The Incredible Health Benefits To Quitting Drinking

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quitting-drinking-image-design-1Have you ever wondered whether the doctors are right about your drinking habits? Did you ever wonder whether those reports that alcohol is bad for all your organs are true?

Well, there are certain truths in this. Drinking is bad for the health. Even if you only have a few units a day or a week, you could benefit from completely quitting your alcohol consumption. Any damage that has happened because of your drinking will be reversed the longer you stay off the booze.

You can see the benefits just by reducing your drinking for a month. And once you get the first month out of the way, you’ll find it much easier to keep your drinking to a minimum afterwards.

Won’t Quitting Lead to Withdrawals?

People drinking beer in a traditional Bavarian beer garden

We all know that we love drinking. There are jokes that not drinking alcohol for a month will do more harm than good: it will lead to withdrawal symptoms. It’s common to worry about this really. Doesn’t quitting cold turkey mean tremors, sweats, and pain?

Well, yes, these are symptoms of withdrawal. There are high chances that you won’t suffer from them, but it will depend on the amount that you currently drink. The majority of men won’t drink more than 15 units and women won’t drink more than 8 units within the first week.

There are high chances that if you choose to quit drinking for a month and don’t go over the above amounts, you won’t suffer from withdrawal symptoms. This will certainly make the process much easier.

Sure, you may feel like you’re missing out. This can hold some people back from not drinking alcohol. There’s the feeling that quitting will mean you don’t have a social life or that you’re worried that your friends will find you boring.

It’s time to get those thoughts out of your head. You don’t need alcohol to have fun, and your body will thank you when you quit for a month.

Just how much will it thank you? Here are the ways.

All That Bad Starts to Go Away

Group Of Friends Enjoying Evening Drinks In Bar

All that liver fat building up and the cholesterol and glucose levels that have been increasing could be linked to the alcohol that you’re drinking. The bad stuff that has been happening to your body will start to reduce.

Let’s take this a little at a time.

We’ll focus on the glucose levels first. Alcohol is full of empty calories and sugars. They turn into glucose very quickly, and this means your body needs to release insulin to take care of it. As the body releases more, you run the risk of developing Type II diabetes. By cutting out the alcohol, you cut down on the amount of glucose in your body and reduce the risk of Type II diabetes. You just have to avoid switching the alcohol with something else that sugars in the body quickly.

Your glucose levels will drop by around 16% in that first month, just by not drinking. Isn’t it worth it? How about if I said that your blood sugar can normalise within 24 hours of quitting, so you get the benefits from the very beginning?

Now let’s look at the cholesterol levels. The extra sugars in the body, and those extra calories aren’t doing your blood vessels any favour. Bad cholesterol levels rise because there aren’t enough good cholesterol levels. The bad cholesterol builds up in the vessels, connecting to the walls. Friction is created, and there are the risks of blockages and clots.

The rise of bad cholesterol leads to high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.There are studies that show cholesterol levels can drop by around 5%, which can put the ease on your vessels that your body needs. This is just within the first month, too. If you keep going on with no alcohol, you could see a further reduction in your cholesterol levels.

There is also a reduction in liver fats. Fats form around the liver to protect the organs. Fats also help to produce more enzymes to help with burning the calories. The problem is that you’re getting too many calories and not burning enough off. Your body can’t handle it all.

Alcohol also damages the liver, which means that it doesn’t have the ability to burn the calories and boost the enzymes. By not drinking alcohol, your liver can regenerate, and it has the chance to repair. Your body is able to burn the fats. Not drinking alcohol works so well that the liver fats reduce by around 15% in the first month alone.

It’s Time to Shed the Pounds

Feet warming at fireplace with hands holding wine

And when you connect all of this together, you get the extra benefit of weight loss. Remember, you’re not getting the extra calories that occur from drinking alcohol—especially empty calories. People have seen a 2% weight loss just by not drinking alcohol .

Reducing your weight brings a lot of other benefits. You help to reduce further your risk of developing Type II diabetes and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Your blood pressure drops, and you will find pain on your joints reduces as the body isn’t trying to hold up as much weight.

You can lose more weight by thinking carefully about what you’re doing in place of the drinking. This isn’t the time to start consuming more chocolate or reaching for the sugary drinks. Switch to water and healthy foods.

It’s also worth exercising more—and you’ll feel like you have more energy by not drinking alcohol . The extra exercise will help to burn more calories so you lose the weight.

Reduce the Acid Reflux

Girl with symptomatic acid reflux.

Before we move into what gets better when we quit drinking, let’s look at the reduction in the acid reflux that we experience. This is all linked to the damage that alcohol does to the stomach lining.

Alcohol is an irritant. The stomach lining isn’t protected as it should, which means the food doesn’t breakdown properly to pass through your digestive system. The acid in your stomach can end up going the wrong way and get into your oesophagus. This is known as acid reflux.

There are chances that the acid reflux will no longer be an issue at all. For others, it just settles it down a little—but it is better than dealing with it all the time! Part of this benefit will depend on the exact reason for your acid reflux.

Let’s also consider the fact that the lack of alcohol means the lack of irritation. This will mean that the whole digestive system isn’t irritated by the enzymes in the alcohol, so you could also see a reduction in some of the other illnesses and ailments, including IBS and bloating.

You’ll feel like you can do much more in your life. Your body will work the way it should, without many arguments.

Do You Want to Concentrate More?

Young business woman working on computer at desk in office

The benefits of not drinking alcohol won’t just help to reduce the bad in your body. You’ll find many mental, physical, and emotional benefits. One of those is that your concentration levels. You’ll find that you can concentrate far much more by drinking less alcohol. In fact, you’ll see the concentration increases by 18%.

Alcohol makes you drowsy. It also impairs brain function and can cloud your judgment.

The alcohol in your system also dehydrates your body, and we know how that can affect your concentration levels. When you’re thirsty, you just think about the things that you need and your mind can’t stay focused on one thing.

The dehydration comes from alcohol being a diuretic. Your body starts to get rid of water anyway that it can, whether that is through urination or through sweating. The more you drink, the more water your body will try to get rid of. This doesn’t just affect your concentration by the way. It affects your whole body.

Drinking alcohol also affects the brain’s ability to pass messages around the body. This affects the concentration and also the memory. Not only will you be able to focus on conversations and your studies/work more, but you will also be able to retain more.

Your memory will also improve. How many times have you blacked out from the events of the night? This is dangerous but also annoying. Do you remember the people you met? This could have been your best chance for networking, and you’ve forgotten it all. You’ll be able to take in much more, and your short term memory will certainly thank you. You’ll also find it easier to take in nutrients like omega-3, so your long-term memory also thanks you.

People at Work Will Notice the Difference

Young businesswoman with tons of documents

Your whole personality will change for the better when you’re not drinking alcohol . Before you may have been impaired at work due to tiredness or a hangover. Your colleagues may have noticed that you sweat a lot or your concentration just isn’t there.

When you’re not drinking alcohol, you can function a lot better throughout the day. You won’t feel as tired or in pain. You won’t feel like you’re missing parts of your day and wish that you could just crawl back into bed and sleep it off.

Your work performance will increase by 17% over the course of the month. Some of this will happen within the first week.

Not only will your colleagues appreciate it, but your boss will notice. You’re more likely to get a pay rise and promotion. Those have to be worth quitting drinking, right?

Even if you’re not at work the day after drinking, your performance and productivity improve. You’re not trying to tackle a hangover for the day, which often means sleeping the day away or lounging on the couch while you deal with the pain in your head and body. It’s almost like you lose a day in a week because of this, and we all know how annoying that is.

What would you do with an extra day in the week? How could you improve your life, your work, and your health?

Never Be as Tired Again

Very tired teacher checks homework

Did you know that even though you sleep when drunk, you don’t actually sleep well? Think about it carefully. When you’ve gone out drinking, have you ever really felt like that night was a good night’s sleep? You may have passed out for hours, but you wake up feeling worse for wear.

This is all linked to the alcohol. When you drink far too much, you end up still tired the next day because your body doesn’t get the rest it needs. Some of this is linked to the reason for the lack of concentration: the alcohol acting as a diuretic.

When you sweat more, you end up drinking more. You’re more likely to need to get up in the middle of the night to urinate. If you don’t, your body is still working throughout the night. It can’t shut down the way that it needs to for you to get a good night’s rest. You’ll also wake up needing more water, and then you struggle to get back to sleep afterwards.

Sleep improves by 10% by not drinking alcohol for a month, and your wakefulness the next morning improves by 9.5%. You’ll find that you’re able to do more from the morning, rather than needing copious amounts of coffee to get rid of the hangover feeling.

Not drinking alcohol won’t help to solve all your tiredness problems, but it can certainly help to cut down your issues. You will still need to take steps to improve your sleep and find out if there are any other reasons for your poor pattern.

The lack of sleep isn’t the only reason you’ll feel tired when you drink. If you are a heavy drinker especially, you’ll find that drinking leads to larger blood cells. This isn’t as good as it sounds. It doesn’t mean more oxygen is moving around your body, but that less is able to get around. Your brain doesn’t get the oxygen that it needs, which makes you feel drowsy.

Of course, this also helps the rest of your body. All the organs need the red blood cells to get the oxygen to them. You need smaller ones, so you’ll find a world of benefits just by this one little point. Your heart is able to pump more blood around the system, and your liver is able to handle more.

These benefits are usually seen around 12 weeks after you quit drinking. If you’re only going for a month, you will see some benefits but not as many as you would if you quit a lot more. It takes three months for the blood cells to renew.

But these aren’t the only reasons for lack of tiredness. You’ll also feel less drowsy when you are with your friends by sticking to the soft drinks. Alcohol is a depressant, which means that your body loses energy while you continue drinking. By drinking less, you won’t encourage your brain to send out the wrong chemicals into your body to make you sleepy.

It’s also worth thinking about the extra work your body is no longer being forced to do. Your liver doesn’t need to kick out all the fat anymore, and your kidneys aren’t working extra time because of the diuretic you’re putting in your body. Instead, your body is to work at a normal level, so you don’t have to use up as much energy throughout the day.

You’ll actually likely have more energy because your metabolism will improve.

Stop Treating the Symptoms of Stress

Social

Alcohol is often used as a way to treat stress in our lives. We drink because we feel that it will calm our bodies and help to answer the problems in our lives. But it really does none of these.

We’re really only treating the symptoms of stress. We’re helping to reduce the feelings without actually treating the reason. When we stop drinking, the problems are still there, and our bodies release more cortisol. We just have that brief reprieve that does more harm than good.

When we are not drinking alcohol, we’re forced to face the reasons for our stress. This means that we can actually treat the stress instead of just the symptoms. We’re able to assess the reasons for the problems and figure out ways to fix them.

This will be a necessary step to improve certain aspects of your life. For example, while not drinking alcohol can help to improve your sleep, the stress that you feel can make it hard for you to fall asleep. You’ll need to find ways to ease your mind on sleep and ease the stress in your life, so you really do get a good night’s sleep.

You may find that it takes longer than a month to see all the benefits, but it will be better for your overall health in the end. The great news is that you know that you can actually solve the problem and not just fix a temporary patch.

It’s Time to Boost Your Emotions

alcoholic drunk man thoughtful on alcohol addiction at bar of pub

Your body doesn’t just get the benefit of less stress but also the benefit of more positivity. You’ll find that your endorphins, serotonin, and other positive chemicals are released more often throughout the day.

This is all linked to the many benefits we’ve already covered. Your body is benefiting from not being as tired. When we’re tired, we find it hard to be happy. The brain is more likely to send out the cortisol and other negative hormones. By not being as tired, your body is able to response to the serotonin—the happy hormone. You’ll also feel less pain because of the endorphins.

When you feel happier within yourself, you’ll feel like you can do so much more. Exercising and eating healthily is much easier to do, and both of these will help to boost your emotions as well. And then we have the benefits to your overall health, which means your mind subconsciously feels better.

There are struggles along the way. Some days you will want to cheat, and you’ll feel that pressure to join in with your friends, but then you’ll remember all the good you’re doing to yourself. You’re not missing out on the fun. Instead, you’ll be proud of yourself for putting your health first, and that will boost your emotions.

Over time, you’ll gain more energy too, which helps with the emotional benefits. You won’t feel as drained, which makes it easier to be positive on a daily basis. Being happier will just come more naturally to you.

When you drink, you may find that some of your emotions get out of control. You may find that you get angry much easier than you would if you were sober or that you’re more likely to cry at the slightest thing. By not drinking, you’ll find it easier to keep these emotions under control.

Anger while drunk is a major issue. You’re more likely to get into fights and cause issues that could bring the police into things. You could ruin your whole career due to a silly mistake that could have been prevented. Just think about how much more confidence you’ll have because you know that your emotions are contained and controlled.

Stop Playing Russian Roulette With Your Life

revolver with a cartridge

Admit it that drinking isn’t great for you. You’re more likely to have unprotected sex, drink driving, and getting yourself so drunk that you don’t remember the night. How do you really know what happens or what could happen? You’re playing Russian roulette with your life.

When you quit drinking, you stop doing this. You are in a better mind to put your health and safety first. Thinking ahead and about the situation you’re putting yourself in, comes first. Your judgment isn’t clouded by the alcohol that you’ve got in your system.

While we don’t want to blame the victims, we have to admit that we don’t help ourselves when we drink too much. We do very silly things at atime, whether it involves pranks with friends, social dares with those close to us, and even mixing with strangers without considering the potential dangers. These are all things that we likely wouldn’t do when sober. And we wouldn’t let our friends get into these situations, either.

This can lead to more confidence because you know that you can go out, have a great time, and make it home with less risk. You’ll even remember the full night, so you know exactly where your friends are and what happened to know if there are any risks.

You’ll also avoid putting others at risk. Drink driving is a major problem. Not only do you run the risk of losing your driving license, but you also run the risk of hurting or killing other people. You don’t want that on your conscience. When sober you can make the sensible decisions to prevent your friends from doing it too.

Your Bank Balance Will Thank You

Woman Putting Coin In Piggybank

And then we can’t forget about the benefit to our finances, which then leads to many other health benefits. Money worries are a major problem. They stop us sleeping, as we end up stressed to the max. How will we keep the roof over our heads and keep food on the table? What do we do if we have to choose between heating and food? Which one is more important?

Many of us turn to drinking to deal with the issue. We want something that will just calm our nerves or worries—and we’ve already looked into what that actually does.

Instead of solving our money problems, it makes them worse. Governments around the world are putting more and more tax on alcohol. It’s getting to the point where it’s one of the most expensive things to do. Governments try to discourage us through cost because of the damage to our health, but we end up spending the money anyway.

Before we know it, we’ve to spend hundreds of dollars a month on alcohol, whether it’s from nights out with our friends or getting the odd six-pack in the house. And this just leads to our bank balance being affected for the worse. Even if we drop bottles off at recycling points that give money back, we’re not getting the full cost of the alcohol back.

Our bank balances thank us when we stop drinking. If you want to see just how much you’ll save, why not put the money you would have spent each week into a savings account? Watch it as it builds up. Most of the time you won’t notice just how much you spend until you do something like this—and you can do the same when you quit smoking, doing drugs, or anything else that is harmful to your health and finances.

As you have more money in your bank account, you’ll find that it is much easier to tackle the issues of finances. You’ll feel better within yourself because you are managing it all. You can get food on the table, keep the roof over your head, heat the home, and even afford some healthier luxuries. Part of you may never want to drink again.

How Long Should You Stop Drinking For?

drunk alcoholic blond woman drinking alcohol asking for help holding message board wasted

There are many people who will take part in Dry January and Sober for October. Others will opt to give up alcohol for Lent. Are these short periods enough to benefit the health?

While they are, you’ve got to think about what happens when you go back to drinking afterwards. You see many of the benefits above by not drinking for four to eight weeks. Some of them will take a little longer than others, and some do take three months. Do you really need to give up drinking completely that whole time?

Well, your health would certainly benefit from it. But this is often a case of seeing how you feel.

If you do decide to start drinking again after your initial detox, think about the amount that you do drink. Don’t go straight back into drinking your 8 units a week or so. Consider halving that—and not having them all in the space of one night! Think about how you can benefit your health by not drinking alcohol regularly.

Now It’s Up to You to Quit Drinking

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Are you ready to stop drinking? Are you ready to take advantage of all the health benefits mentioned above? In fact, not all of the benefits are to your health directly, but they will indirectly affect your health.

By saving money, you help to alleviate some of the financial stress that you feel. By doing that, you improve your sleep, which helps you lose weight and get the bad out of your body. You’re aiding your organs to function properly. Don’t you deserve to put yourself first right now?

You’ll also find that you have much more confidence. Your work performance improves and you stand the chance of more pay rises and promotions. This will help to alleviate some of the stress you feel, and you could even end up being much happier within yourself. And we all know how being happier leads to more positivity and a healthier lifestyle.

Now is the time to think about not drinking alcohol. Even if it’s just for a month, you can benefit yourself. And then you can consider whether you want to continue this for longer.

When you do quit drinking, don’t replace it with something bad for you. Too many people try to fix their cravings through soda, chocolate, and even cakes. They want to get a similar high because they need to deal with their sugar cravings. While you may get the benefits from not drinking alcohol, you’re negating them by opting for the unhealthy alternatives.

You’re not drinking alcohol to improve your overall health. That means you need to make other healthy choices. Start by focusing on a healthy diet and throw in some exercise there. You’ll soon find that your whole body thanks you.

According to the medical community, alcoholism is a disease and/or addiction to the consumption of alcohol which can be avoided by not drinking alcohol, and an inability to recognize the disabling effects of excessive alcohol consumption. An individual suffering from alcoholism has a dependence on alcohol, and may suffer severe withdrawal symptoms if they’re not drinking alcohol.

Individuals may have a predisposition toward developing alcoholism through genetics even if they’re not drinking alcohol often, not drinking alcohol, while others may simply develop the disease through improper judgment or extenuating personal circumstances. Regardless, not drinking alcohol the misuse of alcohol will result in dangerous health complications, such as cirrhosis of the liver, heart disease, dementia, deficiencies of nutrition, and may eventually lead to death .

It is not recommended for an alcoholic to attempt to not drinking alcohol for his or her self, not drinking alcohol, instead he should seek the shelter of a local hospital, clinic, or a community social group that can offer support. Withdrawal symptoms after not drinking alcohol can be extremely severe, inducing hallucinations, seizures or shaking, and even heart failure. A detoxification not drinking alcohol program after not drinking alcohol is absolutely vital in order to ensure a healthy, medically safe and gradual withdrawal from alcohol use.

It is also extremely important that alcoholics receive not drinking alcohol counseling or group not drinking alcohol therapy during this process of not drinking alcohol, as the majority of alcohol abusers have multiple life circumstances that led them to their addiction in the first place. These must be not drinking alcohol addressed fully in order to avoid a relapse in the future. There are many not drinking alcohol social programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous that will offer a safe and welcoming community of support, though this kind of treatment can only be effective if the addict actually wants to receive help.

 

17 Responses
  • Thanos
    June 20, 2017

    Alcohol is garbage! Meditation, martial arts and business is all you need for happiness. Reliance on others for approval and so forth hinders personal progress. Stay strong fellow humans 🙂

    • John
      November 6, 2017

      Thank you Thomas.Well said and you gave me hope.

  • Sam
    November 20, 2017

    Excellent article! Thank you so much for sharing these well considered and articulated reasons for abstinence for alcohol. There was info in here that I have seen anywhere else, eg the blood cell size issue. I have been a daily drinker for years but now at 40 I have having serious energy issues. I am going to give up drinking for 3 months to see how I feel. Thank you again.

    • Carol
      February 7, 2018

      You can do it. I’m going to do the same. Good luck!

    • stephanie
      February 7, 2018

      Sam, it’s almost been 3 months…any difference?

  • Lozi
    November 24, 2017

    I have struggled with alcohol for 6 years. I quit for 6 months then 3 months now 2 weeks and each time I feel so much better putting the drink down. I struggle with self motivation and depression and alcohol makes it ten times worse. I want to stay off of the drink for good. Life is too amazing to dull it away.

    • Lozi
      November 24, 2017

      Alcohol is an asshole friend that puts you down and makes you feel bad. I’d never hang out with a person like tat so why drink it?

  • Charlotte
    December 4, 2017

    Thanks for this article.
    I’ve been drinking since I was 15 and now at 37 my body isn’t the same. I abstained for 1.5 months, something I didn’t think I could do but I feel so much better. Even though I haven’t lost a single lb but I feel lighter, less bloated and more energy hence clothes fit better. I had my first drink last night and instantly regretted it. I’m thinking of going sober longer and eventually quit completely.

    • Helen
      December 24, 2017

      At 42 I quit drinking for a year and it took 3 months to notice a difference in my weight, but when it happened it was quick. I just realized one day that I was suddenly skinny. My memory and focus improved too. For the first 3 months, I was easily stressed and over-emotional but after that, I was way less emotionally reactive and was able to sleep solidly through the night. I started drinking again for a little over a year now and all the negatives came back including the risky behavior. I’ve decided to stop drinking again, for at least 3 months, it’s only been about 10 days and I already feel better. Staying away from sugar is hard though.

  • Jesse
    December 8, 2017

    Excellent article, I live in Wisconsin so drinking is a hobby for most people here and a serious business for others. Alcohol has been at the root of all of the problems in my life. I haven’t had a drink in 4 days and I’m hoping to give it up completely. The holidays are going to be difficult though. Wish me luck!

    • Brittany
      December 11, 2017

      Hey! I’m in Wisconsin too and it’s true that drinking is the common pastime. I haven’t had a drink in a couple months. It’s going to be tough around in-laws but confidence is key! Good luck to you!

    • Terry
      January 6, 2018

      How are you doing?My last drink was on 12/04/17.

  • Tyler
    December 11, 2017

    Thank you for this Article. I commit to quit from now through January. Stoped for two weeks a few months back and felt amazing! Not sure why I would ever go back when it makes things worse in the long run. It’s a stupid quick fix to a bigger problem your running away from. Face the fear instead. Must change my game up.

  • Karen
    December 14, 2017

    Jesse, keep it up ! I quit drinking after drinking since I was 15 and I’m about to turn 40 . I quit 7 months ago right in the middle of summer and I had many trips lined up already Mexico,Aruba, Hawaii etc. where they offer all inclusive drinks and it wasn’t easy but now that I’ve made it through all that it feels amazing !!! So don’t give up and empower yourself by saying no to yourself throughout the holiday ! Remember that you must be willing to feel uncomfortable in order to grow ! I wish you the best of luck!

  • Mark
    December 14, 2017

    Great article!!!! I have been a daily drinker for a very long time. I had stopped drinking in my younger days when i was told by my Dr., in the emergency room that I was suffering from alcohol poisoning. The followup Dr. visit, was a eye opener, when the Dr. told me i had damaged my heart. Essentially he stated it was like i had soaked my heart in raw alcohol, damaging a valve. So i quit drinking for 10 years. Did stress test almost every year after, to find out that quitting did essentially allow my heart to heal. Like a idiot, because of “stress” i began drinking again, to the outcome of feeling terrible, no energy, etc. My point is, I can testify to the body repairing itself after its been mistreated. I have recently quit drinking and smoking at the same time. I created a excel worksheet for myself, 1. to track all the money I am saving(320.88 dollars in 3 weeks), and also tracking the health benefits as i progress. So everyone make your choice and fight the good fight.

  • Baby brown
    December 16, 2017

    Hi I’ve just bin told yesterday, that I’ve got to stop my liver is damaged bad that articul was brilliant well that’s it then no more drink for me when I don’t drink I feel amazing I’ve bin drinking since I was 21 I’m now 53 very young attractive and I want my life bk now I lost my partner 3 years ago and I drank and drank all day every day but it’s comin bk on me now , I’m worried that I mite have one at Xmas with my mum a dad and friends I’m scared but I don’t want it hope I will say no , any tips from any one would be good false name baby gd look everyone and happy Xmas be strong we gonna do it xxxx

  • Lorne
    January 6, 2018

    Great article, in fact I took a screenshot on my phone so I can revisit the article as many times as needed for inspiration!
    I’ve been drinking quite excessively for the last 5 years, since my divorce in 2012. The last two years (2016-2017) have been tough with the passing of my mother, a change of residence and a career change. I drink for any occasion, good or bad. I had my last drink December 31, 2017, it’s been 5 days, temptations are there but so far so good. My first intention was to quit for the month of January but after reading your article I’m now thinking minimum 3 months or more. I truly believe I can do this and look forward to reaping the benefits.
    I read all your personal messages above and hope each and every one of you succeed on your individual goals! I’m 52 years old and looking forward to a healthier and happier life!

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