While some people can drink alcohol in moderation and be perfectly fine, it’s still a dangerous and addictive substance that can all but ruin a person’s life. Stopping drinking is one of the hardest things that someone can do, both because it can be so addictive and because it is more socially acceptable than other substances. As difficult as it is to stop drinking, it’s far from impossible. You can stop now, but you need to know how to go about it. No two people will have the same experiences with alcohol, but these tips can be applied to almost everyone.
Decide Why You Drink and Why You Want to Quit
Knowing why you started drinking in the first place can help give you the motivation to quit. Maybe you feel pressured to drink by friends who can’t go to a social event without alcohol involved. Maybe you drink to cope with anxiety or stress at home or work. In any case, identifying the reason you started drinking is helpful. Once you know why you started drinking, your next step is to decide why you want to quit.
You might not like how drinking has affected your health, your social life, your finances, or any other aspect of your life that can be impacted by substance abuse. For most people, it’s a combination of several factors. It also helps to think about how your life might be different if you did stop drinking. You’d likely be much healthier and happier once you’ve mostly overcome the physical and psychological addiction.
Make a Plan
Once you’ve decided to quit drinking, your next step is to make a plan to quit. Decide how you’re going to change your lifestyle to avoid drinking, what you’re going to do when you feel tempted to drink again, and who is going to help you stay accountable. And yes, you almost certainly need someone, preferably someone you trust to help you make the right decisions.
Understand that Detoxing Will Be Difficult
When you quit drinking, your body needs to detox to rid itself of the alcohol. To say that this isn’t a fun experience is an understatement. You can expect symptoms such as headaches, nausea, anxiety, sleeplessness, and tremors. All of this can be incredibly dangerous or even fatal, which is why we do not recommend detoxing on your own. If you suspect that things will be difficult, enroll in a treatment program that will allow you to medically detox under the supervision of trained professionals.
Prepare to Make Changes in Your Life
You’ll need to make some serious changes in your life if many of your social activities involved drinking. This might require you to find new hobbies or even new friends who will respect your choice to not drink. Social drinking is a major part of American society, so it can be difficult to cut it out of your life completely. Be ready to explain to people that you don’t drink, and don’t hesitate to leave a social event if you feel pressured or tempted to take a drink.
Find Safe and Healthy Hobbies
One of the great things about quitting drinking is that it frees up time to try other things. Not only is this a great time to start a new hobby, but that hobby could provide the distraction that you’ll need to stay sober.
Don’t Give Up
People like to think that they can just quit drinking all at once, but it takes time for something like that to really stick. You might always be tempted on some level to start drinking again, especially since so much of American culture seems to be tied to drinking alcohol socially. Whatever happens, don’t give up. You can be sober, even if you relapse occasionally.
Also, don’t assume that you can always handle quitting on your own. If you feel like you need help overcoming your addiction to alcohol at any point in your recovery, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and find a treatment program that works best for you. Call us at 833-610-1174.