Deciding to stop drinking alcohol is a big step towards good health and a satisfactory standard of living, especially when this substance has invaded our lives.
Starting to reduce alcohol consumption is not an easy task and for this reason it is necessary to turn to professionals and to plan this process very well, in addition to the role played by family and friends can be. crucial to make this odyssey a success.
There are a number of tips to help you get started and be consistent. Let’s see some tips for fighting alcohol abuse.
How to stop drinking alcohol?
these are several basic recommendations to stop drinking alcohol, A complicated process in the event that a real addiction has already developed and which requires the therapeutic intervention of professionals.
1. Go see a psychologist
Many psychologists specialize in substance abuse issues, and given the socially accepted nature of alcohol use and its ease of obtaining legal, there are many cases of alcoholism that these professionals face, with varying degrees. assignment.
The psychologist will study the level of impact of alcohol on a person’s life and, in collaboration with other professionals such as doctors and psychiatrists, it will be possible to establish a treatment and a psychoeducation and dehabituación program to deal with addictive behavior.
Seeking professional help can be a first step in ensuring the potential success of quitting smoking. Thanks to their professional knowledge and the availability of specialized tools for people suffering from a certain type of addiction, psychologists are a fundamental pillar of rehabilitation.
2. Admit you have a problem
Many people believe that alcoholism is all about black and white: either you are an alcoholic, understood as the typical stereotype of someone who drinks all the time, or you are not. The truth is that the reality is much more complex and many people who consume alcohol daily but in smaller amounts, as long as it is a problem in their daily life, need professional help.
While the phrase “the first step is to admit that you have a problem” may sound like a cliché, the truth is that it helps enormously in the recovery of the alcoholic person.
If you see that you are obsessed with whether you drink too much you are comparing yourself to an acquaintance in this regard, if you find that alcohol is preventing you from leading the life you would like to have then you have to do it . something about it., because it is clear that this is a problem for you and surely for those around you.
3. Inform your acquaintances of your intentions
Let people know that you have made up your mind to quit drinking alcohol. Letting them know that you want to improve your health is something that it can help you be more consistent and engage more with yourself.
It will also encourage your family and friends to want to help you out and make them aware of the seriousness of the problem. This way, you can ask them not to offer you wine or beer during the celebrations or offer to do activities in which there is no alcohol.
4. Explain why you are doing it
Quitting drinking produces both short and long term benefits, however, everyone prefers instant gratification rather than having to wait for results after months.
It’s hard to move on if you don’t know where you’re going or why you’re doing it. Write down the reasons why you want to stop or cut down on alcoholic beverages on a piece of paper and place it in a clearly visible place in the kitchen or bedroom.
Some benefits of quitting drinking in the short term are being able to enjoy more lucid and interesting conversations, not wasting money on drinks, not wasting time because you have a hangover, or having a better sleep.
5. No alcohol at home
It may seem like an obvious measure and at the same time a little extreme, but the truth is that it is the best way to avoid consuming it at home. Get rid of all alcohol and even, if necessary, get rid of colognes or medicines that contain this substance.
You were sorry that you wasted it all, but think you are doing it for your healthAnd that all the money you just thrown away will end up saving you in the long run by not having to go to the doctor for liver problems or pay fines for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Non-alcoholic drinks are not a good alternative. The favorite drink of an alcoholic is beer, so consuming non-alcoholic beer will not help him stop thinking about alcohol, on the contrary, he will feel like he is drinking something without that touch that gives beer its special flavor and you will want to drink it even more.
6. Drink log
this technique it is very helpful to put into perspective how much you drink. Ideally, write for the first three or four weeks after deciding to stop drinking what you are drinking.
A notebook notes each day how many drinks he drank, what type of alcohol he was, where and at what time it was made, as well as how he felt and with whom he drank.
This will allow you to see in more detail what situations you are drinking in, whether you have really reduced your intake in the past month, and who these people are encouraging you to drink.
7. Get rid of those who encourage you to drink
Just as the people around us can help us in this process, others can contribute to our failure. Whether it’s because they don’t understand the seriousness of the problem, or because they may also have a problem but don’t want to recognize it, some people will encourage us to keep drinking and get rid of the iron by heavy drinking.
Alcohol may be the only thing that keeps us together with certain people around us, Either because it’s the friends you go to the bar with on weekends or we’ve had a drink with all of our lives.
Extreme situations require extreme measures. If these people can turn out to be a big problem for our health, we have to break all relationships. Granted, it sounds easier than it looks, but the effort must be made.
8. Identify what led you to
The reasons that have led you to depend on alcohol can be many and varied, and discovering them all may require careful thought.
It is useful to elaborate a list of all the situations, places, people and reasons that contributed to alcohol consumption.
It is very necessary to be aware of how you feel before and after consuming in each of the contexts. Drinking at a bar with friends because you’re partying is not the same as drinking at home only after having a fight with your partner.
This will allow you to work with the psychologist’s strategies to learn how to deal with adverse situations and avoid drinking.
9. Be busy
The less you drink, the less hangover you have. Less hangover means more hours of discomfort and therefore more time. To avoid falling into boredom, which can lead us to drink again, it is essential to find activities that we find entertaining and satisfying.
Play sports, join a language academy, paint, spend time with the family or just take a walk. He occupies the dead hours. They will distract you from the urge to drink and allow you to enjoy the time you have now while being sober.
10. Drink slowly
When you have a tea, coffee, juice, or drink, take it slowly, keeping it tasting. This will increase your feeling of fullness and prevent you from wanting to fill your stomach with beer or wine.
It will also help you train patience, which can eventually turn into a protective factor when there is a craving for alcohol.
11. Learn to say NO
Alcohol consumption is a normal thing in our society, so it is difficult to stop someone from offering us a drink. It may happen that someone proposes and insists on having a drink.
When faced with such situations, it is very important to look those who offer us alcohol in the eye, and with a determined but kind and polite air to say a short and concise “no, thank you”.
Don’t give unnecessary explanations or a long answer. If you have a close friend who is aware of your problem, ask who is helping you to face the situation together.
12. Join a support group
Support groups are a great tool for moving forward with stopping alcohol. being one of the most famous alcoholics anonymous.
By sharing unpleasant experiences, feelings, anecdotes and events related to alcohol consumption, those who attend these groups support each other, and allow us to see that there are more people in the same situation and that we can move forward.
In addition to face-to-face groups, there are online forums and online chats where you can meet testimonials from hundreds of people around the world.
13. Don’t give up
You can fail repeatedly. Keep on fighting! It’s okay not to get over an addiction the first timeBut over time, they were able to learn strategies that eventually led to their success.
Each attempt will give you new knowledge and greater self-reflection. Think of setbacks as if they were roadblocks, not restarting the whole process.
14. Reward yourself
It is very important to understand how difficult it is to overcome an addiction which is why if you are making progress it is very beneficial if you are rewarding yourself in some way.
Obviously, among these rewards there may not be any alcoholic drinks, but you can you will be able to afford to buy a lot of things with all the money you have managed to save stop spending it every week on alcohol.
Sometimes, even if you go to a professional, quitting drinking is just not possible.
Whether it is because the environment does not allow it, that the family also has drinking problems or does not have enough willpower, our health can deteriorate and make us feel that there is no solution.
It is for this reason that there are centers in which it is possible to stay away from the world without having temptation at hand, And under the responsibility of professionals on the subject of detoxification of addictive substances.
- Swift R., M., Aston E., R. (2015) Pharmacotherapy for alcohol use disorders: current and emerging therapies. Harvard Psychiatry Review. 23 (2, p. 122-133.
- O’Connor P., G. (2016). Alcoholic disorders. Philadelphia, United States: Elsevier Saunders.