How to Stop Drinking Alcohol: 10 Practical Tips
Last Updated: September 8, 2023
Many people enjoy a drink now and then, but when alcohol becomes a daily necessity or negatively affects your life, it may be time to reconsider. People might want to stop drinking for a variety of reasons. It could be to improve health, save money or simply feel better.
However, deciding to stop drinking and actually doing it are two different things. The journey to sobriety can be challenging, especially for those dependent on alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms like shaking, sweating or nausea can occur, making the process difficult. But with the right support and tools, it is entirely possible to overcome these challenges and lead a healthier, happier life.
Signs It Might Be Time To Quit Drinking
Alcohol misuse may look different for each individual. However, there are common signs that let you know it’s time to consider quitting. These include:
- You’re drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week. This is about six medium glasses of wine or six pints of beer.
- You’re using alcohol to deal with stress or negative feelings. This can lead to dependence over time.
- You’re drinking alone regularly. This kind of drinking can often lead to consuming more alcohol.
- You’ve noticed a gradual increase in your drinking. This could be a sign your body is developing a tolerance to alcohol.
- Your drinking is causing problems in your relationships or at work. This is a clear sign that alcohol is negatively impacting your life.
If you’re experiencing any of these signs, know that you’re not alone. There is help available to support you in recovery.
10 Tips on How To Stop Drinking Alcohol
1. Acknowledge the Issue
The first step in any change is acknowledging there’s a problem. If your alcohol use might be problematic, such as drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week or using it to cope with stress, it might be time to reassess your relationship with alcohol. Remember, recognizing a problem is not a sign of weakness or moral failure but a step toward a healthier life.
2. Seek Professional Help
If you’re dependent on alcohol, it’s crucial to seek professional help before making any drastic changes. Abruptly stopping can lead to withdrawal symptoms like shaking, fatigue or anxiety. Health professionals can provide the necessary support and guidance during this process.
3. Share Your Goal
Let your family and friends know about your decision to stop drinking. Their support can be invaluable during this journey. They can celebrate your victories with you and provide encouragement during challenging times.
4. Avoid Triggers
Identify situations or places you’re tempted to drink and find ways to manage them. This could mean skipping the weekly trivia at the bar or opting for restaurants that don’t serve alcohol. By avoiding these triggers, you’re setting yourself up for success.
5. Replace Old Habits
If you usually drink after work, consider replacing that routine with a new activity. Exercise, a hobby or even a relaxing bath can be good alternatives. By filling your time with positive and healthy activities, you’ll be less likely to reach for a drink.
6. Keep a Dry House
If you’ve been drinking daily at home, consider removing all alcohol from your space. Ask roommates or family members to refrain from drinking or bringing alcohol home. This reduces the temptation and makes it easier to stick to your decision.
7. Focus on the Benefits
As you progress on your journey to sobriety, you’ll start to notice improvements in your life. You might have more energy, sleep better or think clearer. Celebrate these victories, no matter how small they may seem.
8. Set Short-Term Goals
Setting short-term goals can help keep you motivated. Start with an alcohol-free week, then aim for an alcohol-free month. Each goal you achieve brings you one step closer to a healthier life.
9. Reward Yourself
Stopping drinking is a significant change, and it’s important to reward yourself as you make progress. Use the money you save from not buying alcohol to treat yourself to something special.
10. Seek Ongoing Support
If you find it challenging to stop drinking on your own, don’t hesitate to seek ongoing support. Various treatment options are available, ranging from outpatient therapy to residential treatment programs. Remember, there’s no shame in needing support.
Get Help for Alcohol Addiction Now at The Recovery Village Atlanta
At The Recovery Village Atlanta, our team of experts provides trauma-informed comprehensive services, including medical detox, residential rehab, partial hospitalization program (PHP) and intensive outpatient program (IOP). Our physician-led facilities offer care for dual diagnosis and medication-assisted treatment. Reach out today, and one of our Recovery Advocates will guide you through the admissions process.
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