There are a lot of reasons why someone may want to stop drinking alcohol. Some people develop health issues, such as liver disease, that force them to give up drinking. Others choose to do so because they want to live a healthier lifestyle, or because their drinking is holding them back from achieving their goals.
If you are considering cutting back on your drinking or giving it up entirely, you might be wondering where to start. We’ve done the research on the best methods for giving up drinking, so you don’t have to.
Remember, if you have an alcohol use disorder or are dependent on alcohol, you need to seek professional help. Treatment is the only way to overcome alcohol addiction.
Below, we’ve listed the top tips for quitting alcohol.
As you are getting familiar with life without alcohol, it is smart to avoid situations where you might be tempted to drink. Different people drink in different situations, so how you do this will vary depending on what kind of drinker you are.
For example, maybe you are accustomed to meeting friends at bars during the weekend. Since everyone around you is drinking, it may be hard to resist. Do yourself a favor and ask your friends to meet you somewhere that doesn’t serve alcohol, or that is less alcohol-focused (such as a restaurant).
Figure Out Your Strategy
Many people use an initial period of abstinence to decide whether they want to give up drinking entirely, or learn to drink more responsibly than they have been.
For most drinkers, abstaining from alcohol for some time period, whether it is 2 weeks or 2 months, helps to clear the mind and makes the decision about whether to cut back or continue abstaining easier.
After a period of abstinence, if you choose to reincorporate alcohol into your life, do so carefully and intentionally. Set a healthy limit for yourself and stick to it.
There are several apps that can help you track the number of drinks you have in a night, week, or month. Most of them include information on the maximum recommended number of drinks for men and women, but your goals may vary as long as they do not exceed these numbers.
Reward Your Progress
Giving up drinking is rarely easy, and you should certainly keep this fact in mind along your journey. If you don’t give yourself tangible motivation to make progress, you might forget why you wanted to cut back in the first place.
Set short-term goals and reward yourself for meeting them. Maybe try replacing your nightly beverage with a sweet treat. Or, keep track of the money you are saving by not drinking and use it to buy yourself something nice at the end of the month.
Set Up a Support System
It’s hard enough to stop drinking, but doing so without any help or support from the people around you is a recipe for failure. Make sure that your loved ones understand your intentions to stop drinking, and help them to get on board.
If you are a social drinker, it is a good idea to ask your friends and family to respect your process by not drinking around you.
You can also use your loved ones as accountability partners. This means asking someone close to you to check in daily or weekly about your drinking. Accountability helps to motivate us to make changes, because we don’t want to let down the people we love.
Overcoming Alcohol Addiction
The tips above are a great place to start if you drink more than you want to, but are not addicted to alcohol. If you do have an alcohol use disorder (AUD), you need to seek professional treatment.
Treatment for alcohol addiction is a personalized process that usually begins with detox and can continue with either inpatient or outpatient rehab. In alcohol rehab, you will strengthen your resolve and learn new ways to cope without alcohol. Formal alcohol treatment at a rehab center usually includes some of the following elements:
- Detox: Many alcoholics must begin treatment with detox. This is a safe place to go through withdrawal and prepare your body and mind for treatment.
- Therapy: After detox, formal treatment begins. Therapy finds its way into most addicts’ recovery plans. This is a great tool for uncovering your triggers to use and overcoming them.
- Medication: There are three main drugs that are used to help people recover from alcohol addiction: naltrexone, disulfiram, and acamprosate. These medications can help in various ways to reduce cravings and manage withdrawal symptoms.
Get Treatment for Alcohol Addiction
Are you or someone you love addicted to alcohol? It’s never too late to get the help you deserve. Call Spring Hill Recovery today to learn how you can overcome alcohol addiction.