What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Drinking Booze?

Young man sitting on bench in the park going through alcohol withdrawal

When you stop drinking booze after drinking in large quantities, your blood/breath alcohol content (BAC) will lower over time. But sometimes a person’s BAC remains so high it can lead to serious health repercussions, like alcohol poisoning, even as time goes on.

Alcohol is a drug like any other, meaning you may develop alcohol dependence or alcohol addiction with consistent, heavy use. People with alcohol addiction who stop drinking in might find themselves struggling with physical and mental withdrawal symptoms.

These changes can be quite dramatic and challenging, which is why an outpatient alcohol treatment program with clinical supervision, individual and group therapy, support and guidance is so important to long-term successful sobriety and recovery.

What are alcohol addiction withdrawal symptoms?

When you slow down or stop drinking alcohol, you may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Fever
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Sweating
  • Mood swings
  • Hypertension
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Differences in heart rate
  • Increased body temperature
  • Disorientation and hallucinations

Another thing that may happen to the body after you stop drinking booze is a serious form of alcohol withdrawal known as delirium tremens (DTs). DTs can also cause symptoms, including:

  • Stupor
  • Tremors
  • Delirium
  • Hallucinations
  • Deep sleep that lasts an unnaturally long time

Delirium tremens can also cause seizures without the other symptoms. This can occur 12 to 24 hours after your last drink of alcohol.

DTs are a concern if you have experienced complications from alcohol withdrawal in the past. If you’ve been a heavy daily drinker for several months, the danger of delirium tremens increases. It also tends to have greater effect on those who’ve been using alcohol for at least 10 years.

What are generalized tonic-clonic seizures?

Generalized tonic-clonic seizures affect the entire body. They also go by the name of grand mal seizures. During a tonic-clonic seizure, you lose consciousness and your muscles go rigid. It’s common to bite the tongue or lips, to drool, have difficulty breathing, and lose bladder control during a tonic-clonic seizure.

Tonic-clonic seizures require immediate medical attention!
If you are with someone who is having one, please call 911 immediately. If you have had one yourself, it’s time to get professional medical assistance.

At Lifetime Recovery, we have medical professionals to help you safely detox from alcohol and begin your recovery journey in a safe, comfortable, outpatient setting.

How long does it take for brain chemistry to return to normal after alcohol use?

Alcohol acts as a drug, affecting the brain’s regular chemistry. For instance, it increases chemicals in the brain that play a key role in pleasure and relaxation. People who drink occasionally will find their brain chemistry returns to normal levels within a day of when they stop drinking booze.

The same can’t be said for those with alcohol addiction.

Alcohol detox typically lasts around two weeks, although this varies depending on the person. After this time period, people attempting to achieve sobriety will find their brain chemistry generally returns to its former state. Yet, a severe alcohol addiction can translate into permanently imbalanced brain chemistry.

At Lifetime Recovery, our approach to alcohol addiction treatment includes medical detox and medication-assisted treatment (MAT), if needed, as well as a comprehensive outpatient treatment program consisting of evidence-based therapies proven to support long-term sobriety and relapse prevention.

Alcohol addiction treatment center serving South Jersey and surrounding areas

We provide alcohol addiction treatment in Mullica Hill, NJ, in South Jersey at our outpatient and medical detox treatment center where we treat people with conditions ranging from drug and alcohol addiction to mental illness as well as co-occurring disorders/dual-diagnosis.

We’re also one of the few alcohol and drug rehab centers to provide gambling addiction treatment. Through our integrated model and holistic approaches, we provide evidence-based winning solutions for you to recover from addiction and develop healthy ways to live the rest of your life.

Serving all of New Jersey, Philadelphia, Delaware, Connecticut, and New York.

Treating mental health and trauma

Our behavioral health and substance abuse treatment experts also treat co-occurring disorders/dual diagnoses (including trauma), and we are one of the few alcohol and drug rehab centers offering gambling addiction treatment.