How to Quit Alcohol for Good
Finding the willpower to quit alcohol once and for all can be incredibly difficult. With so many tempting opportunities around you, it’s easy to succumb to the pressure and start drinking again before you even realize what you’re doing. If you’re serious about getting sober, use these tips to help you quit alcohol for good.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines detoxification as the process of alleviating an individual’s withdrawal symptoms and acute drug cravings. A treatment program may help individuals undergoing detoxification by providing counselling, educational support, and lifestyle management. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe, particularly when one is suddenly taken off alcohol following years of heavy use. Delirium tremens (DTs) is a serious life-threatening disorder that requires immediate medical attention if it develops during or shortly after a period of alcohol detoxification. People who are seeking treatment for alcoholism often try different methods before seeking professional help. This can include: attending self-help groups, joining a rehab center or making lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly, changing eating habits and getting more sleep.
Rebuilding the Brain
Addiction is a brain disease that physically changes our brains. To quit drinking, your brain has to heal itself. Without professional help, it’s very difficult for addicts to heal their own brains and stay sober on their own—only 8 percent of people manage it. So, if you have an alcohol problem and want long-term sobriety, rehab might be right for you. A rehab program will not only get you sober again but will also allow your brain time to repair itself. Many addiction specialists recommend using an inpatient treatment center as a way of treating alcoholism—it allows patients a safe place to focus on healing without any outside stressors or triggers influencing them.
Replacing Bad Habits with New Ones
One way to quit alcohol is by creating new habits in place of old ones. For example, if you always have a drink with dinner or at happy hour, try replacing it with some other activity (like reading a book) that doesn’t involve alcohol. If you don’t drink every day, try giving yourself small rewards when you do—maybe a nice walk on your lunch break? Or when you return home from work, light a candle instead of popping open a bottle.
If you’re having trouble kicking a drinking habit, try putting yourself in a situation where alcohol is prohibited. Sometimes finding a new motivation helps us kick those bad habits. Think about how your life would be different if you were able to finally quit drinking: you wouldn’t have blackouts, hangovers, or embarrassing stories anymore! The motivation of wanting a new life without alcohol may help with your alcohol detox plan.
While attending AA meetings in rehab or participating in a 12-step program, you’ll have support from like-minded individuals who will help keep you on track as you quit alcohol. You can also join online forums and communities to connect with people who are going through similar experiences—just make sure your support system doesn’t involve people who encourage your drinking.