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Article Summary

How To Quit Drinking Alcohol

Have you been struggling with alcohol and wondering if you are an alcoholic and if the time has come for you to quit? If you answered yes to this question, then it is highly recommended that you learn how to quit drinking alcohol by getting the professional help you need.

Today, alcohol kills more than 240 people per day. To ensure that you are not numbered among these statistics, it is vital that you quit drinking alcohol - especially if it is causing problems in your life.

However, quitting is easier said than done - particularly where alcohol is concerned. Still, this won't be the hardest thing you will endure - or what happens when you quit. The hardest part of your journey to recovery and sobriety will be first couple of days and weeks of attempting sobriety. Luckily, others have recovered from alcoholism and so can you.

To ensure that you have a successful recovery and the process is as smooth and as trouble free as possible, it is suggested you obtain professional treatment. Read on to find out more:

The Dangers Of Quitting Alcohol

In most cases, you will find that the first 3 days after your last drink will be the most painful. This is because your body will be getting rid of all traces of alcohol, meaning that you can experience unpleasant acute withdrawal. This is why professional medical help is highly recommended.

Some of the symptoms that come with alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Elevated temperature
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fast pulse
  • Anxiety
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors

In the most extreme cases, you might also experience seizures - which may prove to be life threatening. Since your body works to cleanse itself, you should ensure that you detox the right way to manage these symptoms and ensure that you do not relapse. This is why it is so vital that you get professional treatment while learning how to quit drinking alcohol.

Treatment And Rehabilitation Options For Alcoholism

Some people learn how to quit drinking alcohol on their own while others count on the help of a support group, such as a 12 step program. However, most people do better with medical supervision, which allows them to physically withdraw from alcohol as comfortably and safely as possible.

The best option for you will depend on a variety of factors, including but not limited to:

  • The stability, comfort, and support you receive in your living environment
  • How much alcohol you have been drinking
  • How long you have been drinking
  • Any other health problems you might have

Depending on how serious your situation is, there are many different alcohol treatment and rehabilitation programs you can count on. Each of these is different but they all work towards the same goals: teaching you how to quit drinking alcohol.

a) Residential/Inpatient Treatment

This type of alcohol detox and rehabilitation program will have you living within the treatment facility. This way, you will be able to undergo intensive treatment and detoxification without interruption. In most cases, the programs last anywhere between 30 to 90 days, although they might run a little longer depending on how severe your alcoholism is.

b) Partial Hospitalization

Partial hospitalization, on the other hand, is better suited for alcoholics who require round the clock medical care and monitoring but have a home that is stable and where the people are supportive. You will typically be required to meet at the treatment facility for 3 to 5 days per week, 4 to 6 hours every day and you can go home after.

c) Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Otherwise known as IOP (or intensive outpatient programs), these programs are designed to prevent you from relapsing. Since they are offered on an outpatient basis, you can schedule your treatment sessions around school and/or work.

d) Therapy

Family, group, and individual therapy are all useful because they may help you understand the main reasons behind your alcohol use disorder, learn healthier coping and avoidance skills, and guide you on how to repair any relationships that might have hit a bad turn on account of your alcoholism.

e) Sober Living

Sober living, on the other hand, is a form of aftercare that would normally follow a more intensive treatment and rehabilitation program - such as inpatient treatment. Here, you will get the opportunity to share housing with others recovering from alcohol abuse and addiction. The environment will typically be designed to be supportive and free of drugs and alcohol.

Sober living works out perfectly for people who are worried that if they return home they might relapse, as well as those who might not have anywhere to go after undergoing treatment.

Tips To Quit Drinking Alcohol

Although you now know the treatment options available to you, there are still other things you should do to ensure that you fully learn how to quit drinking alcohol. The journey might be long and arduous but the following tips and tricks can help you stay on track with your recovery.

1. Admit You Have a Problem

The first thing you need to do to ensure that you overcome alcohol abuse and alcoholism is to admit that you have a problem. With drinking, most people tend think in terms of whether they are alcoholics or normal drinkers.

However, there are gray areas in between these two extremes filled with problematic drinkers who can either be alcoholics or on their way to it. That said, if you have a problem with alcohol, it is highly likely that you are already aware of it.

Therefore, if you ever find yourself thinking and comparing how much alcohol you consume to other people, asking yourself whether you have a drinking problem, or taking online assessments, you should do the following:

a) Ask All the Right Questions

Instead of asking if you are an alcoholic or not, you should just stop. Simply asking these questions means that you probably already have a drinking problem. A better question to ask would be if alcohol has been preventing you from living your dream lifestyle. If the answer is yes, you have a problem that needs resolving.

b) Stop Comparing

Comparisons will never do you any good. The way other people choose to live their lives has nothing to do with you. Instead, you should know that you are a person with a complicated and unique life.

Whether you drink more than your next door neighbor or less than your brother, it should not bother you. The fact is that if you have a drinking problem, the time has come for you to look for help. Comparisons will only cause self-justification, which could delay your treatment.

c) Think of the Future

Think right into the future and picture how you will be 5 or 10 years down the line if you don't change your drinking habits. Consider whether you are happy with the vision you get. If you do not like it, then it is highly likely that you have a drinking problem. Admitting it can help you start the treatment process sooner rather than later.

2. Understand the Importance of Quitting

Most people never see the long term benefits that come with learning how to quit drinking alcohol. Therefore, they cannot use these benefits as motivating factors to propel them towards treatment. Instead, they tend to prefer the instant gratification that comes with drinking.

However, there are other short term benefits you stand to gain when you stop abusing alcohol - or drinking altogether. Use the following to motivate yourself to quit:

a) Better Sleep

Since alcohol works as a depressant, it only makes you more tired than you already are. Drinking alcohol before sleeping can also disrupt your sleep patterns and throw your body off balance. This is only one of the problems alcohol causes.

Quitting will improve your quality of sleep dramatically.

b) Recover Lost Time

If you are a moderate drinker who takes 2 to 3 drink three times every week, it means that you lose about three hours that you would otherwise have used productively. In a year, this adds up to 1 ' months of lost time.

c) Meaningful Conversations

Conversation tends to help us grow and build our character. These benefits automatically disappear if you are always drunk most of the time. Alcohol will also prevent you from making meaningful changes from the conversations you have.

d) Save Money

Last but not least, if you have a problem with alcohol abuse and alcoholism, it is highly likely that you may spend upwards of $150 a week - particularly if you prefer going out to drink.

Staying just six months without alcohol, you could save enough money to do most of the things you have been planning - such as backpacking or taking that long forgotten dream holiday.

Last but not least, learning how to quit drinking alcohol will come with a myriad of additional benefits, including:

  • Better emotional balance
  • Clearer mind
  • Improved liver function
  • Lower cholesterol
  • More efficient brain activity
  • Stronger immune system
  • Weight loss
  • Improved relationships

3. Prioritize Sobriety

You must prioritize giving up alcohol and all manner of alcoholic beverages. Committing partially is bound to end in failure. Instead, create rules, establish them, and ensure you don't break any.

Refuse to go to bars, to take advantage of sales on six packs, and the temptation to take just one drink. Instead, put your sobriety and recovery on a pedestal until you no longer have a drinking problem.

4. Avoid Alcoholic Friends

Whether your gang tends to drink every once in a few days or weeks or alcohol is the major part of your social interactions, it might be time for you to change your society. The first step would be to inform them that you cannot be with them if they will be drinking. Secondly, cut out everyone you simply drink with and do nothing else.

This might not be easy but it is the best way to start your journey to full recovery. Just remember that any true friend will stick with you through the hard times when sobriety seems unattainable - and those are the only ones worth keeping.

5. Advertise Your Choice

You should also let everyone know that you have given up alcohol. This will not only add accountability to the dream, it will also drop the hint so that your friends can exclude you whenever they plan on getting wasted.

6. Change Your Mentality

Even after you admit to the drinking problem, you still have to change your mentality and attitude towards your situation with alcohol. This means that you should not get mad when people try to offer assistance.

Similarly, you should never put yourself down just because of the rough patch you are going through. Instead, get in the right mindset and realize that you have kick started your journey to recovery and sobriety.

7. Go for Rehabilitation

Due to the withdrawal symptoms we discussed above, it might difficult for you to quit on your own. In fact, you might be so deep in the problem that only medical guidance and professional assistance can help you overcome your alcoholism.

As mentioned earlier, there are many treatment options for people looking for information on how to quit drinking alcohol. While looking for the right rehabilitation program, you should compare what every facility offers until you get the one that is best suited to your addiction, lifestyle, needs, preferences, and desires.

Remember, people don't quit the exact same way. However, there are some things you may be able to do to ensure that you are on the right path to full recovery and a better life. Focus on your treatment and when you are free of alcohol, ensure you live out your life to the maximum so that you don't miss drinking.

Conclusion

Over and above everything else, the worst part about learning how to quit drinking alcohol will be the withdrawal stage - particularly the cravings for alcohol you might get. These cravings, however, tend to last a lifetime but get decrease in intensity the longer you go without alcohol.

Therefore, even if you manage to remove every trace of alcohol from your body and system, your brain might still desire the chemicals that it got used to. At this point, you should learn how to curb your cravings the right way.

During detox and rehabilitation, you will undergo therapy and be advised to develop new habits and hobbies and enforce them. Last but not least, you may perform group work, receive one on one treatment and attention from clinical and medical professionals, and attend therapy to overcome your alcohol dependence and abuse. By building effective avoidance and coping skills and overcoming the root causes of your alcoholism, you should be able to finally recover and find a lifetime of happiness as a result.

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