Ok, so if you don’t have a problem with alcohol, the good news is you can just stop drinking. Don’t drink anymore. Problem solved. However, you probably wouldn’t be looking at this article if it were that simple. Chances are, you’re probably already experiencing some negative consequences as a result of your drinking. You may have even tried to stop drinking before and it didn’t work. Or maybe you’ve just noticed that the number of drinks you have every week has slowly started to creep upward.
How to stop drinking: Assess the problem
Ok, so it’s time to get honest about the problem, even if it’s just to yourself. How much do you drink, and how often? How long has it been going on? If you’ve been a daily drinker for some time, odds are that you will experience some withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop drinking.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can begin as early as two hours after taking your last drink. They can range from moderate (mild anxiety, shakiness) to severe (seizures, delirium tremens) depending on how long you have been drinking. The severe complications can lead to death in some cases, so if you have been drinking daily for a while, you shouldn’t try to get off alcohol on your own, which brings me to my next point….
How to stop drinking: Consult a doctor
Don’t feel like you need to quit alone. Even if you haven’t been drinking long enough to have withdrawal symptoms, it is much easier to quit with some help. A doctor can help you assess your drinking and give you counsel on resources that can help you to stop drinking. They may even be able to prescribe medication to help with withdrawal or point you towards a medical detox facility. Also, your doctor can give you information regarding mental health professionals, support groups and drug and alcohol treatment centers in your area.
How to stop drinking: Get rid of all your alcohol
In the beginning, it’s much easier to stop drinking if you first clear out all of the alcohol in your home. Ask family and friends if they can refrain from bringing alcohol to your house when they come over and try to avoid situations where there will be a lot of drinking. If you have been drinking for a long time, it may be difficult at first to find activities that do not involve alcohol. It is important to keep busy when you try to stop drinking and find some things you enjoy doing without having to be drunk.
How to stop drinking: Take care of yourself
It is much easier to stop drinking when your body is getting good food and enough rest. Exercise can also be a great way to release endorphins, manage stress, and cut cravings. Take extra good care of yourself when you try to stop drinking, especially in the beginning. Try to reduce outside stress as much as possible, and try new, healthy ways to deal with anxiety and stress.