More than 10 percent of U.S. children live with a parent with alcohol problems. This affects their lives in different ways, including inadequate parenting and poor access to basic needs.
That’s not all. The US loses over 80,000 people to alcohol problems every year. This makes alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the US. It follows tobacco and poor diet, which come first and second respectively.
These are just some of the effects of heavy alcohol use. But they’re enough to help you consider knowing how to stop drinking. The good thing is that you’re not alone.
As such, this post is going to share some tips to help you quit using alcohol.
Keep on reading!
Find Alternative Social Activities
Drinking alcohol is not the only social activity you can pass the time on with friends. Just because it’s a weekend, holiday or a party doesn’t mean you should get completely plastered.
Instead, you need to find alternative social activities that will take your mind off alcohol. Just list down hobbies and healthy activities you like. Suggest them to friends as ways for spending your weekends or evenings.
For example, instead of hitting the bars on weekends, you can watch a movie or football match. Planning a dinner with friends or family is also a great idea.
Change Your Life
In some cases, engaging in new activities but leading the same lifestyle may not be enough. Plus, quitting drinking is not all about cutting out alcohol.
It’s about a creating a new life that’s completely different from your past life. You can make a big decision like moving to a different city or state. This will help you change your habits and adopt a new lifestyle.
You can also drop your drinking friends. Some people are usually alcoholics because of the company they keep. It’s going to be hard to quit if you have friends or family members drinking around you. Just come out openly and speak to them about your new resolutions.
You can renew old relationships or make new ones to keep a company of people who bring meaning to your life.
Manage Your Triggers and Urges
Determining your alcohol triggers is also an ideal way to curb your drinking. If certain people, places, or things make you drink even when you don’t want, it’s best to avoid them.
Also, certain feelings or times of day can prompt you to drink. If you know when such temptations occur, you can always plan something else to counter them. Also, if you like drinking at home, keep no or little alcohol in your house.
In some cases, you may fail to contain your triggers, and your urges hit. When this happens, remind yourself of the reasons for quitting drinking. You can distract the urges my engaging in other fulfilling or fun activities. Or, talk to someone who you trust and is willing to listen to you.
Engage Physical Activities and Self Care
The truth is, alcohol addiction usually takes quite a toll on you. It reduces your health and denies you adequate sleep. Most heavy drinkers usually push themselves without rest or food.
As such, other ways on how to stop drinking include physical activities and self-care measures. You can use exercises to stay fit or cut some pounds. Make it a goal and monitor your progress to stay focused.
If you were putting off your house chores, now is the time to get back to them. Have a weekly schedule for personal and house cleaning chores. Don’t forget your diet, too. Instead of ordering takeout, try preparing a meal for yourself.
When these activities become habitual, you’ll find that you’re taking your mind off alcohol.
Be Proud of Your “NO”
Your drinking buddies will certainly be baffled when you say no to their alcohol invite. Well, at first, they’ll think that something has gotten into your head. But once you start becoming proud of your “NO,” you’ll find it’s easier to overcome all temptations of alcohol.
Whenever you’re offered an alcoholic drink, always have a polite “no, thanks” response ready. Over time, people will get used to the new you and will naturally refrain from offering your alcohol.
A TIP: Don’t hesitate to say “NO.” Hesitation will only give you time to think of baseless excuses that your friends won’t take seriously.
Talk to Someone
Even if you have a goal to stop drinking, it’s likely to fail if you keep it to yourself. The best way is to talk to your friends or family members about your intentions. Sharing your thoughts with someone means you owe it to them to quit drinking.
Talking to someone is also a way to overcome your triggers and urgers. This is important for cases wherein life difficulties, stress, and other undesired events influence your alcoholism.
Some people tend to keep their drinking habit from colleagues, friends or even family. Keep in mind that this can affect your relationships with your loved ones. The best way is to admit the problem and talk to them about it.
The road to alcohol addiction recovery can be lonely sometimes. Going through the experiences alone can easily lead to a relapse. You don’t have to do it alone.
You can check yourself in a recovery facility. Most centers offer both in-patient and out-patient programs to help their patients overcome alcohol use. There are also evidence-based programs and 12-step programs to help you.
You can also get a behavioral modification therapy to help you cope with stressful life situations. Most importantly, find local groups to share your experience and learn from alcoholics from you.
How to Stop Drinking
For most people, quitting drinking is never an easy decision. But once you resolve to do it, help is abundant out there to help you through the experience.
At Paramount Recovery Center, we offer inpatient treatment programs to help you quit alcohol. The journey starts with you learning how to stop drinking. Out team provides detox and residential treatments to support you through every step of the journey.
Do you have any question about rehab or addiction recovery? Feel free to contact us.