Addictions, as we all know, can be dangerous, but apart from just that, they can ruin your lives, along with your loved ones as well. Were you thinking of cutting back on alcohol? Then read on!
Searching for how to quit drinking alcohol? Thanks to the internet and ease of accessibility of technology, you are at the right spot.
This post discusses all you need to know about how to quit drinking alcohol, effective new strategies one can incorporate to fight alcohol addiction and kickstart a new chapter without it.
How to Quit Drinking Alcohol?
If you live in the 20th century, alcohol is part and parcel of your life. From corporate parties to occasional celebrations, one can start drinking for various reasons.
It could be depression, loneliness, fear, or excessive happiness. Starting is easy, worse, you will vomit 3-4 times, and your body gets adapted to alcohol. However, quitting is not that easy. After all, alcohol addiction can put you in life-threatening situations.
It doesn’t matter if you are 25 or 52, the dramatic impact of alcohol on our lives is immense. If you love to pop some champagne at a fancy dinner, drink beer while attending events, or sip a glass of red wine for an occasional celebration, it’s time to rethink your choices.
Drinking could be about socializing or about reflecting on their luxurious lifestyle choices. However, it doesn’t end on a good note always.
This post will serve as an ultimate guide on how to quit drinking alcohol and live a healthy life without it.
Plan of Action on How to Quit Drinking Alcohol: Prerequisites
Amidst the uncertainty revolving pandemic, one faced an unstable job market, aggravated economic concerns, and health issues. However, one thing that remained constant was- light music and alcohol after dinner!
People started drinking to dodge their real-life challenges, some of them being- a pandemic, unemployment, debts, and skyrocketing prices of daily commodities.
One of the persistent struggles today is to combat alcohol addiction. If you are physically dependent on alcohol and thinking of ways how to quit drinking alcohol while maintaining your previous social life, you are in the right spot.
This post will serve as a 101 guide to help you start cutting back on alcohol and enjoy parties without it.
Undoubtedly, many people suffer from it as well. Alcohol use disorder is a routine practice of an individual where a person drinks even if he is not enjoying it despite knowing the consequences.
The habit of raising a toast for no reason, finding excuses to open that special bottle of wine, or using it as a coping mechanism, alcohol dependence, can be identified if you go on enjoying a drink despite terrible relationships with loved ones and bad health consequences.
Health Risks Associated with Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to long-term health risks and put you at risk of more chronic heart and liver disease-
- High blood pressure can be harmful to the heart and liver.
- Risk of stroke, heart attack, and alcohol-related cancer
- Terrible gut health and a weakening immune system
- Depression and anxiety due to alcohol misuse
- Brain disorder
If you are here reading this, then congratulations! You are one step closer to combating your alcohol addiction. To start something new, the prerequisite is to acknowledge the necessity.
A conscious and robust decision to quit alcohol will need more determination than you think. From major lifestyle changes to completely ignoring a few social activities, the decision to live a sober life demands strong will, efficient mental space, and patience throughout the process.
Suppose you think about the question “How to quit drinking alcohol” but fail to do so. In that case, you lack one of the major pillars: Determination to fight the addiction, resistance even after persistent efforts of anyone to get you drunk, and strong mental health about how alcohol is harmful to you.
Recognizing the problem is the first step in fighting the addiction. One can consult a professional or an addiction specialist to understand their drinking habits, what to do after they experience withdrawal symptoms, how they function after liquor intake, and all the possible whys and hows of binge drinking.
Managing Alcohol Cravings
Went through hundreds of resources on how to quit drinking alcohol, but sometimes, the urge is out of control. After acknowledging the problem, it is crucial to train your mind to avoid dependency on liquors for daily functioning and day-to-day activities.
One needs to-
- Understand the benefits and downfalls of consuming liquor, and use resources online to see addiction treatment alternatives
- Have a backup plan on how to avoid a situation in which you would normally drink and acknowledge the persistent efforts of your drinking buddies to enjoy one beer only
- Understanding how sobriety will aid your relationships, corporate life, and decision-making ability is yet another way to combat alcohol dependency.
Top 10 Tried and Tested Methods
Hanging out in a bar with your drinking buddies and not drinking yourself can put you in a catch-22 situation. However, once you’ve made up your mind, resisting the urge to drink can become an easy job.
1. Self-Assessment: Quitting drinking habits Guide
After self-analyzing the problem, consider researching and reading situations about alcohol use disorder. If you think you are suffering from alcohol abuse, a self-assessment is the primary step.
Consider asking yourself questions like-
- Is your alcohol intake more than what you initially planned for?
- Have you experienced multiple unsuccessful failed attempts at cutting back alcohol?
- Do you normally experience urges to use alcohol, or is it a habit now?
- Were you in a position where you jeopardized a relationship, professional, social, or personal, because of alcohol?
- Since when did you know about your drinking problem?
- Have you experienced terrible physical and mental health after drinking and consuming a large amount of alcohol?
If most of the answers to the above-listed questions are “Yes,” it’s time to consider the ultimate question: how to quit drinking alcohol.
2. Seek Help from Medical Professionals
Explore why you drink and what drives you to drink, and then think of methods on how to quit drinking alcohol. Involve counselling and therapy sessions to help you conclude why you drink, in what quantity, and how well you handle the urge.
If a professional knows your condition, it will help you with your decision by elevating responsibility, determination, and accountability.
National alcohol support services worldwide help one explore reasons and offer a practical guide on how to quit drinking alcohol.
However, there are a few things one should know before going the cold turkey way-
- Professionals recommend trying and establishing a three-day alcohol sabbatical. When you initially start with this plan, withdrawal symptoms are normal, including shaking, vomiting, and sweating.
- You can experience potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms if you are a heavy drinker. Acknowledging health professionals can help you go through physical withdrawal symptoms like- Headache, hallucination, fever, lack of appetite, and palpitations.
- One can often need medicine, psychological support, counselling, and therapy throughout the journey to help one stay focused on the decision to quit alcohol. If you seek treatment options, chances are, doctors would prescribe medication. Thus, being consistent is imperative!
3. Drink Buddies, Friends, and Family Members: Tell the Truth!
Open your problems and concerns to your loved ones, especially family members. Let them know about your heavy drinking problem, the struggle you face, and your decision to drink alcohol safely or visit a treatment facility nearby to stop it altogether.
One can also find a community or a support group that can offer them some valuable insight on how to quit drinking alcohol and some of the best treatment options to avoid any alcoholic beverage.
Engage in alcohol-free activities, visit the sober bar atmosphere if you miss that bar-like feel, and stay with people who don’t drink. This way, one will be able to avoid alcohol and turn down a drink easily.
4. Master The Art: 101 Guide to Say No to A Drink
Wanting to get your friends off your back? Don’t want to drink but always get forced? It’s time to ramp up your excuses game. Have some excuses ready to turn down a drink. Not rude and works for you easily!
Some of the excuses could be-
- Early work shifts the next day
- Meeting parents in an hour or so
- On antibiotics or medication that does not go with liquor
- Drive with kids
- Are you trying to maximize your performance for something special tonight?
- Babysitting next morning
5. Time to Explore Non-Alcoholic Drink Options: Best Alternatives
Are you the “let’s go catch a drink after work” type? Sure, you can’t change your plans.
However, your drink can. The right replacement drink can help you hang out with your drinking buddies, resist alcohol, help you in addiction treatment, and will give you a room to try new drinks and get creative.
Some of the alternatives can be-
- Sparkling water with grapes and chopped fruits
- Herbs and sparkling water
- Hot chocolate with spices
- Lemonade and sparkling water
- Apple Juice with a hint of mint
What about an exotic dessert side dish instead of red wine at a fancy dinner? Instead of champagne for celebration, how about white tea with a dash of mint and ginger? Consult a health professional for healthy alternatives to alcohol.
6. Other Alternatives to Stop Alcohol abuse and Alcoholism
Instead of binge drinking, one can consider other activities, for instance-
- Whenever you feel the surge of being alone and going to a bar nearby, drinking soda, lean to a book from a famous author on your interest niche. If reading is not your forte, a movie with a loved one will do wonders. Craving alcohol? Go on a movie date with your girlfriend and get a soft drink on your way.
- Engage in therapy, visit a nearby alcohol rehab, and boost your communication skills if you think your drinking habits have jeopardized your relationships.
- Build new friendships, seek help in community groups or take the help of technology to combat alcohol addiction easily and effectively. Some of the top online application that helps you connect with people with the same problem and get better advice are Drinkchat, Drinkline, and alcohol rehab help on Reddit.
Explore and indulge in your hobbies and work towards something meaningful in your free time rather than go to a bar and drink. One can involve in volunteer activities at community centers.
This way, one can boost confidence and keep their mind off drinking appeal.
7. Prioritize Yourself Over Anything Else: 101 Self-Care Guide
Quitting alcohol is an arduous task. Detoxing is not possible with self-care, a proper diet plan, and exercise. A healthy diet and nutrition during the period of addiction treatment are imperative to help your health and new lifestyle.
In the initial stages of detox, one should consider a few things for a quick and healthy process: Hydration, a sufficient amount of protein in the diet, and incorporating more liquid supplements into your diet.
8. Hydration: Alcohol Detox Basics, Diet to Determination
Water is the most essential component of our diet. The first and foremost crucial ingredient is water, from body functioning to detoxing.
Thus, hydration is key if you are cutting back on alcohol or completely quitting. Involve drinking more and more water in your diet.
Secondly, fruits and vegetables in your diet are a must! If you are a heavy drinker, your body is already deficient in folates and vitamins. Incorporating sugary food items, fruits, and vegetables into your diet will quickly help your recovery.
Another important thing to include in your diet is protein. Egg rolls for breakfast, chicken breast for dinner, and seeds in smoothies will offer you ample protein and help balance out the definition of nutrition in your body.
9. Build Emotional Strength: Yoga and Meditation for Mind Control
Are you ready to kickstart your life without alcohol but have no idea how to quit drinking alcohol? The answer is simple. It starts with self-control and a strong will.
Some tips to consider are-
- Enroll in a yoga class for emotional regulation, understanding triggers, and engaging in positive talk.
- Practicing breathing exercises will help you understand your physical and mental health issues.
- Acupuncture is a natural mechanism that can help you heal your alcohol cravings. If withdrawal symptoms are becoming too hard to handle, consult an acupuncture specialist to get relief from terrible symptoms.
- Meditation is yet another alternative to help you build mental health, and maintain blood pressure while establishing strong self-control.
- If yoga and meditation are not cups of your tea, one can try other activities like hiking, cycling, and dancing to stay physically fit and mentally stable.
- Sleepover Scotch! Sleeping for 7-9 hours for most adults is imperative.
- Remove alcohol and empty your house, and don’t be physically dependent on anybody to bring you alcohol.
- Remind yourself why you quit in the first place and read more about substance abuse treatment and alcoholism.
10. Journal To Track Progress
It doesn’t matter if you are cutting down or quitting liquor, it is important to track your progress and revise your initially planned goals.
If you are hoping to stop drinking completely, pen down the real number of drinks you want per day. Use a journal to tab and record the number of drinks and quantity.
Now set a goal and narrow down the number of drinks by a good margin. If you were initially drinking 5, cut back to 2!
Away from home? In a bar? A corporate dinner? Learn how to say NO! Turn down the drink if you have already exceeded the minimum number of drinks per day.
A journal is all about exploring and writing down emotions you couldn’t have said out loud. It promotes emotional well-being in millions of ways.
By writing, you will understand how drinking fixes your problem, what is a trigger, and why you are drinking heavily on some occasions.
Alcohol Support Groups
Trained professionals in rehab centers encourage therapy sessions along with medication that will make you hate drinks. Addiction is the result of deep-rooted stigma, trauma, and stress, it is a coping mechanism for many. Therefore, therapy in a rehab center will be of great help.
What is an Alcohol Support Group?
An alcohol support service conducts multiple sessions on the pros and cons of chronic alcoholism, how an institutional rehab can help, does a de-addiction program works, and covers all the underlying reasons for alcohol addiction.
Many people wonder how to quit drinking alcohol over a short time. The answer is- To consider an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. In an inpatient program, you are treated in a hospital, rehab center, or detox clinic.
On the contrary, in an outpatient program, one is given the medical assessment live at home.
What Follow-Up Programs to Consider?
If you have major problems staying sober, then residential rehab is a good place to start. Also, relapsing is easy. All it takes is one weak moment.
Therefore, it is recommended to try to follow up programs offered by institutional rehabs like 12-step programs, group therapy sessions, and private counselling from American addiction centers.
Alcoholics Anonymous is another international fellowship that aims to help people recover from alcohol addiction. One can refer to their online website for more information.
The national institute on alcohol abuse aids one in treating alcohol addiction and substance abuse. SMART Recovery is yet another resource worth checking if you struggle with alcohol use.
Manage Stress and Anxiety for a Healthy Control of Lifestyle
If alcohol was your coping mechanism, there would be many instances when the urge to say yes to a drink would heighten. However, remember why you initially quit and how heavy drinking affected your health.
To manage stress while experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms – limit caffeine intake, eat a balanced diet, focus on techniques that will establish better mental health, paint or listen to music, get regular sleep and incorporate herbs in your diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is alcohol addiction for life?
Since alcoholism is brain related issue, it must be treated for the rest of one’s life. However, this does not rule out the possibility of rehabilitation with proper guidance and support.
2. Is drinking bad for health?
Drinking too much alcohol may contribute to a variety of long-term illnesses and other serious ailments such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, problems with the liver, and digestive issues as time passes.
3. How can I solve my drinking problem?
You can start by developing the skills required to quit or limit alcohol consumption, contributing to the development of an effective social support system, and setting achievable objectives. Follow the steps laid out above in the article for assistance.
Whether your goal is to stop drinking altogether and achieve complete sobriety or minimize your per-day drinking goal, plan out a structure to go about it.
You are not obligated to tell anyone why you are quitting alcohol—building your drink refusal skills and taking robust initiatives for a sober social situation. Drink alcohol but know the limits because self-assessment is the first step of any recovery process.
Once you are set to combat alcohol addiction, take steps to avoid relapse. A recovery support group like SMART Recovery, alcoholics anonymous, and other community groups can play a major role in helping you recover while avoiding chances of relapsing.
Being addicted means being in a situation with unavoidable conflicts, health issues, and emotional problems. However, one can recover from these. Thanks to technology, the internet has made every resource accessible.
All you need to do is search for how to quit drinking alcohol naturally and get all the help you need online to reduce alcohol consumption.
From AUD treatment professionals and treatment facilities nearby to DIY herb teas, everything is available online that can potentially answer your question- how to quit drinking alcohol.
So, what are you waiting for? Hop on to the ride of alcohol-free days and live your life to the fullest in the healthiest way!