17 Reasons Why People Are Giving Up Alcohol

The alcohol-free movement is an emerging trend among younger generations, with more people choosing to be mindful of drinking or abstaining from alcohol altogether. The movement is driven by a desire to have more self-regulation and control amid increasing health concerns. In this article, we’ll give you 17 reasons to give up alcohol.

Alcohol is a Neurotoxin

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A neurotoxin “is a substance that alters the structure or function of the nervous system… The substances include a wide range of natural and human-made chemical compounds, from snake venom and pesticides to ethyl alcohol, heroin, and cocaine.” The fact that alcohol changes nerve cells is a reason why many people are rethinking their alcohol consumption.

Cancer Risk

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No one wants to hear, “It’s cancer.” Knowing alcohol can increase your risk of developing different cancers, such as stomach, breast, larynx, ovarian, liver, and oral cancers, has turned those with concerns away from the drink.

Financial Savings

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Let’s be realistic; with the average cocktail running around $15, bar tabs aren’t cheap. Cutting back on alcohol consumption or letting go of it completely can result in significant financial savings. What will you do with your extra savings? You can pay off bills or maybe even go on a vacation.

The Rise of Non-Alcoholic Drinks

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The rise of non-alcoholic options has had its hand in the decline of alcohol consumption. Those choosing not to drink have expanded their options from club soda with lime to a plethora of mocktails, non-alcoholic beers, CBD, and adaptogenic drinks. Pregnant women everywhere have rejoiced at this trend’s popularity.

Weight Loss

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It’s called a beer belly for a reason. Alcohol provides empty calories, which contribute significantly to weight gain. People are finding that making one life change—removing alcohol—can help them quickly drop pounds.

Impaired Judgement

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Gen Z and younger millennials are not only letting go of imbibing; they’re also walking away from other risky behaviors. Alcohol consumption leads to impaired judgment, and it’s not worth the consequences for many. The trend toward a healthier lifestyle also has them engaging in less drug use, unprotected sex, and hazardous driving.

Accelerated Aging

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Celebrities are constantly crediting not drinking alcohol for their youthful good looks, and while Botox is probably still a contributing factor, there is some truth in their claims. “Daily consumption of liquor for five years was associated with a four-month acceleration in biological aging, so if you drink liquor daily for 15 years, your biological age will be one year older,” according to a study.

Sleep Quality

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After a night out, it can feel like you fall asleep instantly but wake up still feeling exhausted. Or you can lay in bed feeling jittery and anxious. Neither is conducive to a great night of rest or being able to be a productive member of society the next day.

Rise of Mindfulness

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The mindfulness trend is a strong contributor to the rise of sober, curious, and alcohol-free lifestyles. People are opting to be completely present in the moment, especially when finding ways to let down their hair, and alcohol inhibits the ability to be completely present or remember all the moments.

Relationships

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If you’ve ever been in an alcohol-induced argument, you know how quickly they can go from 0 to 60. When inhibitions are lowered, it’s easier to let something slip that you never would have said to a friend or loved one otherwise.

New Social Opportunities

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“We outside” is a popular social media slogan for the younger generation, describing “a New York City catchphrase popularized by Sidetalk (@sidetalknyc) that refers to being outside, staying active, and making moves, rather than sitting inside and doing nothing,” according to Urban Dictionary. Even without alcohol in social activities, life can still be lived to the extreme; the ‘90s rave scene has been making a resurgence.

Avoiding Hangovers

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Many hacks have been written and passed on between friends on how to get rid of the dry mouth, pounding head, and nausea of a fun night out’s morning hangover. Science doesn’t show any correlation between hangovers and dehydration; there’s also little to back up light liquor over dark, and drinking “hair of the dog” has no scientific backing. It looks to be the case that hangovers are an immune response to the toxins of alcohol in your body, and one surefire way to stop that is not drinking in the first place.

Physical Health

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We’ve already talked about weight gain and aging being negatively impacted by alcohol consumption. Along with the previous mention of cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and hepatitis all have links to prolonged alcohol intake. With this in mind, millennials and Gen Z are choosing to find their thrills in safer ways, such as hiking and yoga retreats, that may increase their life expectancy instead of decreasing it.

Mental Health

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We’re more open to mental health issues in 2024 than we have been in decades past. Increased awareness of anxiety, depression, and our use of alcohol as a coping method has this generation looking inward for more stable ways to cope. The rise of “hangxiety”—the anxiety experienced after heavy drinking—has people turning down the bottle and turning on meditation music or attending a campfire with friends.

Doesn’t Mix With Medication

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Not everyone giving up alcohol is doing it completely out of free will. There’s a long list of medications you shouldn’t be drinking alcohol on, including long-term anxiety medications. When the choice is your health or going to a happy hour, we hope the choice is clear.

Memory Interference

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“In addition to impairing balance, motor coordination, decisionmaking, and a litany of other functions, alcohol produces detectable memory impairments beginning after just one or two drinks. As the dose increases, so does the magnitude of the memory impairments,” according to the National Institutes of Health. And that’s just the short-term blur of “what happened last night.” In the long term, alcohol has been shown to contribute to Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Breaking Family Cycles

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Growing up with an alcoholic can be a nightmare. But when you can be free of alcohol, it leads you out of the cycle and into a new chapter, wanting better for yourself and the generations that follow.

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