Author: James Anderson

How to stop drinking: Support and more

tips to stop drinking

Call or text a friend and have your goals handy to remind yourself why you’ve dropped drinking. It can be tricky to handle social situations as you cut back on drinking, especially if you’re around other people who are drinking or who are used to seeing you drink. If you’ll be out with close friends or family you’re comfortable with, let them know ahead of time that you’re not drinking. It’s easier to blend in with a glass in your hand, even if it’s just a Coke. If you find yourself in a situation where someone offers you a drink, just politely decline. Most of the time, people will back off, and if they don’t, stand firm and say you’re not drinking tonight.

tips to stop drinking

Celebration helps keep you motivated, so make sure you’re rewarding yourself for goals achieved. Consider setting up a reward chart with things you really want — maybe it’s a dinner out at a new restaurant or a pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing. Set targets for each reward and enjoy them when you get there.

The symptoms listed above may be a sign of a severe form of alcohol withdrawal called delirium tremens, or DTs. This rare, emergency condition causes dangerous changes in the way your brain regulates your circulation and breathing, so it’s important to get to the hospital right away. Keep a record of your drinking to help you reach your goal.

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It’s a 10-question screening test that gives you research-backed, personalized advice for quitting or reducing your intake of alcohol. But if you’re living with alcohol use disorder, drinking is more than a habit. People with alcohol use disorder can’t stop drinking even when it causes problems, like emotional distress or physical harm to themselves or others. Make meetings a priority – Join a recovery support group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and attend meetings regularly. Spending time with people who understand exactly what you’re going through can be very healing.

  1. It’s normal for certain stimuli to cause a reaction in your mind and body without even being aware of it.
  2. Replacing alcohol with healthy activities that do not encourage drinking can be a healthy alternative.
  3. This article explores different strategies on how to stop drinking alcohol.
  4. Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.
  5. If you experience symptoms of DT, such as confusion, disorientation, hallucinations, or delusions, seek medical attention immediately.

Whether it’s improved relationships, better health, or weight loss, keeping the “why” in sight can help boost your motivation. Another clue that can be an indication of an unhealthy relationship with alcohol is if you make “rules” around drinking. If you’re having difficulty sticking to your goal or just want some extra guidance, consider reaching out for professional support.

Some people may also need supplements such as folate, multivitamin, thiamine, and dextrose. These are challenging to avoid and work through because they may appear randomly. Avoiding temptations requires being aware of external and internal triggers. Strategies that are easier to implement may be more effective for some people. She enjoys interviewing medical experts and researchers about their work and is passionate about communicating accurate and relevant health information to the public.

How to Quit Drinking (or at Least Cut Back)

How you feel when you stop drinking is largely based on how often and how heavily you drink. People who only drink occasionally probably won’t notice any physical or psychological symptoms. People who have a severe reaction to quitting alcohol should seek emergency treatment. Dr. Streem says that if your goal is to stop drinking altogether, you’re more likely to have success quitting all at once, rather than weaning off alcohol.

But in some alcoholics, withdrawal is not just unpleasant—it can be life threatening. If your goal is to reduce your drinking, decide which days you will drink alcohol and how many drinks you will allow yourself per day. Try to commit to at least two days each week when you won’t drink at all. Delirium tremens (DT), also known as alcohol withdrawal syndrome, is a severe form of withdrawal that can happen when a person gives up alcohol. It affects between three and five percent of people who are quitting drinking and can be fatal. There are times when cutting back on your drinking can be helpful, but there are times when quitting alcohol altogether is the best solution.

tips to stop drinking

If you’re having trouble doing the same things you used to do, try new hobbies to fill your time. Join a gym, learn a new skill, or find sober social groups you can enjoy. With less alcohol in your life, you’re likely to have clearer skin, better sleep, and you may see a boost in your overall mood.

Each drinking relapse is an opportunity to learn and recommit to sobriety, so you’ll be less likely to relapse in the future. Lean on close friends and family – Having the support of friends and family members is an invaluable asset in recovery. If you’re reluctant to turn to your loved ones because you’ve let them down before, consider going to couples counseling or family therapy.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms

While getting sober is an important first step, it is only the beginning of your recovery from alcohol addiction or heavy drinking. Depending on what your alcohol habit was like, you may experience fewer or more withdrawal symptoms as you cut back. Fortunately, these withdrawal symptoms shouldn’t last very long — about a week — but listen to your body in case something feels abnormal during this time.

It’s much easier to avoid drinking if you don’t keep temptations around. One study found that attitude-related barriers were the most common obstacle that people face before entering treatment for an alcohol use disorder. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests that 40% to 60% of people with substance use disorders experience a relapse at some point. Severe symptoms may require benzodiazepines to prevent serious consequences of alcohol withdrawal.