits of giving up alcohol that is rarely talked about is one of job protection. Think about it. If alcohol has made you an undependable employee who cannot be trusted with even the simplest of tasks, how long do you think your boss will be willing to tolerate your behaviour? Alcoholics routinely lose jobs because they show up for work late, they leave early, and they do not do what is required of them on the job. They have even more difficulty getting a new job due to the effects drinking has on their personalities.

10. Potential Criminal Activity

Lastly, maintaining an alcohol addiction costs a tremendous amount of money. This can be challenging even under normal circumstances, but what happens if the alcoholic loses his or her job? The craving for alcohol may be so strong as to lead that person to engage in criminal activity to satisfy his or her habit. Getting caught could mean some time in prison as well as having to go through an extensive rehab programme.

Nothing Good from Continued Drinking

The ten reasons we have given for giving up alcohol are not things that should be taken lightly. Alcohol is the most widely used drug in the UK and the one that causes the most drug-related problems in our families and schools. The reality is that nothing good can come from continued drinking if you already have a drinking problem. It matters not how minor your problem might be, the potential for it to become a major and devastating problem is very real.

Every day you continue drinking is another day your problem becomes progressively worse. And whether you know it or not, problem drinking is a condition that does not go away by itself. In order for you to get well, you need professional help provided by a clinic, counsellor, or the NHS. If you need help giving up alcohol, contact us so that we can connect you with a treatment provider.

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