It Was Only When I Quit Drinking That I Realized How Bad It Was for Me

Two weeks ago, at the very nice time of 4:20 AM, I polished off my last bottle of gin. Hopefully ever.

Overconsumption of alcohol has long been a problem for me. Last year, I was spending obscene money on alcohol—anywhere between $7 and $15 a day, depending on where and what I was drinking—and half-hearted efforts to lose a bit of weight were being seriously undermined by the sheer number of empty calories I was drinking. Plus, waking up hungover on more days than not wasn’t exactly a great feeling.

A handy app on my phone tells me that in the short time since quitting near-daily binge drinking, I’ve saved close to $100. But a series of withdrawal syndromes—including vivid nightmares, extreme fatigue, and mood swings—led me to look closer at the actual health impacts of regular alcohol consumption.

It’s not like there isn’t copious amounts of research out there: I’d just never taken the time to look it up. Perhaps I was afraid of what I would find.

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