An addiction to alcohol is a difficult obstacle to overcome. Fortunately, if you want to stop drinking, alcohol detoxification is easier than ever before, thanks to the advances of modern medicine. Keep reading to discover some stop drinking tips.
Often, alcoholism is tolerated by the people around the drinker. If someone is a functional alcoholic, they’ll see it as something that is just not that big of a deal. In reality, alcoholism can take over someone’s life in the most insidious ways. Unlike heroin or cocaine addiction, alcohol is legal and socially acceptable in most cases. That means that if someone goes out for a drink (or five) every night, no one will say anything. It’s all happening bars and restaurants, not in some opium den someplace.
That makes quitting alcohol as difficult as quitting smoking. Since you don’t have to go to extraordinary efforts to consume your drug of choice, it’s easy to simply do it all the time.
So here are a few things that we can start with telling you:
- Alcohol is everywhere, so it’s a bit like giving up food. You will struggle with the fact that it’s always somewhere near you.
- You need to tell people that you’re doing this. If they don’t know, then you’re constantly having to say no to a drink.
- It’s not like having a tooth pulled. You will struggle with your addiction to alcohol for the rest of your life. There will always be a small part of you that wants to feel like it remembers you feeling. That part forgets the vomiting, the hangovers, and the inability to even walk.
There is a lot of help available, though. AA has meetings in every town, every day. There are detox centers and much more. If you ask for help, you’ll find it. If the first help doesn’t work, keep trying,
Medications are even available that help discourage drinking by causing uncomfortable physical reactions to alcohol. If you need to stop drinking so you can regain control of your life, this guide that covers six tips to quit drinking can help get you on the road to recovery.
1) Understand the Alcohol Addiction Facts
Even though it’s readily available under most circumstances, alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances when it’s not used properly. Because having too much alcohol significantly impairs judgment, people who have had too much to drink often take part in reckless activities such as unprotected sex, violence, driving while intoxicated, and other behaviors that endanger themselves or others. Unfortunately, many people don’t know about alcohol addiction facts and don’t realize that alcohol abuse leads to long-term problems if it carries on for a period of time. The consequences of alcohol abuse include serious conditions, such as throat and liver cancer, liver disease, dementia, and cardiovascular disease. Learn as much as you can about alcohol addiction facts to make sure you’re properly prepared for the alcohol detoxification process. To successfully stop drinking, the first thing you need to do is admit you have a problem that could lead to very serious consequences.
2) Check with Your Doctor
Before you start the process of alcohol detoxification, set up an appointment with your primary care physician to discuss tips to quit drinking, and whether or not you are healthy enough to stop drinking. In some cases, patients who are having health problems will be advised to wait to stop drinking until they’re better. Alcohol detoxification only typically causes uncomfortable symptoms, but some of these symptoms can be dangerous under rare circumstances. Your doctor can tell you if you’re in good enough health to stop drinking. It’s not advisable to attempt to stop drinking at home without the approval of your primary care physician.
Alcohol Detox Timeline: 7 Steps to Full Recovery
3) Ask Your Doctor about Medications
Several medications can make a big difference in your path to recovery by making the alcohol detoxification process easier. One alcohol detoxification medication is disulfiram, which forces you to stop drinking by causing uncomfortable physical reactions when you consume alcohol. Another alcohol detoxification medication is acamprosate, a medication that assists in alcohol detoxification by reducing withdrawal symptoms to make the alcohol detoxification process as comfortable as possible. If neither of these alcohol detoxification medications sound like they would help you stop drinking, consider asking your doctor about naltrexone, which simply blocks your brain’s ability to enjoy the highs that can come from consuming alcohol. Talk to your doctor for more alcohol addiction facts and advice on whether or not these medications might help you stop drinking.
4) Join a Support Group
Joining a support group in your area is a great way to develop friendships with others who know exactly what you’re going through. One of the reasons it’s hard to stop drinking is because drinking is a social activity. When you’re surrounded by people who are drinking, it can be difficult to resist the temptation to join them. If you are part of a support group, you can make new friends who will not pressure you to give up on your goal to become sober. This does not mean you have to stop associating with your old friends, but it helps to know you have other social options once you stop drinking. However, you may have no choice but to distance yourself from some of your old friends if they can’t understand why you want to stop drinking. In some cases when people decide to stop drinking, their peers believe that their newly sober friends think they are better than everyone else. This leads to resentment and a desire to break the commitment to stop drinking.
5) Enroll in a 12 Step Program
Structured 12 step programs are very useful tools on the journey to recovery. They also provide a wealth of alcohol addiction facts. For some who have dealt with alcohol addiction, the only things that helped them stop drinking were 12 Step programs. One classic organization that uses a 12 step program is Alcoholics Anonymous, a support-group style organization that has a program in almost every neighborhood. 12 step programs are sets of specific guiding or spiritual principles that outline recovery plans for people who suffer from addiction, regardless of what that addiction might be. However, unlike regular support groups, most 12 step programs focus on some level of anonymity to ensure no one feels like it would not be safe to open up to the other members. If you’re looking for a way to make new friends, make sure you join a regular support group as well.
7 Signs of Alcoholism: Do You Need Rehab?
6) Stay at a Alcohol Detox Center
For many people, staying at a detox center is either impractical or impossible, but detox centers make a world of difference for the patients who have the freedom to visit one. Even if you have a medication such as acamprosate, it can be uncomfortable to stop drinking at home. However, at a detox center, you have access to a variety of helpful medications that will soothe your symptoms and make it easier to stop drinking. The staff members at quality detox centers are compassionate, professional, and used to dealing with even the worst withdrawal symptoms people can experience when they first stop drinking. Because it’s potentially dangerous to stop drinking if your body is dependent on alcohol, going through the detox process under the supervision of trained medical professionals is one of the safest ways you can detox. Best of all, when you go to a detox center, you have no chance of relapsing in the middle of the detoxification process. If you go to a detox center, you can rest assured you will be going home sober. One example of a reputable detox center is The Refuge in Ocklawaha, Florida. The Refuge is a healing center that is based on the 12-step program, for those suffering from any type of trauma, including PTSD, sexual abuse, physical abuse that may result in substance addictions.
7) Tell Everyone
Let everyone, from your spouse to your kids to your boss, what you’re doing. The more people who know, the more people who can be supportive. By the way, you can’t be fired for alcoholism. If you’re in a high-risk job, you might need to be temporarily re-assigned until you can prove your sobriety, but you are legally protected. The only people who will see quitting alcohol as a bad thing are the alcoholics in your life. They are simply too scared or weak to do what you’re doing.
8) Find New Things to Do
If your life revolved around drinking, you’re going to need new activities. If you used to sit at a bar, try going to a bowling alley or a driving range. Trade time on a bar stool for a walk in the park. If your friends were all the drunks sitting next to you, try getting a dog. A little slobbering unconditional love can go a long way to helping. If you’re feeling tempted right now, you need to go find something to do that doesn’t involve alcohol. That can even something as simple as heading to the library or the park. Do NOT go back to your bar thinking that you can get away with it. You’ll be fine. You won’t be fine. Stay away. Forever, the places that you did you’re drinking are off-limits. If you drank at home, there is not to be any alcohol in your home, period. Not for parties, not for New Years, not for your spouse. If your partner needs a drink, they can leave the house.