How Do I Stop Drinking?

April 6th, 2010

Deciding to stop drinking alcohol can involve a big lifestyle change that will be difficult to adapt to at first, if you’re abusing or addicted to alcohol. The best way to get started is to set a date for your new “lifestyle” to start. Share your plan to stop drinking with friends and family so they can be there to support and encourage you. Ask the question to your loved ones and those close to you in your support system, “How do I stop Drinking?”

If you have a drinking problem they’ll be sure to know about it and perhaps even be best placed to advise you on some ways to stop drinking. I’ve run alcohol rehabs in both South Africa and the UK (United Kingdom) and there are many professional addictions counsellors in both countries that can help you to stop drinking if it’s become a problem. You may want to consider making a list of the reasons why you’ve decided to stop drinking alcohol and keep it as a reminder of your goals. It takes willpower to try stopping drinking, but people who don’t have an alcohol problem don’t consider stopping drinking.

It’s also a good idea to try stopping drinking if you feel you may have a problem because if you’re unable to stop, this will indicate the severity of the problem, as alcoholics cannot stop drinking through willpower. So trying to stop drinking and being unable to may help you to decide whether you’re an alcoholic or not! If not you may need to book into an alcohol rehab.  Alcoholics are some of the strongest willed people I’ve ever met and the inability to stop drinking is no reflection on their strength of character or any moral failing. Please understand that alcohol is one of only two drugs on the face of the earth today that withdrawals from can kill you. I’m not speaking of an overdose. If you’re drinking sufficient alcohol and stop suddenly, on your own, without medical intervention, there is a real risk of withdrawal seizures and more serious consequences.

If you’re considering stopping drinking please seek a medical professional’s advice before you start cutting down your drinking daily by no more than 10% of your usual daily amount and see how you feel. You can also call us on 081 444 7000 in South Africa or toll free in the UK on 0808-267-3422 for free advice on stopping drinking and immediate admission to the countries best alcohol rehabs. Alcoholism is recognised by the leading health authorities in the world today as an illness, much like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. All these illnesses share similar relapse rates and require changes to behaviour to get into and to stay in recovery.

The fact that alcoholics cannot stop drinking of their own accord is one of the diagnostic criteria for being determined an alcoholic. Ongoing use in spite of negative consequences is another.  If you’re not alcoholic yet and still in the abusing stage and trying to stop drinking, the suggestions below can help you  to stop drinking today and get started on the road to recovery.

Remove Alcohol From Your Home

Don’t let alcohol be readily available. There is no reason to come home to beer in the fridge or a bottle of brandy in the cupboard. Having a drink at the end of the day does not have to be a necessary part of life so remove all alcohol from your home.

Don’t Use Alcohol As An Escape

Many people drink alcohol as a way to de-stress after a long day or when they’re angry or sad, but alcohol will only provide you with temporary relief and in many cases it’ll just make the situation worse. Don’t stop at the local bar after work or go home to drown your sorrows alone. Instead, find a new outlet for any stress or anger. Join a gym, take up running or find a hobby to distract yourself from the temptation.

Spend Less Time With Friends Who Drink Alcohol Excessively

Spend less time with those friends who drink a lot of alcohol and encourage you to drink, at least until you’re sure you can stop drinking on your own and are not an alcoholic. Whilst you’re trying to break the drinking habit you may want to consider spending less time with people who drink a lot. They will only serve as a reminder of how you’re trying to stop. Explain to your friends that you’re trying to stop drinking and that you would prefer to avoid social occasions where alcohol is served. A good friend will understand and support your decision.

Avoid Pubs, Bars and Clubs

You might go out every weekend, but there are plenty of other activities to fill your time – and they don’t all involve alcohol. Go to movies, get involved in a sport, go hiking, spend time with your family, have a regular games night with friends, the list is endless. If you can lead a life without alcohol in your plans, you may not be alcoholic.

Learn To Say “No”

If someone offers you a drink don’t even consider it, just say “no”. Don’t take a chance by thinking “just this one time” or “one won’t hurt”. If you’ve made the decision to stop drinking alcohol, firmly tell yourself “no” every time you are tempted and then move on, change the subject or distract yourself. Then again, if you’re an alcoholic, trying to say “no” to alcohol is like taking a dust pan and brush to clean up after a serious earthquake! It’s just not going to help you to stay away from drinking at all.

Get Help To Stop Drinking

If you’re not managing to stop drinking by yourself, you’ll need to try not handling everything alone. Join an alcoholic’s support group either in person or over the Internet. Chat to people going through a similar experience or who have successfully stopped drinking. When you’re having a bad day, pick up the phone and call a friend or family member. Professional advice and support will also be available to you at a reputable alcohol rehab clinic and this is a good option, especially if you have tried to stop drinking before and failed.

These six habits can help you to stop drinking and put you on the right track if you’re abusing alcohol. It’s a good idea to consult a doctor before starting your new non drinking lifestyle as some withdrawal symptoms can affect your health. Your doctor may also give you some useful professional advice.

If you need to be admitted to an alcohol rehab centre for detoxification and treatment to stop drinking, We Do Recover can help you find the best alcohol rehab clinic suited to your needs. Call us on 081 444 7000 in South Africa or on 0808-267-3422 in the UK.

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