Alcohol is like any substance, any drug: It has its effects, and then it has a withdrawal. If you don’t drink a lot, you shouldn’t notice much the next morning, unless you are particularly sensitive to it. However, if you’ve been drinking heavily for years or in many cases decades, then there are a few key symptoms to be aware of, should you decide to give it up.

Initially, you may feel great, newly energized after your firm decision to quit, the promise of an entirely new life ahead of you. Then, after the second day without any alcohol, your body starts to feel the sudden lack of it in your system, not only as a drug, but also as a source of sugar. You will become very tired as your sugar levels plummet, but the worst thing about this is, despite your fatigue, you will find it extremely hard if not impossible to sleep. You may want to see your medical doctor to support you in your efforts, and he/she might even prescribe temporary medicine to help you combat this most cruel of side effects.

However, this cruel side effect, like all dark things, will pass, and you will be able to at least get enough sleep to function. During this period, you should eat well, with a diet high in protein and carbs, even a few sugars, to keep your energy levels up. You might want to go for a run or play some sports – light exercise is often the key to getting out of the addiction.

At around 2 weeks, you will feel physically and emotionally better. Yet it is at this point that you might become complacent and think, ‘I am fine, I can have one drink and I won’t get addicted again.’ Unfortunately, this is very distorted thinking. If you are truly serious about giving up on alcohol, you will surely have serious reasons for doing so: maybe your stomach lining has been eroded by all the booze, maybe your liver is extremely weak from processing so much poison. Remember, alcohol is a poison and if you have an addictive personality, quitting should be for life. There are so many things more important, such as health, family and friends, all of which you tend to lose if you are addicted not only to alcohol, but indeed to any drug.

After a month or two, you will begin to see a lot of pleasant side effects, a return to how a human body should function! Your sleep will be deeper, your mood will improve and your libido will also return to normal. There are countless benefits to beating alcohol addiction, so stick at it, and whatever the temptation, never listen to that little voice who tells you to have ‘one little drink’. It will soon lead to a dozen and all your hard work will be wasted. Your life, your health, your family are all worth much, much more than that.

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