Lantana Recovery
A modern, community-based approach to addiction treatment for Men and Women in Charleston, SC

Quitting Drinking After 20 Years: What to Expect and How to Do it

Jump to Section

Quitting drinking after 20 years may seem like an insurmountable challenge, but it is possible and the rewards are immense. The journey to sobriety is filled with inspiring challenges, emotional growth, and the opportunity to redefine relationships and rediscover yourself. Are you ready to embark on this transformative journey?

In this blog post, we’ll explore the challenges and benefits of quitting alcohol after 20 years of consumption. We’ll discuss the importance of professional support, lifestyle changes for long-term sobriety, and share inspiring success stories of individuals who have successfully quit drinking after 20 years. Let’s dive into this life-changing journey together.

Short Summary

  • Quitting drinking after 20 years can be an empowering journey of self-discovery and improved mental wellbeing.

  • With the right support, it is possible to successfully manage physical withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and achieve long-term sobriety.

  • Embrace lifestyle changes such as joining mutual support groups, healthy eating, exercise & avoiding triggers for lasting recovery & overall wellness!

The Journey of Quitting Drinking After 20 Years

                              A person struggling with alcohol abuse and quitting drinking after 20 years

The journey of quitting alcohol after 20 years can be an inspiring and transformative process. It can lead to a profound self-discovery and an improved outlook on life. Research suggests that quitting alcohol can lead to positive outcomes such as increased self-control, a healthier brain, and overall better mental health.

But what can one expect when embarking on this journey? It is important to remember that quitting alcohol is a process and it will take time to adjust to it.

Emotional Challenges

Quitting drinking after 20 years can bring about a wave of emotional challenges. One may experience mood swings, anxiety, and even an identity crisis as they navigate their newfound sober life. However, these challenges can also be viewed as opportunities for growth and self-discovery. By facing these emotional challenges head-on, you can gain a newfound sense of freedom and strengthen your relationships.

It’s not uncommon to crave an alcoholic drink during times of emotional distress. The brain is likely looking for alcohol to help restore the chemical balance it has become accustomed to due to alcohol use disorder. Developing new, healthier coping mechanisms during the first three months of sobriety is essential, especially if you have a history of drug abuse along with alcohol addiction.

As you progress in your sobriety, you’ll start to experience the emotional opportunities that come with quitting drinking after 20 years. You can expect to feel a sense of joy, pride, and self-discovery as you embrace your new sober identity. With time, patience, and the right support, you can overcome these emotional challenges and emerge stronger and more resilient than ever before.

Physical Withdrawal Symptoms

Quitting drinking after 20 years, especially if it involved binge drinking, can be a physically challenging process, as your body will likely experience withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, seizures, and even delirium symptoms. These physical withdrawal symptoms can be daunting, but they can also be managed with the right support when you decide to stop drinking alcohol. Dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, malnutrition, and high blood pressure can lead to severe medical issues such as irregular heartbeat and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, emphasizing the importance of taking precautionary measures during recovery from alcohol.

Embarking on your journey to sobriety starts at Lantana Recovery, where we understand the crucial importance of seeking medical support and guidance throughout the withdrawal process. We know that the severity of physical withdrawal symptoms can be influenced by the amount and duration of alcohol intake. However, with our expert team’s professional support and a personalized treatment plan, you can rest assured that we will minimize the risk of complications, ensuring a safe and successful recovery, and paving the way towards long-term sobriety.

Long-Term Health Effects

Long-term alcohol consumption can have significant consequences on both physical and mental health. Fortunately, quitting alcohol after 20 years can lead to a host of health improvements. Some of the amazing benefits of quitting alcohol include enhanced cognitive function, lowered blood pressure, reversed some forms of alcohol-related liver injury, and reduced risk of certain cancers.

For example, long-term alcohol consumption can lead to a range of cognitive impairments, including memory loss, difficulty learning new information, and a reduced ability to plan and make decisions. By quitting alcohol, you can reverse or improve some of these cognitive damages, giving you a clearer mind and a brighter future.

Quitting drinking after 20 years can also have positive effects on your physical health. Weight loss, improved liver function, and a decrease in the risk of heart disease and certain cancers are just a few of the potential benefits. By making the decision to quit drinking, you’re taking a significant step towards improving your overall health and well-being.

The Importance of Professional Support

                                 A person receiving medical support for quitting drinking after 20 years

Professional support is crucial when quitting alcohol after 20 years, as it can ensure a safe and successful detoxification and recovery process. In order to achieve long-term sobriety, it’s necessary to seek ongoing treatment and support from medical and clinical professionals.

Let’s explore the different types of professional support available for those looking to quit drinking after 20 years.

Medical Detox

Medical detox is a specialized facility where you will be closely monitored by healthcare professionals to ensure your safety and comfort as you manage your alcohol withdrawal. Undergoing medical detox can play an essential role in managing withdrawal symptoms and reducing the risk of associated complications.

During the withdrawal process, medications such as benzodiazepines can be extremely beneficial in managing acute alcohol withdrawal and reducing the chances of complications, such as seizures. “Benzodiazepines are safe, effective and the preferred treatment for AWS. The best-studied benzodiazepines for AW treatment are diazepam, chlordiazepoxide, and lorazepam,” suggests science. (Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome: Benzodiazepines and Beyond, Sachdeva et al., 2015)

By seeking medical support during detox, you can ensure a secure and successful detoxification and recovery journey.

Therapy and Counseling

Therapy and counseling can be a powerful tool to help you on your journey to quitting drinking after 20 years. With the support, guidance, and treatment options they provide, you can address any underlying emotional or psychological issues that may have contributed to your addiction. Additionally, they offer effective treatment options such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing to help you reach your goal.

By working with a therapist or counselor, you can tackle the root causes of your addiction, find out why an alcoholic can’t stop drinking, explore effective treatment options, and build healthier coping mechanisms. Through therapy and counseling, you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your addiction, empowering you to make lasting changes and achieve long-term sobriety.

Support Groups

Joining support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, can be incredibly beneficial during your journey to quit drinking after 20 years. Support groups provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals in recovery to share their experiences and learn from one another. Additionally, they can offer a sense of community and connection with others who are in similar situations.

Attending support groups can help you stay on track with your sobriety goals, reduce the risk of relapse, and provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment. By surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who are also committed to sobriety, you can gain the encouragement, motivation, and support you need to achieve lasting recovery.

Lifestyle Changes for Long-Term Sobriety

                                               A person making lifestyle changes for long-term sobriety

Achieving long-term sobriety after quitting drinking for 20 years requires a willingness to make changes, social and community support, joining mutual support groups, healthy eating, exercise, identifying and avoiding triggers, and allowing the body and mind to heal from the toxic effects of alcohol.

Let’s delve into the lifestyle changes that can aid in maintaining long-term sobriety and improving overall well-being.

Healthy Habits

Incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine can play a crucial role in your long-term sobriety. Regular exercise not only helps to reduce stress and anxiety, but also boosts your mood and energy levels. Eating a nutritious diet rich in fruits and vegetables, steering clear of processed and sugary foods, and drinking plenty of water can also help keep cravings at bay and improve your overall health.

Getting enough sleep and focusing on self-care are essential for maintaining sobriety and overall well-being. By prioritizing your physical and mental health, you can create a strong foundation for long-term sobriety and a healthier, happier life.

Social Environment

Your social environment can have a significant impact on your sobriety journey. Surrounding yourself with supportive individuals who understand and encourage your decision to quit drinking can be crucial for maintaining long-term sobriety. Avoiding places where alcohol is served and limiting contact with people who drink can help you stay focused on your sobriety goals.

Discovering new activities and hobbies that don’t involve alcohol can also provide you with a sense of purpose and fulfillment, further supporting your journey to sobriety.

Hobbies and Interests

Exploring new hobbies and interests can help fill the void left by alcohol and provide a sense of fulfillment and purpose. Engaging in activities such as sports, swimming, cooking, making art, and exploring new places can not only help you stay motivated and on track with your quit drinking goals, but also enrich your life and bring you joy.

Finding enjoyable and fulfilling hobbies can help prevent boredom and keep you from relapsing. By investing time and energy into activities that bring you happiness and a sense of accomplishment, you can stay on a positive and fulfilling path in your sobriety journey.

Success Stories: Inspiration from Those Who Have Quit Drinking After 20 Years

                               A person experiencing positive outcomes after quitting drinking after 20 years

There are countless inspiring success stories of people who have quit drinking after 20 years. These individuals have overcome numerous challenges and transformed their lives, reaping amazing benefits such as weight loss, improved mental health, and increased lifespan.

By sharing these success stories, we hope to inspire and motivate those who are considering quitting drinking after 20 years.

Overcoming Challenges

The success stories of those who have quit drinking after 20 years are filled with examples of overcoming challenges and finding the strength to persevere. These individuals faced intense cravings for alcohol, anxiety, depression, and irritability, but with the right support, they were able to conquer these obstacles and achieve sobriety.

Peer encouragement, family support, and the desire to conform to social expectations are just a few of the motivating factors that can help individuals quit drinking after 20 years. By embracing these challenges and cultivating an enthusiasm for life, you can develop the resilience and determination needed to succeed in your sobriety journey.

Health Improvements

The health improvements experienced by those who quit drinking after 20 years are truly remarkable. From weight loss to improved liver function and better mental health, the benefits of quitting alcohol are vast.

Quitting drinking after 20 years can significantly reduce the risk of liver disease, cirrhosis, and other liver-related issues. Improved mental health can also help reduce the risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, giving you a better quality of life. These health improvements serve as a powerful reminder of the positive impact that quitting alcohol and overcoming alcohol abuse can have on your overall well-being, as well as the importance of changing your drinking habits.

Personal Growth

A person's hand holding a glass of water, symbolizing the decision to start quitting drinking after 20 years and embark on a journey of personal growth.

Personal growth and self-discovery are essential aspects of the sobriety journey. By quitting drinking after 20 years, you have the opportunity to redefine your relationships, discover new passions, and develop a newfound sense of purpose in life.

Setting goals and creating healthy habits can be incredibly empowering and rewarding, helping individuals stay on track with their sobriety and providing a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Embracing challenges and cultivating an enthusiasm for life can provide the motivation and engagement needed to stay on the sobriety journey, ultimately leading to a more fulfilling life.


Quitting drinking after 20 years is a challenging yet rewarding journey, filled with emotional and physical hurdles, personal growth, and inspiring success stories. By seeking professional support, making lifestyle changes, and embracing new hobbies and interests, you can overcome the challenges of quitting alcohol and experience the incredible benefits of sobriety, including improved health and well-being.

Remember, it’s never too late to quit drinking and transform your life. With determination, support, and a willingness to change, you can achieve long-term sobriety and start living the healthy, fulfilling life you deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the effects of drinking alcohol for 20 years?

Drinking alcohol for 20 years can lead to long-term health risks such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease and digestive problems, as well as cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus and other organs.

These risks can be serious and even life-threatening, so it is important to be aware of the potential dangers of drinking alcohol over a long period of time. It is also important to be aware of the recommended safe limits for alcohol consumption and to stick to them.

By understanding the risks associated with drinking alcohol, you can understand the risks associated with drinking alcohol.

How long after you stop drinking does your body heal?

It only takes 30 days of sobriety for your body to begin healing – you’ll start seeing health improvements like weight loss, better blood pressure and clearer skin.

These health benefits are just the beginning. With continued sobriety, you’ll experience improved mental clarity, better sleep, and increased energy. You’ll also be able to make better decisions and have more control over your life.

The journey.

How to live without drinking alcohol?

Set strong boundaries, avoid triggers, and learn to say “no” to alcohol: this is the key to living a sober life!

Establishing boundaries and avoiding triggers can help you stay away from alcohol and maintain sobriety. Learning to say “no” is an important part of this process. It can be difficult to do, but it is worth it.

What happens after 1 year of no alcohol?

After a year of sobriety, it is possible to maintain it in the long term. Setbacks are normal, but they don’t have to undermine progress.

With commitment, you can still achieve your goals and stay alcohol free.

What are some emotional challenges I may face when quitting drinking after 20 years?

Quitting drinking after 20 years can be emotionally challenging, as you may experience mood swings, anxiety, and an identity crisis while adapting to your sober lifestyle.

These feelings can be overwhelming, but there are ways to cope. Exercise, meditation, and talking to a therapist can all help you manage your emotions and adjust to your new lifestyle.

It’s also important to find a supportive community.


Warren Phillips

Warren is a Licensed Master Social Worker, who specializes in substance abuse and mental health treatment. Clinically, Warren has developed a therapeutic skillset that utilizes a strengths-based perspective, Twelve Step philosophies, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.

Related Articles
Addiction Treatment
Contact Form
We’re here to help you or your loved one on their path to sobriety

Chat with us.

Reach out now and join our supportive community

Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.