How to Stop Drinking Alcohol it contains a very high addictive component, so overcoming an addiction to this substance usually requires a strong will.
How to stop drinking alcohol?
If you are addicted to alcohol and you stop drinking abruptly, you may have what is known as withdrawal syndrome.
The abstinence syndrome are all that physical and psychological symptoms caused by not consuming the substance to which we are addicted.
Each substance can produce a different abstinence syndrome. With regard to alcohol the most frequent symptoms are:
- Anxiety and nervousness.
- Depressive states and mood swings.
- Irritability and impulsivity.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Sweating, cold skin and trembling.
- Increase of cardiac frequency.
Usually, the appearance of these symptoms along with the need to drink, imminently precipitates the relapse in consumption, because when drinking again , those symptoms will disappear.
Forbidden to drink
That is why if you want to overcome your addiction to alcohol, it is important that you do it in an organized and planned, and develop the skills necessary to overcome all the difficult times.
10 steps to quitting alcohol
- Build a good attitude
Woman with positive attitude
The first step in overcoming an addiction is to build a positive attitude … But what exactly does this mean?
Building a positive attitude means creating and maintaining a predisposition, a way of facing the situation that arises.
Overcoming an addiction is not a simple thing, it is not something that others can do for you, or that can be performed in a magical way through wonderful techniques or drugs.
If you want to overcome the addiction to alcohol you must start a war between your addiction and you, and therefore before you do, you must make sure that you can win it.
Do not be worth anything if you decide to stop drinking but you’re not convinced to do so, if you’re not willing to make an effort or sacrifice, or if you’re not motivated
So before you start I recommend that you convince yourself that you can do it, motivate yourself and build in your mind a final goal:
Make a list of all the reasons that lead you to leave the alcohol, all the inconveniences you have for you to be addicted to this substance (health problems, economic problems, problems with other people, etc.)
- Make a list of the barriers that you think you can find along the way (desire or need to drink, discomfort for not ingesting alcohol, loss of gratification, etc.)
- Point out those aspects of your personality that you think can promote change: Willpower, ability to overcome, sacrifice, etc.
- Make a list of self-words that can help you in sensitive moments: “I am stronger than alcohol, I can do it, I will change my life”
It is about the three lists you set up how you will be during the change, what will be your strengths that will allow you to leave the alcohol, what your points will be and what will be the motivation that will follow you at all times.
- Reduces consumption
Once you have the attitude necessary to start giving up alcohol, the next step you should do is to decrease the consumption.
In this case, decreasing consumption does not mean to stop drinking in a radical way, but to try to drink less and on fewer occasions.
The goal is that your drunkenness practically disappears, drink fewer times a day than you are used to but continue to supply alcohol to your brain.
In this way you will avoid the withdrawal syndrome, since your brain will continue to receive alcohol but you will get used to drinking less.
For example, you can limit alcohol consumption to 3 or 4 times a day, keeping track of the amounts and type of alcohol consumed (better if you drink low-key drinks) so that you can control yourself every time you drink.
At this point it is crucial that when you drink do not consume very high amounts of alcohol, because if you do you can lose control and be unable to decrease consumption.
When you do think that it is better to drink just a little and know that in a while you can drink a little more.
- Substitute alcohol for other activities
The more things you do, the less time you will have to drink alcohol, so the best way to help decrease your consumption is to stay busy at all those times you do not drink.
Look for activities that are of interest to you, it does not really matter the characteristics of this, since most will be incompatible with alcohol.
But for example, if you’re used to going to the bar in the evenings, look for an alternative activity.
Decide to go for a walk in the park, play soccer games with your friends, go to the library for a good book if you like reading or join the municipal swimming pool to go for a while to swim.
The important thing is that you increase your occupation and substitute some of the moments that you were going to drink for other things, because if you do not, you will suffer much more to reduce your consumption.
- Eliminate stimuli
At the same time that you substitute alcohol for other activities, you have to make the elimination of those stimuli that make you drink.
If for example whenever you enter the bar below your house you end up with a few drinks on your table try not to go to that place. If you always stay with a friend you drink a few beers stop being with him, if when you go out at night you usually end up drinking more than you want to stay at home …
Ideally, make a list of those stimuli that you believe most influence your consumption and decide what type of avoidance you will do.
Also Read : What is Drug Dependence? (Drugs abuse)
- Stimulus 1: bar below my house -> Elimination: I will not go any further and I will go to other places
- Stimulus 2: Stay with my friend -> Elimination: I will stay only once every two weeks.
- Stimulus 3: Go out at night -> Elimination: I will leave only once a month.
- Seek support
If you do it alone it will cost you much more than if you have someone to support you and accompany you along the way.
Sometimes we may think that seeking help to overcome our problems makes us appear weak or incapable, but that is not so. Having the help of others is most logical and convenient.
The life of the human being is not explained without the relationship between people, so to overcome complicated situations should not be an exception.
Choose the most trusted people, friends, parents, siblings, children, etc. And tell them your problem, why you want to change the situation and how you intend to overcome it.
If they get involved and help you, you’ll have a big plus.
- Make a date
When your consumption has already been decreasing and you feel more or less comfortable with that situation, it is time to mark one or more dates.
It consists of deciding what day you will stop drinking altogether, or what days you will have goals to meet.
Doing this is vital for the process to build structure and do not stop drinking aimlessly.
So, sit down with those people who are helping you to leave the drink and among all agree on the dates indicated. Let’s look at an example:
- Week 1: I will drink only 3 times a day.
- Week 3: I will drink only twice a day and at no time will I be drunk.
- Week 5: I will drink only once a day and at no time will I go drunk.
- Week 7: I will drink only 3 times a week and at no time will I go drunk.
- Week 10: I will stop drinking completely.
- Drink only when you eat
To reduce consumption, a very effective technique is to drink only when you ingest food.
Drinking more or less controlled amounts when you eat will allow you to make sure you do not get intoxicated.
So, whenever you can, try to drink when you eat or eat, rather than at other times
- Re-motivate yourself
Sometimes the motivation will be simple since you have been meeting your goals, you will be satisfied with your performance and this will increase your motivation .
However, there are times that motivation can be more complicated.
If someday you do not meet your goals, you drink more of the account or you are not able to follow the “planning” that you have marked do not despair.
At that time you should not think that all the work has been thrown overboard, but it has been a setback that will not happen again.
Stand firm with the attitude you have built at the beginning, with the motivation that has led you to meet several goals, get up and continue.
- Control your emotions
Along the way not everything will be easy neither of flowers and colors, there will be critical moments and situations in which you will have bad.
That is why you must learn to control your emotions when you find yourself in some situation that surpasses you.
In those moments that you can not stand without drinking try to calm down, go to a place where you are alone, take a deep breath, draw your list of auto – words to motivate you and call one of your supports to help you.
If you do this, you will be able to change your thoughts in those situations, and realize that this discomfort will only last for a while, so all you have to do is try to hold the moment to continue with your goals.
Finally, once you have fulfilled all the above points, the best way to keep your overcoming addiction is to perform activities incompatible with drinking, and among them, I recommend exercise.
In this way, you will not only change your drinking habit in isolation, but you will change your unhealthy lifestyle habits in a global way, by living habits more suitable for health.
If you get exercise, physical activity or any sport that you like regularly, alcohol will have no place in your life.
Here you can read more benefits of exercise .
Statistics to convince you
According to WHO:
- Harmful use of alcohol causes more than 200 diseases and disorders.
- 5.1% of global morbidity and injury can be attributed to alcohol consumption, calculated in terms of disability-adjusted life expectancy (DALY).
- There are 3.3 million deaths annually worldwide due to harmful alcohol consumption.
- In the age group of 20-39 years, 25% of deaths are due to alcohol consumption.
- Alcohol kills more teens than all other drugs combined. It is one of the three main causes of death among young people aged 15 to 24: accidents, homicides and suicides.
- Young people who drink alcohol are 7.5 times more likely to use illegal drugs and 50 times more likely to use cocaine.
- Of the approximately 500 million people living in the European Union, some 23 million are alcoholics.
- In the European Union, alcohol contributes to one in ten cases of illness and premature death annually.
- Approximately 40% of violent crimes occur while under the influence of alcohol.
What is an addiction?
Addiction is considered a chronic disease of the brain in which it performs a pathological and recurrent search for reward through the abuse of a substance.
Put another way: an addiction occurs when we accustom our brain to consume a substance so that it can function normally.
This means that we need to consume this substance compulsively to ensure our psychological well-being.
Obviously, this compulsive consumption that our brain forces us when we are addicted to a substance produces multiple negative effects on both physical and psychological level.
And is that no substance abuse is free to have negative effects on our health, so if we become addicted to one of them we will pay dearly.
Alcohol is no exception, and being addicted to this substance can be a very big drawback.
It can cause multiple physical pathologies like pneumonia, hypertension, adrenal deficit, hypoglycemia, cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis among many others.
It may also be a risk factor for psychopathologies such as Wernicke’s syndrome, Delirium Tremens, Alcoholic Dementia, delusions or sexual dysfunctions.
In addition, apart from the pathologies that can cause, alcohol addiction produces a high feeling of discomfort, can cause multiple personal problems, and may prevent us from leading a satisfactory life.