Think About Your Triggers
It can be useful to have a think about what your triggers for drinking are. These could be social or environmental situations and events, such being out with friends or being home alone after putting the kids to bed; or emotions, such as feeling happy or anxious.
The availability and convenience of alcohol can influence peoples drinking, so one way to remove potential triggers is to change whats physically available to you.
If you want to cut down on your drinking or stop drinking altogether, then you could not buy any, or buy less, alcoholic drinks when out shopping. Another option is to replace the alcoholic drinks you do have in your home, or that you usually buy, with alcohol-free alternatives.
Test The Severity Of Your Withdrawal Symptoms
Severe symptoms, which usually occur about two days after withdrawal, can be life-threatening, so it is important to consult a doctor if you have concerns.
The test is completely confidential and anonymous; your results are not recorded and are available only to you. You are not asked for any personally identifying information.
This quiz is not intended as a substitute for a professional medical evaluation. It should only be used as a guide to determining if your alcohol withdrawal symptoms are such that you should seek medical attention before you attempt to quit drinking.
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
Cutting Back Vs Quitting Alcohol Altogether
Whether or not you can successfully cut back on your drinking depends on the severity of your drinking problem. If youre an alcoholicwhich, by definition, means you arent able to control your drinkingits best to try to stop drinking entirely. But if youre not ready to take that step, or if you dont have an alcohol abuse problem but want to cut back for personal or health reasons, the following tips can help:
Set your drinking goal. Choose a limit for how much youll drink, but make sure your limit is not more than one drink a day if youre a woman, two drinks a day if youre a manand try to have some days each week when you wont drink alcohol at all. Write your drinking goal down and keep it where you will frequently see it, such as on your phone or taped to your refrigerator.
Keep a record of your drinking to help you reach your goal. For 3 to 4 weeks, write down every time you have a drink and how much you drink. Reviewing the results, you may be surprised at your weekly drinking habits.
Cut down drinking at home. Try to limit or remove alcohol from your home. Its much easier to avoid drinking if you dont keep temptations around.
Drink slower. When you drink, sip slowly and take a break of 30 minutes or one hour between drinks. Or drink soda, water, or juice between alcoholic drinks. Drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea, so make sure you eat food when you drink.
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Reach Out For Support
Quitting alcohol on your own is harder for some than others, but theres no need to go it alone.
If youre having a hard time sticking to your goal or just want some extra guidance, consider reaching out for professional support.
If you feel comfortable doing so, bring up your challenges to your primary healthcare provider. Finding a therapist can also be a great starting point if you arent comfortable opening up to your healthcare provider.
Nicotine Vs Alcohol Recovery
Recovery is challenging, whether it is from nicotine or alcohol, but Maggie’s story illustrates a few important differences; differences that may be helpful to understand for people recovering from an alcohol use disorder who are trying to give up nicotine.
Nicotine addiction is often close at hand. Maggie, for example, found that after her first A.A. meeting, nothing, even the death of her husband, prompted her to want to begin drinking again. In contrast, she found that everything was a trigger for smoking; good times, tough times, and plain, ordinary times included.
It can be a challenge to quit smoking after giving up drinking. Addictive thinking may whisper that you have a right to at least one bad habit.
In addition, circumstances that prompt a person to quit drinking, often legal or relational, are less common with smoking. At least for a period of time, a person may convince themselves that if they are eating a healthy diet, they aren’t damaging their body. Sometimes it’s the mild shortness of breath or a nagging cough that ends up being a blessing, in that it raises concern.
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Alcohol Detox At Home
For people who experience mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms, there are safe ways to detox at home. People who experience tremors, shakes or confusion when they quit drinking should consider medically supervised detox. You should talk to a doctor about the safest way to detox if you experience any withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking.
Pros And Cons Of Rehab
To really kick the habit once and for all, you may be tempted to foot the bill, check into a rehab clinic, and commit to a long period of withdrawal and recovery. This has some advantages as well, but like AA, rehabs reputation may be inflated in the popular imagination.
The truth is that, while there are some effective programs out there, the recovery industry has grown to be very large and is not highly regulated. There is no guarantee that the program you are signing up for is truly effective. In a series of exposes entitled Addiction, Inc., the New York Times found that many rehab programs lacked scientific evidence for their methods, and had poor long-term success rates. On top of this, the cost was often dramatically inflated.
With such variation in the reliability of rehab, and such a big commitment required in money and time, it may be better to consider options closer to home. Quitting drinking can be a major undertaking, but it doesnt need to empty your wallet or overturn your daily life.
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Exactly How To Cut Down On Drinking Without Quitting
Over the last few years there has been a trend away from the all in solution of going to a 12 step program. These days, you are more likely to be recommended an alcohol reduction program in association with 7 days to drink less. Everyone is different, but a drink less program will have all the possibilities available for every type of drinker. How To Control My Alcohol Addiction
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Finding Quality Treatment For Substance Use Disorders
This fact sheet serves as a guide for individuals seeking behavioral health treatment. It provides three necessary steps to complete prior to utilizing a treatment center and the five signs of a quality treatment center, which include a review of the accreditation, medication, evidence-based practices, position on the role of families, and support networks.
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Open The Lines Of Communication
The person you are concerned about is never going to know youre concerned unless you voice that. This may be an uncomfortable conversation for you and the drinker, but it is a necessary one. You could call this an intervention, or simply a conversation.; Interventions are typically more serious and have more concerned people in attendance, so it depends on the specifics of the situation. Whether an intervention or a conversation, the desired end result is the same: bring attention to a loved ones drinking, and hope they can understand where your concern is coming from. If they can, they are one step closer to recovery.
Get Social Support From Friends And Family
You could also let your friends and family know and share your goals with them. You could ask for their support and who knows, they might even decide to join in with you.
Those of us at One Year No Beer find that one of the best ways to stop drinking is to find an accountability buddy this could be a friend or loved one, someone you trust to help keep you on track and provide you with the support you need during these first few days and weeks.
Having some support and guidance going alcohol-free can make all the difference to feeling confident in your decision. It can help to have the social excuse’ of taking part in a challenge, or just knowing you are part of a wider community of people across the globe all on the same journey as you sharing and championing one another’s successes.
Join us for one of our alcohol-free challenges and receive daily videos taking you though our proven step by step method to changing your relationship with alcohol and gain access to a private group of your fellow challengers.;
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How To Overcome An Addiction
This article was co-authored by Tiffany Douglass, MA. Tiffany Douglass is the Founder of Wellness Retreat Recovery Center, a JCAHO accredited drug and alcohol treatment program based in San Jose, California. She is also the Executive Director for Midland Tennessee at JourneyPure. She has over ten years of experience in substance abuse treatment and was appointed a Global Goodwill Ambassador in 2019 for her efforts in residential addiction treatment. Tiffany earned a BA in Psychology from Emory University in 2004 and an MA in Psychology with an emphasis on Organization Behavior and Program Evaluation from Claremont Graduate University in 2006.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 25 testimonials and 100% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,122,411 times.
Theres a myth out there that addiction is inescapable or something thats locked in for life, but thats definitely not the case. In fact, more people succeed at overcoming their addiction than fail.XResearch source Acknowledging that youre addicted to something and wanting to change are the first steps, so youre on the right track! This article will show you how to come up with a plan for overcoming your addiction and stick with it, even when things get tough.
Vary Your Environment And Habits
Is alcohol a core component of your normal routine? If so, drinking becomes almost an automatic response rather than a considered choice. This is inflamed further if youre feeling stressed or generally overwhelmed. Alcohol can easily become your default coping mechanism.
Now, you dont necessarily need to totally reinvent yourself, but you could find that tweaking your surroundings and your habits can yield enormous dividends.
The first and most obvious thing to do is remove all alcohol from the house. Minimizing temptation will maximize your chances of avoiding relapse at a critical early stage of recovery.
Now is a good time to choose a new favorite drink. From sparkling, flavored water through to specialty coffee, imagination is your only limitation.
Breaking up your daily routine and injecting some variety into it can help keep you meaningfully occupied rather than tempted to slip back into your old habits. Rethink what you do in times of stress or times of need. Reach out to loved ones or immerse yourself in one of your favorite hobbies rather than instinctively reaching for the bottle.
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How To Stop Binge Drinking
Of course, not all people have the same pattern of alcohol use. For some, the issue may not be daily, heavy drinking, but a pattern of binging on certain evenings or weekends.
Binge drinking is generally defined as four or more drinks on one occasion for women, and five or more for men. While this may overlap with alcohol use disorder, it doesnt necessarily. Some people binge only occasionally and may not qualify as addicted to alcohol. On average, however, one in six Americans binge drink at least once a week.
Long term, this pattern can have negative health consequences, or lead to a larger drinking problem. If you find that its hard for you to control how much you drink on social occasions, or that youve developed a habit of drinking heavily some nights to manage stress, its best to reign it in sooner rather than later.
Solutions include apps to help you monitor your drinking habits, a mobile breathalyzer to keep you aware of your blood alcohol content, and medication. Naltrexone in particular is prescribed to help people achieve moderation, or control their consumption on social occasions. It works by reducing the pleasurable effects of alcohol, blocking the reward cycle in your brain that can lead to runaway consumption.
While getting help for alcohol tends to be associated with more severe problem drinking, it doesnt need to be. Many types of alcohol use can have a negative impact. You dont need to identify as an alcoholic to want to drink less than you do.
I Tried Allens Carrs Easyway To Stop Drinking Alcohol
If wish you could change your mindset so alcohol doesnt have a hold over you anymore, I urge you follow Allen Carrs Easyway to Control Alcohol.
This method,;which has been credited by dozens of celebrities for helping them quit various addictions, seeks to undo all of the brainwashing youve been exposed to about drink, and encourages you to see yourself as free from alcohol rather than it being something youre painfully trying to withdrawal from.
It also makes you question what benefits, if any, youre getting from alcohol so you no longer feel like youre missing out on anything, because you decided to stop drinking.
As well as reading the book,;I also attended Allen Carrs Easyway to Give Up Alcohol workshop in London . This full-day session lead by someone whos also given up following the method. This reinforced everything Id read but also offered the opportunity to ask questions and hear about other peoples experiences in the group.
Theres also a hypnotherapy section at the end and absolutely no role-play or group exercises, dont worry! This was a game-changer for me, and also has the added benefit of helping you set a very clear date in your diary for quitting as you wont ever want a drink again after leaving the session and if you do, you can attend again for free. Allen Carr is also the author of the bestseller, The Easyway to Give Up Smoking.
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I Signed Up For An Online Course On How To Stop Drinking Alcohol
I signed up to the Club Sodas Sober Sprint which aims to support people who want to stop drinking alcohol for 30 days, or longer. You can sign up anytime and throughout the month, youll receive daily motivational emails, including exercises, quizzes, videos and downloadable e-books. This all helps by teaching you how to deal with social situations, understanding what triggers your drinking and also encourages you to reflect on your progress. This course costs £35 a month, and you can still access all of the content once the month is over.
There are also a few other online courses you join, but many are live with a set start date. The Naked Mind author Annie Gray charges £35/$47 to sign up to her 30 Day Experiment. I havent tried it, but its had great reviews. Laura McKowen, author of We Are the Luckiest also offers an online course.
UK Smart Recovery also offers regular weekly support groups, which you can attend online.
Millie agrees that keeping yourself accountable and having a goal can really help you stick to your plan: Having something to push you to the finish line is always helpful. Sign up for a challenge, like Dry January at Alcohol Change, or Stoptober too youre twice as likely to stick with it if you do!
Its also worth remembering that the average person saves around £200 not drinking for a month so if youre planning on Dry January, start by choosing something and promising yourself that you will buy it if you succeed.
The Alternatives To The 12
For those who prefer nonreligious support groups, there are alcohol support groups other than AA. Non-12-step groups take a secular approach to treatment and recovery.
These anti-alcohol groups include the Self-Management and Recovery Training and Secular Organizations for Sobriety . There is no emphasis on Higher Power. Instead, individuals bring about attitudinal shifts and behavioral changes within themselves through education and encouragement.
The Following are the Characteristics of a Non-12-Step Alcohol Support Group:
- These groups are ideal for individuals who are uncomfortable with the idea of their powerlessness or trusting their chances of recovery to a more significant entity.
- Individuals of any belief can become members of the nonreligious support groups
- Individuals who are not comfortable sharing their life stories with others feel at ease attending non-12-step support group meetings because the treatment methodology relies more on one-to-one counseling sessions and less on group therapies.
There are several non-12-step alcohol groups other than AA to choose from:
Secular Organizations for Sobriety
The SOS is a popular non-spiritual alternative to AA. SOS is made up of autonomous bodies spread across various cities and states of the US. These local chapters organize regular meetings.
Self-Management and Recovery Training
There is also an emphasis on teaching members practical skills to boost self-confidence and facilitate rehabilitation.
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