Drinking alcohol is one of the things that many people believe is simply a right of passage when someone turns 21. Alcohol is legal in the United States, it is easy to get, and very few people wait until they are of legal drinking age before they begin consuming this substance.
Alcohol Use Disorder affects 9.0 million men and 5.5 million women who are 12r older. In the United States 10.5% or about 7.5 million of children under the age of 17 live with a parent who suffers from AUD.
If you have made the decision to stop drinking alcohol you have made the hardest step already. Admitting that you have a problem with alcohol is hard for people to do. Once you have accepted this fact you then have to decide what to do that will help you stop your alcohol consumption.
An alcohol rehab center is an ideal place to stop drinking. At a rehab center, there are counselors and people to help you see what caused you to drink in excess, and help you to learn how to avoid alcohol consumption in the future.
Rehab centers are not the perfect answer for everyone, and it is possible for you to stop consuming alcohol without going to one of these facilities. Always try to find a local rehab center and if you are from Canada, you should visit highly reputable Ontario rehab centres to help you out with your addiction problem.
One of the ways you can get the support that you will need to help you stop drinking alcohol is to join a step program. Alcoholics Anonymous is probably the most famous of the 12-step programs.
These programs have established guidelines or steps for you to follow to help you stop drinking. The steps have been tried by many people before you and they are proven to be helpful in the process.
Stopping On Your Own
It is possible to stop drinking without any program involvement. This will take a lot of strength and willpower to accomplish. You need to also have a support group of friends and family who know you are trying to stop drinking so they can help you through the toughest moments.
If you are serious about stopping your consumption of alcohol then the first thing you need to do is put your desire in writing. You need to create a list of reasons why you want to or need to, stop drinking.
Some of the reasons to stop include:
- For your health
- For your children
- Because you are spending too much on alcohol
- Because you are drinking to the point that you black out or lose memories of what you did while you were intoxicated
- For your relationship
- To help you do better at work
Choose whether you are stopping completely or reducing
You need to decide if you are going to refrain from alcohol completely or if you are going to limit your intake.
If you want to stop completely then you need to:
- See your doctor and tell them of your plans. Their advice and guidance can really help you.
- Remove all of the alcohol from your home
- Do not go to restaurants like sports bars that serve alcohol until you have accomplished abstaining for at least 6 months
- Tell your closest friends and family what you are doing so you will have support
- Stop hanging with your heavy drinking friends until you have abstained for several months
- Refrain from making non-alcoholic versions of your favorite cocktails because they simply make you want the alcohol version more
- Get plenty of physical exercise.
- Do not sit at home alone and dwell on the fact that you cannot drink
If you want to reduce the amount you are drinking then you need to:
- Choose which days of the week or month you are going to allow yourself to have a drink that contains alcohol.
- Often people stop drinking completely for a week or longer and then slowly introduce alcohol back into their lives.
- Set a goal for how many drinks you can have at one time.
- When you have a drink sip it slowly. Do not gulp drinks down quickly.
- Have plenty of food when you do drink so the food can help to absorb some of the alcohol.
- When you finish a drink wait at least thirty minutes before getting the next one.
- Keep a diary of when you drink so you can see your drinking patterns and make the changes you need to make.
Withdrawals Symptoms and How to address them
When you stop drinking alcohol you are going to have some withdrawal symptoms. This is especially true if you are a daily drinker.
Prepare yourself for the symptoms and then when they happen you are ready to face them head on.
- Anxiety and a feeling of restlessness is one of the prominent symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol. You can use meditation or engage in physical exercise that will use up the extra energy.
- Depression is often combated through physical exercise, or call a support friend. You need to get up and get out of your head to get rid of depression during rehab.
- Irritability is common and physical exercise will help you to overcome this reaction.
- Feeling tired can also be addressed by actually getting up and exercising. You can also spend some time resting and enjoying a good book, or watching a favorite movie.
- Sleep difficulties are common and extra physical activity is going to be the best way to control this symptom.
Learn your Triggers and then you can avoid them
Before you stop drinking make a complete list of when you drink. Maybe you have a drink after work, or you drink when you want to have fun, or you drink when you feel stressed.
Knowing when you drink lets you plan for what you will do at those times instead of drinking.
Quitting alcohol consumption is not going to be easy to do. Changing any habit requires determination and devotion. If you do slip up and have a drink do not give up. Simply get up the next day and start all over again. Having a supportive friend you can call at any time of the day or night will help you to be successful at stopping.