Author: Charles Frank

How to Stop Drinking Alcohol

tips to stop drinking

Most people with alcohol problems do not decide to make a big change out of the blue or transform their drinking habits overnight. In the early stages of change, denial is a huge obstacle. Even after admitting you have a drinking problem, you may make excuses and drag your feet. It’s important to acknowledge your ambivalence about stopping drinking. If you’re not sure if you’re ready to change or you’re struggling with the decision, it can help to think about the costs and benefits of each choice. Many people with drinking problems cannot tell when their drinking is out of control.

tips to stop drinking

Put a sticky note in places where you know you’ll need that extra reminder. Set a daily message alert on your phone for moments when you know you’ll crave a drink the most. Place pictures that remind you of your why around your home, in your car or on your phone and computer backgrounds.

Let friends, family members, and co-workers know that you’re trying to stop or cut back on drinking. If they drink, ask them to support your recovery by not doing so in front of you. You may have tried to stop drinking many times in the past and feel you have no control over it. Or you may be thinking about stopping, but you’re not sure if you’re ready to start. The first thing you have to do is take a step back and evaluate your habits. That means looking at your relationship with alcohol so you can understand why you drink, when you drink and how much you drink.

Be prepared to have these things on hand for when a craving strikes so you can nip it in the bud. If you want to end up in that 25%, it’s important to identify why you’re drinking in the first place. You should also surround yourself with people who will help you quit and celebrate your wins along the way. Because substance use disorder is a complex disease, you likely have more than one trigger. When you feel a craving coming on, assess what’s around you and what you’re feeling. If you’re having trouble doing the same things you used to do, try new hobbies to fill your time.

Examples of alcohol treatment programs

Join a gym, learn a new skill, or find sober social groups you can enjoy. There’s a reason you’ve reached the decision to quit or cut back. Write it down and keep it handy so you see it often. Whether it’s improved relationships, better health, or weight loss, keeping the “why” in sight can help boost your motivation. Within just a month of not drinking, your body can begin to reap the benefits.

tips to stop drinking

Express your concerns in a caring way and encourage your friend or family member to get help. Try to remain neutral and don’t argue, lecture, accuse, or threaten. Use these tried-and-true tips to quit or reduce your alcohol intake. Inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities are another effective place to surround yourself with people who will walk you through detox and recovery with no judgment. It’s when you bond with your co-workers after work.

More in Addiction

If you’re reluctant to turn to your loved ones because you’ve let them down before, consider going to couples counseling or family therapy. Some people are able to stop drinking on their own or with the help of a 12-step program or other support group (see below for links). Others need medical supervision in order to withdraw from alcohol safely and comfortably. Do you want to stop drinking altogether or just cut back? If your goal is to reduce your drinking, decide which days you will drink alcohol and how many drinks you will allow yourself per day.

  1. Whether you have a diagnosed mental health disorder or not, therapy is a positive tool for long-term recovery.
  2. If that’s not possible, admit your desire to drink and don’t judge yourself for it.
  3. If you feel comfortable doing so, discuss your challenges with your primary healthcare professional.
  4. Or drink soda, water, or juice between alcoholic drinks.
  5. Inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities are another effective place to surround yourself with people who will walk you through detox and recovery with no judgment.

Talk with your health care provider about your drinking. Your provider can help you find the best treatment. If you’re really committed to cutting back, one of the best things you can do is get the booze out of your house. If it’s not within reach, you’ll be less tempted to drink. This is also a good opportunity to find alternatives to some of your favorite drinks.

Take some time to explore your relationship with alcohol

Keep trying until you find the activities that resonate with your passions and ultimate wellness goals. For some people, their why is centered around relationships. For others, it’s their careers that have taken a hit due to the effects of their drinking. And for others it’s a combination of factors that motivates their move to sobriety. You’re likely to be in situations where you’ll be offered a drink.

Reviewing the results, you may be surprised at your weekly drinking habits. Whether you have a diagnosed mental health disorder or not, therapy is a positive tool for long-term recovery. A therapist can help you uncover key insights regarding your alcohol use and offer tools that will set you up for successful and satisfying long-term recovery. Alcohol cravings are an inevitable part of detoxing and getting sober. When those cravings kick in, it’s normal to feel anxiety, fear or shame.

However, when alcohol makes up part of your typical routine, drinking can become something of an automatic response, especially when you feel stressed or overwhelmed. Turner notes the importance of bringing along a trusted support person when attending events that involve alcohol. It’s often easier to turn down a drink when you don’t have to do it alone. Al-Anon offers support to friends and families of alcoholics.

Exploring, in writing, what you find difficult and when you most want to drink can help you notice patterns that offer more insight into your alcohol use. By avoiding alcohol, you’re taking a big step toward improving physical health. As you begin to notice those health benefits, you’ll likely feel more energized and inspired to keep up your progress.

Renewal Center for Ongoing Recovery

If you’re a long-term, heavy drinker, you may need medically supervised detoxification. Talk to your doctor or an addiction specialist to learn more. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually start within hours after you stop drinking, peak in a day or two, and improve within five days. But in some alcoholics, withdrawal is not just unpleasant—it can be life threatening.