Many people are concerned about alcohol use, withdrawal symptoms, drinking habits, mental health, and long-term alcohol treatment options.
No matter what your motivation is to fight that glass of wine – it is always wise to check in with a doctor. Doctors will offer you professional help, and together, you can decide the best ways to cut back or abstain from heavy drinking and excessive alcohol use.
These 10 tips and new ways will help you quit alcohol. The first step to stopping your drinking problem is…
Know Your Reason for Quitting Alcohol
There are lots of reasons which brought you to the decision and path of seeking medical help, medical advice, and medical attention.
Write down your list of the reasons and keep it handy so you can see it regularly – gaining motivation and drive to quit drinking entirely or at least enforce a dramatic drop in your daily drinking levels of alcohol consumption.
These reasons can be anything from trying for better health, improved personal relationships with your family and friends, disease control, and improved mental health.
Keeping the why alive in your detox journey is a good idea and the best approach towards a positive lifestyle change.
Make a Plan
Alcohol withdrawal or scaling back from alcohol use disorder is not only an admirable goal, but a serious commitment.
You will face physical withdrawal symptoms, emotional and mental symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, in addition to other problems.
People suffering from alcohol use disorders – need a plan detailing how to beat their addiction problem.
These steps might and should include the following:
- What day will you start your detox journey?
- Who will you share this journey with and seek support from; support groups or family members?
- What is your backup plan if you happen to backtrack?
It is essential to have a guide before you start your journey for positive change. A doctor or therapist can help you create a personalized plan if you feel lost.
Make a positive change in your current life – seek substance abuse treatment now!
Note the Positive Changes
With fewer alcoholic drinks in your life, you will likely see the long-term benefits of ditching your alcohol addiction and drinking problem.
These benefits include:
- Clean and clear skin
- Better sleeping patterns
- Mood swings regulation
- Significant weight loss
- Healthy heart rate and no alcohol-induced heart disease
On your journey to quit alcohol, you must celebrate the smaller milestones and important goals along the way. Write down any positive changes you notice and keep a calendar to track how long you are sober.
Prepare for Detox
If you are a heavy drinker, your body will likely detox when you quit alcohol-based drinks.
It is normal to feel anxious, grumpy, and restless while experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms, including consistent headaches and profuse sweating.
However, these are not long-term problems and are likely to pass within 5 to 7 days with proper medical supervision.
Keep your medicines and health care providers close by should you experience severe physical symptoms, like high blood pressure, hallucinations and visions, or bouts of confusion. These symptoms may require immediate medical attention.
Dietary guidelines from the federal government promote no drinking at all – however, if you do drink, it is best to limit your intake to two drinks for men and one for women per day.
When you start, dropping the number of alcoholic drinks you have per week is easier than going cold turkey. Implementing a daily limit will cut down your weekly intake. This harm-reduction strategy can prevent you from binging on alcohol.
Consult with your doctor and navigate how you can achieve your goals.
Have your Script Sorted
As drinking is considered a social affair, you will likely get into situations where you will be presented with a drink. This is where it is important to know how you are going to say no.
Have a follow-up explanation ready if someone asks – keep it short and designed in a way that doesn’t invite a lot of questions. You can say you’re driving, that you have to work early the following day, or simply say “no thanks” with a non-alcoholic drink in your hand.
Some events, places, and people are linked to drinking one way or another.
In such situations, it gets harder to stick to your plan and goals. The ideal way is to avoid such situations – but if that is not possible, acknowledge your personal desire to have a drink and do not make it harder by judging yourself for it.
The best way to deal with triggers is to text or call a friend with your list of goals ready, reminding yourself why you quit drinking in the first place.
Include Others in Your Goals
Let others partake in your goals.
Tell a list of people, such as a trusted friend or a family member, about your plan to quit or cut back on alcohol.
When other people around you are in the know, they can help you fight the risk of treading off from your set plans. At the very least, they will know not to offer you any alcoholic drinks.
This might also help you spend time with other non-drinkers so you can form an ongoing support group.
Engage in New Activities
Drinking is at the center of many social activities.
If it is getting hard for you to kick alcohol abuse while performing the same activities you used to do before – try out some new interests and hobbies to fill in your time.
An example will be:
- Joining a gym
- Learning a new skill
- Getting in touch with social and sober self-help groups
Or any other activity that interests you enough to limit the amount of alcohol you used to consume.
Keep Moving Forward
Changing your lifestyle after that last drink and altering your habits takes a lot of time and work.
This is why it is vital to de-prioritize short-term indulges in favor of long-lasting benefits. Don’t give up!
If you find yourself in weak moments leading to difficult situations – get up, dust yourself, and start over the next day. Learn from the mistakes and move ahead with boosted determination.
Relapses happen, but it is up to you to keep moving forward.
Bonus Tips to Stop Drinking Alcohol
- Keep a drinking diary either on paper or in a smartphone app
- Utilize methods to fight off the peer pressure
- Embrace the setbacks
- Trust the treatment programs and centers
- Look for Alcoholics Anonymous group sites and meetings
- Go to family therapy sessions and counseling
- Increase your alcohol-free days as advised by your treatment facility
- Seek professional support
The good news is, if you seek a doctor’s help and remain absolute on your plan, the best things in life will celebrate your journey in the near future.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How can I train my brain to stop drinking?
Mental bias modification is a brain training activity that helps people to avoid alcohol-related health problems effectively. Speak to a therapist to create a treatment plan unique to your situation.
How do I motivate myself to stop drinking?
Short-term withdrawal and other medical conditions might affect any person – even if they were not a heavy drinker to begin with.
While some people feel irritable, tired or even shaky – some are also faced with poor concentration, bad dreams and increased difficulty in sleeping. All of these problems can even occur even if you were only a low level drinker.
Mostly, people pass this phase quickly, and it counts just as a temporary blip before they get to witness the actual benefits of cutting down on alcohol.
However, if you are feeling these symptoms for more than five days in a row after quitting alcohol, or if you find it difficult to navigate through them – your doctor or counselors will offer some advice.
What is the best way to stop drinking?
If you suspect you suffer from alcohol use disorder (AUD), talk to your doctor about treatment plans, including inpatient or outpatient rehab, group or individual therapy, and medications.
If you have not been diagnosed with AUD and are considering reducing or stopping your alcohol consumption, take steps to reduce your alcohol intake such as setting a daily limit, switching to low or non-alcoholic drinks, limiting the amount of alcohol in the house, delaying the first drink of the day, altering your after work routine, and only drinking with dinner.
Remember to follow the tips outlined in this blog:
1. Know your reasons
2. Make a plan
3. Note the positive changes
4. Prepare for detox
5. Have harm-reduction strategies ready
6. Have your script sorted
7. Identify your triggers
8. Share with others
9. Engage in new activities
10. Keep moving forward
Haven Detox-New England is Here to Help
Quitting alcohol takes time, but there is help available with Haven Detox-New England. At Haven Detox-New England the staff is helpful, compassionate and kind – offering detox services, and full-fledged residential treatment programs.
There is help available for you whether your goal is full sobriety or limited drinking – by seeking help, you are doing your health, body, and brain a huge favor.
Call a confidence counselor now!