How to Stop Drinking: Benefits of Quitting Alcohol

You might question if you’re really ready to quit. I know that I had several starts, stops, and bouts of questioning if this was the right decision for me. I personally used to worry that I wouldn’t be strong enough to stay sober.

Maybe you’re worried that people will judge you for struggling with drinking. Or maybe you’re worried that they’ll judge you for wanting to quit. It’s natural to want someone you care about to stop drinking so heavily.

Other benefits

If you don’t have people currently in your life who can help you quit drinking, you’re still not in this alone. There are people willing and waiting to support you, guide you and love you through the ups and downs of ending unhealthy drinking patterns. Your decision to want to stop drinking is powerful.

Will quitting drinking solve all of your problems, in health and in life? No, because no single lifestyle change can do that. If that’s where you’re setting your expectations, you might feel like you gave up something you loved (getting really drunk) for no good reason, even when that’s objectively not true. One way to combat that feeling, Dr. Koob says, is to check in with yourself after a few months of sobriety to take stock of the benefits you’re reaping. Whether you’re sober curious, know for sure you’re ready to quit, or fall somewhere in between, Dr. Streem shares advice for how to stop drinking. If you’re living with alcohol use disorder (also known as alcoholism), you’ll likely benefit from additional medical interventions.

Support for Me and My Family

Whether you have a diagnosed mental health disorder or not, therapy is a positive tool for long-term recovery. A therapist can help you uncover key insights regarding your alcohol use and offer tools that will set you up for successful and satisfying long-term recovery. Alcohol cravings are an inevitable part of detoxing and getting sober. When those cravings kick in, it’s normal to feel anxiety, fear or shame. These negative emotions coupled with a desire to drink are challenging to navigate, especially alone.

  • You need to find new activities and people to socialize with if all of your previous social activities revolve around boredom.
  • There are people willing and waiting to support you, guide you and love you through the ups and downs of ending unhealthy drinking patterns.
  • It can take 10 or more attempts at treatment before someone makes progress on overcoming an addiction.
  • While there is a shift in how society treats and views alcohol, it’s big business for everyone–even those charged with policing its use.

You’re afraid that if you stop drinking, you’ll miss out on a great social life. Instead of worrying that people will leave you behind for your bad behavior, you’re afraid that people will do it because now you seem too good. There are withdrawal symptoms, environmental temptations, and outright stress.

Don’t do what doesn’t work

You can become conditioned to reach for a drink when your environment offers up certain cues.

Share Your Goals

It also allows you to overcome the fear of change. You can seriously pursue your goals and invest in the type of life that you want. As part of my commitment to change, I identified alcohol as the main problem and control it.

  • This post will show you how to take a break from booze so you can get your physical, emotional, and mental health in order.
  • Heavy drinking is on the rise in the U.S. and alcohol-related problems increase with an increase in drinking.
  • It should be seen as part of a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular physical exercise.
  • You watch as your family member or friend slowly changes with each tip of the bottle.
  • It’s how you keep your cool when you feel overwhelmed and anxious.

Being around them could make it harder to stick to your plan. If that’s not possible, admit your desire to drink and don’t judge yourself for it. Call or text a friend and have your goals handy to remind yourself why you’ve dropped drinking. Dr. Streem suggests starting with the World Health Organization’s Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). It can be a particularly helpful way to help you get a clearer understanding of your drinking habits and your relationship with alcohol. It’s a 10-question screening test that gives you research-backed, personalized advice for quitting or reducing your intake of alcohol.

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Once this was no longer an option, I started to write instead. I use writing as my personal therapy when something is troubling me and I need to think. I got tired of not being respected by friends and loved ones. I got tired of hating the face I saw in the mirror. On the morning of Dec 23, 2013, after another night of heavy drinking and reckless behavior, I finally admitted to myself that I had a drinking problem.

  • A lot of emotions — frustration, sadness, bitterness and more — may whirl through your mind.
  • If you drank heavily, you may have some mild symptoms.
  • Milder cases — when people abuse alcohol but aren’t dependent on it — are as well.
  • But if severe, it can cause hallucinations, fits and even death.
  • As it is the first organ to “see” alcohol that has been drunk, it is not surprising that it is the most susceptible to alcohol’s effects.
  • Even if alcohol isn’t enjoyable to you, the socialization ritual surrounding it is.

Eliminating your access to alcohol is crucial, especially in the early days of sobriety. There will be temptations around you that you can’t control—so focus on what is in your control. If you’re going to engage someone who’s been drinking and shown flashes of violence, don’t do it alone. Bring someone you can trust with you, advises Dr. Anand. If you’re having trouble doing the same things you used to do, try new hobbies to fill your time. Join a gym, learn a new skill, or find sober social groups you can enjoy.