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Alcohol is like any substance, any drug: it has its effects and then it has withdrawal. If you don’t drink much, you shouldn’t notice much the next morning, unless you’re particularly sensitive. However, if you’ve been drinking heavily for years, or in many cases decades, then there are some key symptoms to watch out for, should you decide to quit.

Initially, you may feel great, re-energized after your firm decision to quit, with the promise of a whole new life ahead of you. Then, after the second day without alcohol, your body begins to feel the sudden lack of alcohol in your system, not only as a drug, but also as a source of sugar. You will get very tired as your sugar levels plummet, but the worst thing about this is that despite your fatigue, you will find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to sleep. You may want to see your doctor for support in your efforts, and he/she might even prescribe a temporary medication to help you combat this cruel side effect.

However, this cruel side effect, like all dark things, will pass, and at least you’ll be able to get enough sleep to function. During this time, you should eat well, with a diet rich in protein and carbohydrates, including some sugars, to keep your energy levels high. You may want to go for a run or play a sport; light exercise is often the key to getting out of addiction.

Around 2 weeks, you will feel better physically and emotionally. However, it is at this point that you may become complacent and think, ‘I’m fine, I can have a drink and I won’t be addicted again.’ Unfortunately, this is very distorted thinking. If you’re serious about giving up alcohol, you probably have serious reasons for doing so: maybe your stomach lining has been eroded from 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 more important things, like health, family, and friends, that you tend to miss out on if you are addicted not just to alcohol, but to any drug.

After a month or two you will start to see a lot of nice side effects, a return to how a human body should work! Your sleep will be deeper, your mood will improve, and your libido will also return to normal. There are countless benefits to overcoming alcohol addiction, so stick with it and whatever the temptation, never listen to that little voice telling you to ‘have a drink’. You’ll soon be driving a dozen and all your hard work will be wasted. Your life, your health, your family are worth much, much more than that.

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