Should you take regular breaks from drinking alcohol throughout the year?

Should you take regular breaks from drinking alcohol throughout the year?

It helps you prepare and reflect on the reasons making a change is worthwhile, which can improve your commitment to change. For people at low risk of complications, an office visit to your primary care provider, along with at-home monitoring and virtual office visits, may suffice. People at high risk of complications should enter a short-term in-patient detox program. Individuals should be prepared to be uncomfortable during this period and have medical help available if needed. This is the period in which delirium tremens is most likely to occur, which requires immediate medical attention. This process temporarily restores homeostasis, or chemical balance, in an effort to counteract the impact of long-term alcohol use on the brain.

Denial of these changes can negatively affect family members and family life. Dasgupta said the best people to avoid alcohol always are those under 21 years old, and not taking a break from alcohol just for legal reasons. “Again, depends on what the baseline alcohol consumption is,” she said. Alcohol is metabolized by the liver and an enzyme called dehydrogenases.

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Behavioral treatment programs are helpful for people who want to quit drinking. These programs involve working with a team of mental health professionals in a group and individual setting. For most people, alcohol withdrawal symptoms will begin sometime in the first eight hours after their final drink. “If heavier drinkers remove alcohol for a longer period of time, they might see weight loss, improvement in body composition, less stomach fat, improvement in triglycerides (one of the fat particles in the blood),” she said. Dr. Dasgupta said for social and moderate drinkers, participating in a month break won’t make much difference to their bodies. However, for people who exceed recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, he said staying away from alcohol for a month can reap changes.

It’s February and many people are starting to put into place their New Year’s resolution to drink less alcohol. By Sarah Bence, OTR/L

Sarah Bence, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist and freelance writer. She specializes in a variety of health topics including mental health, dementia, celiac disease, and endometriosis. During the 12- to 24-hour time frame after the last drink, most people will begin to have noticeable symptoms.

“Up on the shore they work all day, out in the sun they slave away.”

They’re sipping handcrafted mocktails, with names like Baby’s First Bourbon and Honey Dew Collins, featuring nonalcoholic distilled spirits. But evaluations show, regardless of successful completion, taking up a month-long challenge to quit alcohol is linked to reductions in alcohol consumption six months and up to a year later. In our alcohol-centric society, it sometimes feels uncomfortable when everyone around you is drinking and your own hands are empty.

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