- 11 ways to curb your drinking
- These tips will help you cut back on drinking alcohol
- 23 Simple Things You Can Do to Stop Overeating
- 1. Get rid of distractions
- 2. Know your trigger foods
- 3. Don’t ban all favorite foods
- 4. Give volumetrics a try
- 5. Avoid eating from containers
- 6. Reduce stress
- 7. Eat fiber-rich foods
- 8. Eat regular meals
- 9. Keep a food journal
- 10. Dine with like-minded friends
- 11. Fill up on protein
- 12. Stabilize your blood sugar levels
- 13. Slow down
- 14. Watch your alcohol intake
- 15. Plan ahead
- 16. Replace sugary beverages with water
- 17. Check in with yourself
- 18. Ditch the diet mentality
- 19. Break old habits
- 20. Eat healthy fats
- 21. Keep your goals in mind
- 22. Get help if needed
- 23. Practice mindful eating
- The bottom line
- How much alcohol is safe to drink?
- It’s never completely safe
- Guidelines to reduce your risk
- How to drink more safely
- Best apps to stop drinking alcohol
- Sober Grid
- Twenty-Four Hours a Day
- Sobriety Counter
- AlcoDroid Alcohol Tracker
- I Am Sober
- Stop Drinking with Andrew Johnson
- 12 Steps AA Companion
- How to Stop Drinking Alcohol
- How to Stop Drinking
- Help for Alcoholics: Where to Find Sobriety Resources
- Tips for Those Trying to Stop Drinking
- How To Stop Drinking Alcohol
- What is a Standard Drink?
- How can you reduce or quit alcohol?
- Staying alcohol-free
- How to Stop Drinking Alcohol and Stay Sober
- Step 1: Determine the Severity.
- Step 2: Look Closely.
- Step 3: Work through an Intervention.
- Step 4: Get Sober.
- Step 5: Get More Help.
- Step 6: Stay in Touch.
- All Steps Are Important
- ADMIT THE PROBLEM
- REALIZE WHY YOU SHOULD QUIT DRINKING
- MAKE SOBRIETY NUMBER ONE
- FIRE YOUR DRINKING PALS
- ADVERTISE YOUR CHOICE
- ISN’T IT DANGEROUS TO QUIT?
- CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE
- CHECK INTO REHAB
- We can help you!
- 2+ WEEKS AFTER QUITTING
- …AND ALL THAT JAZZ
11 ways to curb your drinking
These tips will help you cut back on drinking alcohol
Are you concerned about your alcohol intake? Maybe you feel that you’re drinking too much or too often. Perhaps it’s a habit you’d like to better control.
It’s always wise to check with your doctor — she should be able to help you decide whether it is best for you to cut back or to abstain. People who are dependent on alcohol, or have other medical or mental health problems, should stop drinking completely.
But many people may benefit simply by cutting back. If your doctor suggests that you curb your drinking, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) suggests that the following steps may be helpful:
- Put it in writing. Making a list of the reasons to curtail your drinking — such as feeling healthier, sleeping better, or improving your relationships — can motivate you.
- Set a drinking goal. Set a limit on how much you will drink. You should keep your drinking below the recommended guidelines: no more than one standard drink per day for women and for men ages 65 and older, and no more than two standard drinks per day for men under 65. These limits may be too high for people who have certain medical conditions or for some older adults. Your doctor can help you determine what’s right for you.
- Keep a diary of your drinking. For three to four weeks, keep track of every time you have a drink. Include information about what and how much you drank as well as where you were. Compare this to your goal. If you’re having trouble sticking to your goal, discuss it with your doctor or another health professional.
- Don’t keep alcohol in your house. Having no alcohol at home can help limit your drinking.
- Drink slowly. Sip your drink. Drink soda, water, or juice after having an alcoholic beverage. Never drink on an empty stomach.
- Choose alcohol-free days. Decide not to drink a day or two each week. You may want to abstain for a week or a month to see how you feel physically and emotionally without alcohol in your life. Taking a break from alcohol can be a good way to start drinking less.
- Watch for peer pressure. Practice ways to say no politely. You do not have to drink just because others are, and you shouldn’t feel obligated to accept every drink you’re offered. Stay away from people who encourage you to drink.
- Keep busy. Take a walk, play sports, go out to eat, or catch a movie. When you’re at home, pick up a new hobby or revisit an old one. Painting, board games, playing a musical instrument, woodworking — these and other activities are great alternatives to drinking.
- Ask for support. Cutting down on your drinking may not always be easy. Let friends and family members know that you need their support. Your doctor, counselor, or therapist may also be able to offer help.
- Guard against temptation. Steer clear of people and places that make you want to drink. If you associate drinking with certain events, such as holidays or vacations, develop a plan for managing them in advance. Monitor your feelings. When you’re worried, lonely, or angry, you may be tempted to reach for a drink. Try to cultivate new, healthy ways to cope with stress.
- Be persistent. Most people who successfully cut down or stop drinking altogether do so only after several attempts. You’ll probably have setbacks, but don’t let them keep you from reaching your long-term goal. There’s really no final endpoint, as the process usually requires ongoing effort.
Some of these strategies — such as watching for peer pressure, keeping busy, asking for support, being aware of temptation, and being persistent — can also be helpful for people who want to give up alcohol completely.
Once you’ve cut back on your drinking (so you’re at or below the recommended guidelines), examine your drinking habits regularly to see if you’re maintaining this level of drinking. Some people attain their goal only to find that old habits crop up again later. If this happens, consult your doctor.
Image: ©PIKSEL | GettyImages
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
23 Simple Things You Can Do to Stop Overeating
Eating too much in one sitting or taking in too many calories throughout the day are common habits that can be hard to break.
And while some people see these behaviors as habits that can be broken, they may indicate an eating disorder in others.
Over time, eating too much food can lead to weight gain and increase the risk of developing a chronic condition, such as diabetes or heart disease.
Regardless of whether you have an eating disorder, breaking the cycle of overeating can be challenging. However, some techniques can help.
The 23 tips below provide a starting point to reduce overeating.
1. Get rid of distractions
Whether it’s working through lunch in front of the computer or noshing on chips while catching up on your favorite TV show, eating while distracted is a common occurrence for most people.
While this habit might seem harmless, it can contribute to overeating.
A review of 24 studies found that being distracted during a meal led people to consume more calories at that meal. It also caused them to eat more food later in the day, compared with people who paid attention to their food while eating (1).
Summary Make an effort to turn off or put away potential distractions like phones, computers, and magazines. Concentrating on your meal during mealtime can help prevent overeating.
2. Know your trigger foods
Pinpointing which foods can trigger overeating and avoiding them can help decrease the chances of overeating.
For example, if ice cream is likely to trigger a binge or episode of overeating, it’s a good idea to stop storing it in the freezer. The harder it is to access something, the less likely you might be to overeat that food.
Preparing healthy options like a sliced apple with peanut butter, hummus and veggies, or homemade trail mix can encourage better choices when snacking.
Another helpful tip is to keep unhealthy snack foods like chips, candy, and cookies out of sight so there’s no temptation to grab a handful when walking past them.
Summary Identify the unhealthy foods that trigger overeating. Keep them out of the home or far out of sight, and make healthy options easily accessible instead.
3. Don’t ban all favorite foods
Restrictive eating patterns that eliminate many of your favorite foods may cause you to feel deprived, potentially leading you to binge on forbidden treats.
Diets that concentrate on whole, unprocessed foods are always best, but making room for an occasional treat is perfectly healthy.
Swearing to never have a scoop of ice cream, slice of pizza, or piece of chocolate again is not realistic for most people.
That said, in the case of food addiction, a person may need to permanently abstain from trigger foods. In this case, it’s a good idea to find healthy substitutes that are satisfying.
Focus on providing your body with mostly healthy, nutritious food while giving yourself the freedom to truly enjoy a treat here and there.
Summary Eating patterns that are too restrictive may drive binges. The key to a sustainable, healthy diet is to concentrate on eating whole, unprocessed foods most of the time while allowing for a treat here and there.
4. Give volumetrics a try
Volumetrics is a way to eat that focuses on filling up on low calorie, high fiber foods like non-starchy vegetables.
Consuming foods that are low in calories and high in fiber and water before meals can help you feel full, which might decrease overeating.
Examples of volumetrics-friendly foods include grapefruit, salad greens, broccoli, beans, tomatoes, and low-sodium broth.
Eating a large salad or bowl of low-sodium, broth-based soup before lunch and dinner may be an effective way to prevent overeating.
Summary Use the volumetrics method of eating — fill up on healthy, low-calorie, high-fiber foods to help promote feeling full.
5. Avoid eating from containers
Eating chips out of the bag, ice cream out of the carton, or takeout straight from the box can lead to consuming more food than is recommended as a serving size.
Instead, portion out a single serving size on a plate or in a bowl to help control the number of calories you consume in one sitting.
Use measuring tools to train your eye on what a normal portion should look like for different types of foods.
Summary Instead of eating food straight from the package, portion it into a dish. Try measuring out appropriate serving sizes to help train your eye to identify how much food is recommended as an average portion.
6. Reduce stress
Stress can lead to overeating, so it’s important to find ways to reduce the amount of stress in your daily life.
Chronic stress drives up levels of cortisol, a hormone that increases appetite. Studies have shown that being stressed can lead to overeating, increased hunger, binge eating, and weight gain (2).
There are many simple ways to reduce your everyday stress levels. Consider listening to music, gardening, exercising, or practicing yoga, meditation, or breathing techniques.
Summary Stress can lead to overeating, so reducing the stress in your everyday life is one important step to reduce overeating.
7. Eat fiber-rich foods
Choosing foods that are rich in fiber, such as beans, vegetables, oats, and fruit, can help keep your body feeling satisfied longer and reduce the urge to overeat.
For example, one study found that people who ate fiber-rich oatmeal for breakfast felt fuller and ate less at lunch than those who consumed cornflakes for breakfast (4).
Snacking on nuts, adding beans to your salad, and eating vegetables at every meal may help reduce the amount of food you consume.
Summary Add fiber-rich foods to your diet to keep your body feeling satisfied longer. Studies show this may help reduce the urge to overeat.
8. Eat regular meals
When attempting to lose weight, many people cut out meals in hopes that it will decrease the number of calories they take in.
While this may work in some instances, such as intermittent fasting, restricting meals may cause you to eat more later in the day.
Studies have demonstrated that eating more frequently throughout the day may decrease hunger and overall food intake (5).
For example, some people may skip lunch to restrict calories, only to find themselves overeating at dinner. However, eating a balanced lunch may help reduce the chances of eating too much later in the day (6).
Summary Skipping meals may cause you to eat more later in the day. Instead, focus on keeping your body feeling satisfied by eating balanced meals made with whole foods.
9. Keep a food journal
Keeping track of what you eat in a food diary or mobile app may help reduce overeating.
Many studies have shown that using self-monitoring techniques like keeping a food diary may aid weight loss (7).
Plus, using a food journal can help identify situations and emotional triggers that contribute to overeating, as well as foods that are likely to provoke binge eating.
Summary Studies have shown that tracking your food intake may help you lose weight. It will also help you become more aware of your habits.
10. Dine with like-minded friends
The food choices of your dining companions may have a greater effect on your food intake than you realize.
Numerous studies have found that people’s food choices are heavily influenced by the people they eat with.
People may tend to eat portions similar to those of their dining companions, so dining out with friends who overeat may cause them to overeat as well (8).
Plus, studies have shown that a person is more inclined to order unhealthy options if their dining partner does (9).
Choosing to eat with family and friends who have similar health goals can help you stay on track and reduce your chances of overeating.
Summary With whom you choose to eat may majorly impact your food choices. Try to dine with people who also want to eat healthy meals in moderate portions.
11. Fill up on protein
Protein helps keep your body full throughout the day and can decrease the desire to overeat.
For example, eating a high protein breakfast has been shown to reduce hunger and snacking later in the day (10).
Choosing a protein-rich breakfast like eggs tends to lower levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates hunger (11).
Adding higher protein snacks like Greek yogurt to your routine can also help you eat less throughout the day and keep hunger under control (12).
Summary Eating protein-rich foods may help stave off hunger and cravings. Starting the day with a high protein breakfast can also help fight hunger later in the day.
12. Stabilize your blood sugar levels
Eating white bread, cookies, candy, and other carbs with high glycemic indexes will likely cause blood sugar levels to spike, then fall quickly.
This rapid blood sugar fluctuation has been shown to promote hunger and can lead to overeating (13).
Choosing foods with lower glycemic indexes will help prevent blood sugar spikes and may reduce overeating. Beans, oats, and brown rice are all great options.
Summary Eat foods that help keep blood sugar levels constant. High-glycemic foods like candy and white bread can make blood sugar spike then drop, which may lead to overeating. Instead, choose foods like beans, oats, and brown rice.
13. Slow down
Eating too quickly may cause overeating and lead to weight gain over time.
Slower-paced eating is associated with increased fullness and decreased hunger and can serve as a useful tool for controlling overeating (14).
Taking the time to thoroughly chew food has also been shown to reduce overall food intake and increase feelings of fullness (15).
Summary Focusing on eating more slowly and chewing food thoroughly may help you recognize signs of fullness and reduce overeating.
14. Watch your alcohol intake
Drinking alcohol may cause overeating by lowering your inhibitions and stimulating appetite (16, 17).
While having a drink or two with a meal generally won’t have a huge effect, having several drinks in one sitting may lead to increased levels of hunger.
One study found that college students who drank four to five drinks at a time more than once per week were more likely to overeat after drinking, compared with students who drank one to two drinks at a time (18).
Cutting back on drinking alcohol may be a good way to minimize overeating.
Summary Studies show that drinking several drinks in one sitting may lead to overeating. Instead, stick to just one or two drinks, or forgo drinking alcohol entirely.
15. Plan ahead
Being unprepared when hunger strikes can make it more likely that you’ll make poor food choices that can lead to overeating.
Purchasing meals and snacks at the last minute from restaurants or delis increases the likelihood of making unhealthy choices and eating more.
Instead, keep healthy snacks on hand, pack home-cooked lunches, and stock the fridge with healthy options to prepare dinner at home.
These strategies can help decrease overeating. Plus, making more meals at home can save money and time.
Summary The more prepared you are to eat healthily, the less likely you are to overeat. Keep the fridge and pantry stocked with healthy, filling foods.
16. Replace sugary beverages with water
Drinking sugary beverages like soda and juice could lead to weight gain and increase the risk of certain diseases like diabetes (19).
Studies have shown that consuming sweetened drinks with meals may be linked to overeating as well.
A review of 17 studies found that adults who drank sugar-sweetened beverages with meals consumed 7.8% more food than adults who consumed water with meals (20).
Choosing water or unsweetened seltzer over sweetened beverages may help reduce overeating.
Summary Avoid sugary beverages. They’ve been linked to an increased risk of diabetes and other diseases and may be linked to overeating. Drink water instead.
17. Check in with yourself
Overeating in the absence of hunger could be a sign that something deeper is going on.
Depression and boredom are two common issues that have been linked to the urge to overeat (21, 22).
Fortunately, taking certain actions can help. For example, try taking on a new activity that’s enjoyable. It may help prevent boredom and distract from the urge to nibble.
Also, spending some time thinking about what triggers overeating can help determine the type of help to seek. If depression and anxiety are contributors, getting proper treatment from a mental health professional might assist with reducing overeating.
Every person is different, so it’s important to find the right treatment plan for your needs.
Summary Think about the feelings during episodes of overeating and seek help to address the issues behind the behavior. Depression and boredom are two common reasons. A mental health professional can provide guidance.
18. Ditch the diet mentality
Fad diets probably won’t help you stop overeating in the long run. Short-term, restrictive diets may lead to rapid weight loss, but they are often unsustainable and can set you up for failure.
Instead, make long-term lifestyle changes that promote health and wellness. It’s the best way to create a balanced relationship with food and prevent habits like overeating.
Summary Instead of going on fad diets to curb overeating, find a sustainable way of eating that nourishes your body and helps it reach optimal health.
19. Break old habits
Habits can be hard to break, especially when they involve food.
Many people get into comfortable routines, like eating dinner in front of the TV or having a bowl of ice cream every night.
It may take time to identify unhealthy behaviors that lead to overeating and replace them with new, healthy habits, but it’s well worth the effort.
For example, make it a point to eat at the dinner table instead of in front of the TV, or replace a nightly bowl of ice cream with a hot cup of tea. These replacements will become healthy habits over time.
Summary Identify unhealthy habits and gradually replace them with new, more positive behaviors.
20. Eat healthy fats
Although high fat foods are often associated with weight gain and overeating, choosing foods rich in healthy fats can help you eat less.
Several studies have shown that adults who consume high fat, low carb diets are less hungry 3–4 hours after meals and lose more weight over time, compared with people who consume diets high in carbs and low in fat (23, 24).
Adding healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butters, and olive oil to your diet may help you feel more satisfied after meals and reduce overeating.
Summary Try adding more healthy fats to your diet. Studies have shown doing so may help you feel fuller after meals and lose weight over time.
21. Keep your goals in mind
Setting short- and long-term goals and referring to them often may help you stay on track and reduce the urge to overeat.
Knowing the reason for overcoming overeating and how overeating is preventing you from reaching your health and wellness goals can motivate you to work toward establishing new eating patterns.
Jotting down motivational quotes and hanging them in prominent places around your living space can help inspire you to stick to a plan throughout the day.
Summary Identify specific short- and long-term eating goals and refer to them often. It can even be helpful to place motivational quotes around your home.
22. Get help if needed
It’s important to distinguish overeating from binge eating disorder (BED).
Binge eating disorder (BED) is recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM-5) as a psychiatric disorder. This means someone who has BED will likely need treatment from a team of medical professionals to overcome it.
BED is characterized by ongoing episodes of eating a large amount of food very quickly to the point of discomfort, despite not being hungry. After a binge, a person might feel shame or guilt surrounding the behavior.
It affects millions of people worldwide and is the most common eating disorder in the United States (25).
If you feel that you might have BED, it’s important to get help. Speak with your healthcare provider about treatment options.
Summary If you regularly binge on large quantities of food, lack control, and experience feelings of guilt, you may have binge eating disorder and should seek professional help.
23. Practice mindful eating
Adopting mindful eating techniques is one of the best ways to prevent overeating.
The practice of mindful eating stresses the importance of focusing on the moment and being aware of thoughts, emotions, and senses while consuming food.
Many studies have shown that mindful eating is an effective way to reduce binge eating behaviors, overeating, and emotional eating (3).
Eating more slowly, taking small bites, chewing thoroughly, being aware of your senses, and appreciating food are all simple mindfulness practices to incorporate into a daily routine.
Summary The practice of mindful eating has been shown to help reduce binge eating behaviors. Mindful eating focuses on being aware of your thoughts and senses while eating.
Many people struggle with overeating.
Fortunately, there are ways to improve eating habits and overcome eating disorders.
Healthcare professionals like psychologists, doctors, or registered dietitians can also provide counseling and guidance to help you get back on track.
Overeating can be a hard habit to break, but you can do it. Use these tips as a starting point to help establish a new, healthy routine, and make sure to seek professional help if you need it.
Editor’s note: This piece was originally published on April 16, 2018. Its current publication date reflects an update, which includes a medical review by Timothy J. Legg, PhD, PsyD.
How much alcohol is safe to drink?
It’s never completely safe
Alcohol affects everyone.
How much you drink is your choice, but you should know that drinking is never free of risk. The more you drink, the greater the risk to your health.
To understand the risks, read about the effects of alcohol.
Guidelines to reduce your risk
To reduce your risk when you drink alcohol, follow the Australian guidelines to reduce health risks. These guidelines are based on scientific research and evidence.
If you’re a healthy adult:
- To reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury for healthy men and women, drink no more than 10 standard drinks per week and no more than 4 standard drinks on any one day.
- The less you choose to drink, the lower your risk of alcohol-related harm. For some people, not drinking at all is the safest option.
A standard drink contains 10g of alcohol. Many drinks have more than 1 standard drink in them. Check the label on your bottle or container to see how many standard drinks are in it.
Children and young people
To reduce the risk of injury and other harms to health, children and young people under 18 years of age should not drink alcohol.
Find out more about alcohol and young people.
To reduce the risk of harm to their unborn child, women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy should not drink alcohol.
For women who are breastfeeding, not drinking is safest for their baby.
Find out more about alcohol during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
How to drink more safely
For many people, it’s possible to enjoy alcohol and still drink at a level that is less risky. Read about how you can stay safe when drinking alcohol.
If you’re drinking a lot or finding it hard to control your drinking:
- get tips on how you can reduce or quit alcohol
- find a free alcohol support service in our list of alcohol contacts
- call the hotline below for advice and support
National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline contact
Call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline for free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drugs.
Last updated: 2 January 2020 Tags:
Best apps to stop drinking alcohol
Whether you are trying to reduce your alcohol intake or quit drinking altogether, there are apps to help you succeed. We have searched through apps aplenty to bring you the best stop drinking apps based on their design, usability, user ratings, and ability to help you reach your target.
Share on PinterestQuit drinking apps are designed to help you reduce your alcohol intake, stop drinking altogether, or stay sober for good.
Around 86.4 percent of adults in the United States have drunk alcohol at some point in their lifetime, according to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Consuming a moderate amount of alcohol – that is, up to one alcoholic drink per day for women and two for men – may have health benefits, such as a reduced risk for heart disease and ischemic stroke.
However, binge drinking and heavy alcohol use are linked with car crashes, burns, falls, alcohol poisoning, violence, sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancy, chronic diseases, cancers, memory and learning problems, and alcohol dependence.
An estimated 88,000 individuals die annually from alcohol-related causes, which makes alcohol the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the U.S.
Moderating or quitting drinking alcohol involves limiting your alcohol intake as well as changing your habits and lifestyle choices, and apps can help you to achieve these goals. Here are Medical News Today’s top 10 stop drinking apps to help you take charge of your drinking habits.
Sober Grid is designed to connect those who want to get sober or are in recovery from alcoholism with thousands of other people who are focused on sobriety. Some individuals join the app to receive support, while others join to give support. No matter the motive, Sober Grid serves as an opportunity to stay dry while helping others on the network to do the same.
If you need help and need to speak to someone right away, you can reach out to Sober Grid’s virtual sober community for support by selecting the “Burning Desire” button. Users of Sober Grid can also find sober friends while traveling away from home, be it in an airport or a new city. The network connects people both locally or from anywhere in the world.
The Sober Grid newsfeed allows you to share your thoughts, experiences, struggles, and triumphs related to addiction recovery and sobriety. Tracking your progress and having access to peer-support is the first step on your road to recovery.
Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Twenty-Four Hours a Day is an app based on a book of the same name written by Richard Walker. Walker has helped many alcoholics with his words of wisdom in their daily recovery program.
The app gives you access to the 366 daily meditations from the best-selling book at your fingertips, making it easy to focus on your sobriety and the Twelve Steps for recovery.
Swiping back and forth brings up daily messages, which can also be shared with friends and family. You can also bookmark your favorite meditations for easy access. Twenty-Four Hours a Day is a roadmap that keeps you pointing in the right direction in your recovery from addiction.
Sobriety Counter is a fun app full of vibrant colors and bold icons that gamify your stop drinking journey. The bright dashboard shows you how much money you have saved by not drinking. You can also set up a treat as a goal with a personal image, and the app will show you the duration until you reach your target.
Scientific statistics show aspects of your health improvement, such as blood circulation, cell regeneration, gray matter, and mental health, as well as your risk of heart disease and cancer decrease.
If you have an urge to drink, play a game on the app called Memory. It helps to pass the scientifically proven 3-minute mark to beat your desire and stay sober. You can earn 57 badges with the sobriety counter as rewards for not drinking alcohol and share your current badge with your friends in one click.
Two Dads – Parker and Michael – created Nomo to help keep them on track and motivated in their recovery from alcohol. The pair wanted to design an app “that looked great, could keep track of multiple clocks, and kept us connected with the other people in our support group.”
Nomo accurately breaks down the time you are sober to the minute, which means that it can show you your sobriety time in terms of years, months, weeks, days, hours, and minutes. Every time you reach a recovery milestone, Nomo issues a chip to celebrate your achievement and keep you motivated.
You can track time and money saved on the app, as well as share your successes and new chips on social media. Your sobriety clock can also be shared with your accountability partner, so they can check in on you and see how long you have been clean.
AlcoDroid Alcohol Tracker
AlcoDroid is an app that tracks alcohol consumption and can be used as a drinks diary and a calculator to determine blood alcohol content. AlcoDroid enables you to take charge of your alcohol intake and alter your drinking habits.
Based on the drinks you have logged, AlcoDroid estimates your blood alcohol content and plots your levels in an ongoing chart that indicates when you fall below the legal limit or get back to sobriety.
AlcoDroid charts your drinking habits daily, weekly, or monthly, and it displays your consumption statistics. You can set up targets to see how your alcohol intake matches those goals over a set timeframe.
I Am Sober
I Am Sober is a motivational companion app that tracks your sobriety. It lets you track the hours, minutes, and seconds that you have been sober and also the total number of days that you have been without alcohol.
Daily notifications keep you focused on the path to recovery and special notifications alert you when you have reached a key milestone. For each milestone, you can add a memorable photo and save or share your achievements.
Your experience can be customized by manually configuring your sober start date, habit, and notification times. The motivation dashboard provides inspirational snippets to encourage you and cheer you on.
Stop Drinking with Andrew Johnson
Stop Drinking with Andrew Johnson is a positive, relaxing, and motivational app that helps you to overcome the physical and emotional cravings for alcohol. The app aims to give you the tools to change your thinking, break unwanted habits, and regain control of your thoughts, money, health, and well-being.
Whether you are trying to cut down on alcohol or stop drinking completely, this app can help to break the negative habits that result in you reaching for a drink, instead providing the resources to achieve your goals and lead a more healthful life.
Stop Drinking with Andrew Johnson uses hypnotherapy, relaxation, visualization, and positive suggestion to enable you to make positive decisions and accomplishments.
While not strictly an app for alcoholism, Happify helps you to overcome the negative moods that lead to unhealthful behaviors. Anxiety and depression raise the risk of becoming a heavy drinker, and Happify provides the tools you need to take control of your emotional well-being, which may, in turn, help you to stay sober.
Developed by scientists and experts in the fields of mindfulness, positive psychology, and cognitive behavioral therapy, Happify’s techniques and programs reduce stress and build greater resilience. In fact, after using Happify for 2 months, 86 percent of users report feeling better about their lives.
By completing a few activities each week, Happify aims to improve your life satisfaction and empower you to fight back against negativity. The app’s games and activities can be used anywhere – on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Although not specifically designed for addiction, Coach.me allows you to set a goal and helps you to work toward achieving your objective. After choosing your goal, the Coach.me community can help to keep you motivated – you can even hire one of their world-class coaches.
The app tracks your progress and provides rewards when you hit your milestones. There is always someone available from the community to answer your questions and to give feedback on your achievements and pitfalls.
Coach.me say that if you join their community, you will grow in mindset, experience the benefits of positive reinforcement and external accountability, and learn to reach your goals more effectively.
12 Steps AA Companion
The 12 Steps AA Companion is based on the Twelve Steps that feature in the Alcoholics Anonymous personal recovery program. The app provides the Big Book of AA in the palm of your hand, and it includes more than 60 stories.
Morning and night prayers, promises on experience, hope, and strength, and notes that can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, and email are all included in the app.
The dashboard clearly shows how many years, months, days, and hours that you have been sober every time the app is opened. You can also calculate the sobriety time of all your friends.
How to Stop Drinking Alcohol
Medical Reviewer: Ashraf Ali, MD | Author: Chris Elkins, MA | Last Updated: 4/16/18 | 6 sources
Before you try to achieve sobriety, you need to think about your drinking habits. The way that a social drinker stops drinking is different from the way that a high-functioning alcoholic quits drinking. People with the disease of alcoholism require formal treatment. Those who aren’t addicted to alcohol may be able to quit on their own or with the help of friends.
You can find out if you’re addicted to alcohol by taking an alcoholism assessment quiz. These quizzes help you determine whether you meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder — the medical term for alcoholism, alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse. The diagnostic criteria for an alcohol use disorder were published in the American Psychiatric Association’s fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
You can decide how much help you need to quit drinking based on the results of the quiz.
How to Stop Drinking
Once you know how much of a role alcohol plays in your life, you can figure out how to quit drinking. Unfortunately, abstaining from alcohol isn’t a simple process. Things that work for some people don’t necessarily work for others.
If you’re a casual drinker, saying no to peer pressure may not be easy. You may see a friend who is a casual drinker say no when offered a drink and wonder why it’s easy for them. He or she may not need self-help tools, but those resources might work for you.
Similarly, some alcoholics may be able to stop drinking with the help of Alcoholics Anonymous. Others need residential rehab and long-term aftercare support. If one strategy doesn’t work for you, try another.
Quitting Cold Turkey
Stopping alcohol use abruptly is the riskiest way to quit drinking. If you feel physical cravings or withdrawal symptoms when you quit drinking, you shouldn’t try to stop cold turkey. Casual or social drinkers may be able to quit cold turkey.
Dr. Kevin Wandler of Advanced Recovery Systems describes the potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms that can occur when a person quits drinking alcohol cold turkey.
Learn more about the differences between causal drinking and alcoholism
People who are physically dependent on alcohol should gradually reduce, or taper, their alcohol intake. Dependence is different from addiction. People who are dependent but not addicted to alcohol may not require rehab.
Learn more about safe ways to detox from alcohol on your own
Asking for Support
Almost everyone who struggles to quit drinking requires some form of peer support. As with any goal, quitting alcohol is easier if you have friends and family members supporting you. They can encourage you to stay sober and help you find other healthy ways to have fun.
Allison Walsh of Advanced Recovery Systems illustrates how peer support can help individuals in recovery avoid relapse.
Find out how friends and family members can support an alcoholic
Self-help books can boost your confidence and motivate you to stay sober. They provide strategies and tools to help you maintain sobriety. Numerous self-help books are available in print or online.
Read the Sobriety E-book, our free guide featuring tips on maintaining sobriety
The app store on your cellphone has several sobriety apps that can inspire you to quit drinking and stay sober. Some apps help you keep track of alcohol intake or sobriety dates. Others provide daily motivational quotes. They may help you quit drinking, but most of these apps haven’t been medically reviewed.
Read about an FDA-approved app used to treat addiction
Alcoholic support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, provide free help for people struggling to quit drinking. People with minor alcohol problems or people who have already received treatment for moderate or severe alcohol problems usually benefit from AA.
Learn more about Alcoholics Anonymous
Anyone experiencing problems with alcohol can benefit from counseling and therapy. A counselor can help you develop personalized strategies to get sober. Counseling can be simple or intensive depending on the severity of your drinking problems.
Find out about different types of counseling and therapy for alcoholism
If you’ve struggled to quit drinking or overcome alcoholism, you may require rehab. Formal treatment for alcohol addiction allows you to detox in a safe environment and provides comprehensive therapy to teach you how to stay sober.
Learn more about rehab for alcoholism
In general, it’s better to put time and effort into sobriety than to try to do the bare minimum. If you’ve struggled to quit drinking, you should consider support groups, counseling or rehab. Self-help books or apps are less likely to help you successfully quit if you are addicted to alcohol.
Seeking help for alcohol addiction?
We are here for you.
Help for Alcoholics: Where to Find Sobriety Resources
People with alcohol use disorders don’t have to look far to find help. Almost every community in the United States has community initiatives, support group meetings and some form of help for alcoholics.
Those seeking assistance while working to overcome alcoholism can talk to a therapist or expert in person or on the phone.
Other resources available online include:
- Alcoholism hotlines: Several toll-free hotlines provide free information for people with alcohol use disorders or loved ones of people affected by alcoholism.
- Other alcohol-related resources: Several websites, support groups and nonprofit organizations can help you learn about overcoming alcoholism and staying sober.
- Rehab facilities: Addiction treatment centers can provide over-the-phone assessments and help you determine how your insurance policy covers treatment for alcohol addiction.
If you’re still unsure of how to find help in your community, contact your local hospital or health department. Most health care organizations can direct you to helpful resources near you.
Tips for Those Trying to Stop Drinking
For many people, abstaining from alcohol is a major lifestyle change. It requires a lot of time, effort and mental energy. Some people can decide to quit drinking and do it without help. If you’re reading this page, you probably aren’t one of those people. Don’t compare yourself to them.
Use these tips to increase your chances of overcoming alcohol problems:
- Stay positive. Quitting is more difficult if you have a bad attitude.
- Commit fully. Sobriety isn’t something you can achieve with minimal effort.
- Ask for help. Getting sober is hard to do on your own.
- Have faith. When you believe sobriety is possible, you’re more likely to achieve it.
- Take it one day at a time. Thinking about quitting for a year can seem daunting. Taking things one day at a time is more achievable.
Always think about the benefits of quitting alcohol and how they will improve your life. It may also help to think about the negatives that alcohol causes. With a realistic strategy, support and faith, you can quit drinking and begin alcohol recovery.
AuthorSenior Content Writer, DrugRehab.com Chris Elkins worked as a journalist for three years and was published by multiple newspapers and online publications. Since 2015, he’s written about health-related topics, interviewed addiction experts and authored stories of recovery. Chris has a master’s degree in strategic communication and a graduate certificate in health communication. @ChrisTheCritic9 Editor , Medical ReviewerPsychiatrist, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health
How To Stop Drinking Alcohol
Jump To Section
- What is a Standard Drink?
- Defining Alcohol Use Disorder
- How To Quit Drinking Alcohol
You may consider how to stop drinking alcohol. Since alcohol is relatively easy to get, legal to consume for those 21 and older, and is somewhat socially acceptable, it is one of the most widely-used intoxicating substances. Although not everyone who drinks alcohol will become addicted, it’s important to understand the risks of heavy and binge drinking in order to prevent the development of an AUD.
In the U.S., 220 million people age 17 and older reported having consumed alcohol in their lifetime according to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).1 The United States Census Bureau estimates that in 2018, there were more than 327 million people residing in the nation.2 Given today’s current population and the prevalence of alcohol use among Americans, it’s not surprising to learn that more than 18 million people aged 18 and older had an alcohol use disorder (AUD) or alcoholism in 2017.3
The 2017 NSDUH also states that 24.5% of the population aged 12 and older reported binge drinking in the past month, with 1 in 6 adults binge drinking around 4 times per month.12 According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), binge drinking is defined as 4 or more drinks for females and 5 or more drinks for males on at least one day in the past month.4 Heavy alcohol use is defined as binge drinking on 5 or more days in the past month.4
What is a Standard Drink?
Some people may be unaware that their “regular” amount of alcohol consumption may already be approaching problematic levels. It’s feasible that some of these Issues with gauging drinking are added to by the fact that it’s somewhat difficult to understand what a standard drink is and how much drinking is considered “moderate. In the United States, a standard drink contains 0.6 fluid ounces of pure alcohol which is found in:5
Heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming 15 drinks or more per week for men or 8 drinks or more per week for women.12 According to the NIAAA, binge drinking entails a pattern of alcohol consumption that results in blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels of 0.08 g/dL and above.4 For adult men, that’s usually around 5 drinks in a couple of hours, and for adult women, it’s generally about 4.4
Have they been drinking?
How can you reduce or quit alcohol?
If you can’t avoid your triggers, try to swap the alcohol for something else. For example, if you drink before going out to feel less anxious, meet up with a good friend instead. For more ideas, take a look at these Hello Sunday Morning articles:
- 5 steps to breaking your after-work drink habit
- Is wine part of your self-care ritual?
If you’re at an event where alcohol is being served, here are some tips to avoid or reduce alcohol:
- say no to drinks — prepare and practice your responses before you head out
- drink something non-alcoholic like a mocktail
- choose low-strength alcohol
- count standard drinks to keep track
- set a limit for yourself
For more ideas, read 10 tips to cut down on alcohol on the HealthDirect website.
Are you a regular or heavy drinker? Remember, it can be dangerous to reduce or quit alcohol on your own. Your plan should include a visit to the doctor who may refer you to treatment.
Like many things in life, quitting or reducing alcohol is much easier with support. Tell your friends and family about what you’re doing so they can help you. It’s even better if you know someone who is trying to do the same thing. You can support each other.
If you don’t have friends and family nearby, or if you need more support, you can:
- call the National Alcohol and Other Drugs Hotline
- find free support online, such as at Hello Sunday Morning and counselling online
- have one-on-one web chats with qualified health coaches through the Daybreak Program
- join support groups in your area, such as Alcoholics Anonymous
- find a support service in our list of alcohol contacts
If you’re quitting because you’re pregnant, try Pregnant Pause. It’s designed to help you, your partner and your loved ones go alcohol-free during your pregnancy.
If you need support to help a family member or friend, contact Al-Anon Family Groups or Family Drug Support.
What you’re doing isn’t easy. Reward yourself every now and then as you continue to reach your targets. You could go out to the movies or treat yourself to your favourite dessert.
Remember your plan
To re-focus, go back to your plan. Remember why you’re reducing or quitting alcohol. Be inspired by how your life will improve when you achieve your goals.
Don’t be hard on yourself if you have one drink too many. Forgive yourself and start fresh the next day.
Last updated: 24 April 2019 Tags:
How to Stop Drinking Alcohol and Stay Sober
With treatment and ongoing support, people with alcoholism can get better. Unfortunately, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says only 8.4 percent of adults with an alcohol use disorder get help in a specialized treatment facility. The rest get no help at all, or they try to recover with the help of programs that have not been specifically proven to assist with alcoholism recovery.
Perhaps more people would get help if they knew how treatment worked and what they should ask themselves and their communities as they recover. This step-by-step article has that information. Here, you will find out what you should ask, what you should do, and who should help you with an addiction issue.
Step 1: Determine the Severity.
One adult in three drinks to excess, according to an analysis by NPR, but not every person who drinks too much suffers from alcoholism. It might seem like an academic distinction, but it is important to understand. After all, only people with alcoholism need alcoholism treatment. Others might benefit from a different form of care.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence says people with alcoholism will answer “yes” to questions such as:
- Do you try to avoid close friends or family members while you drink alcohol?
- Do disappointments or fights cause a rise in the urge to drink?
- Do you start drinking earlier in the day than you once did?
- Do you black out or forget things that happened while you were drinking?
- Do you stay drunk for days at a time?
- Are you experiencing work or family problems due to drinking?
- Have you ever been through a legal issue caused by drinking?
- Have you tried to quit before and found that you couldn’t?
People who have an alcohol abuse issue that has not quite transitioned into alcoholism may:
- Find it hard to stop drinking once they start
- Drink to excess regularly, but not every day
- Drink more than they once did
- Drink to excess in social situations, but not alone
These people do need to cut back, so they will not transition to alcoholism in time, but they may be able to cut back without the help of a treatment program. They do not have the chemical brain changes associated with alcoholism.
Step 2: Look Closely.
An alcoholism self-test is notoriously easy to cheat on. As a publication from Alcoholics Anonymous puts it, most people who have alcoholism feel that they will one day be able to drink “normally.” Many people with alcoholism may go to great lengths to convince themselves and others that the way in which they drink is simply not troublesome.
A close examination of daily habits may help. Here’s how it is done:
- Choose a regular drinking day.
- Dedicate a pad of paper to the project, and keep it with you throughout the day.
- Write down the time when you take your first drink, and how much is in that drink.
- Write down all subsequent drinks, including times and quantities.
- Add up the total amount of alcohol consumed.
You might be surprised to see how long your drinking day really is. It might even shock you to see how much alcohol you drink during that day. On the next day:
- Try to start drinking one hour later.
- Substitute one alcoholic drink for water.
- Try to stop drinking one hour earlier.
If these steps are manageable, you might be able to follow this plan until you have your drinking well in hand. If these steps seem absolutely impossible, more work is needed. You might need help from a qualified professional.
Step 3: Work through an Intervention.
People who cannot perform an honest self-evaluation of alcoholism, or those who insist they can handle a problem that others know is not solvable alone, might benefit from an intervention. It is here that family members and friends come together to make the disease of alcoholism palpable to a person in need.
An intervention involves:
- Pulling together a team of 2-5 people with in-depth knowledge of the difficulties alcohol has caused this person
- Writing letters in which each person describes the alcoholism difficulties and a path to recovery
- Holding a meeting in which each person reads that letter to the person with alcoholism
- Staying calm and collected during the meeting, no matter how the person with alcoholism behaves
- Stopping the meeting when the person with alcoholism agrees to get care
Step 4: Get Sober.
Alcoholism recovery begins with sobriety. Withdrawal is part of that process, and according to Up To Date, symptoms can include:
- Unusual heartbeat rate
These symptoms can last for up to 48 hours, and it is vital that people do not stop this process by diving back into drinking. Enrolling in a formal detoxification program can help, as the supervision provided here ensures that relapsing is difficult, if not impossible.
Some people also need medical detox, as withdrawal has been associated with seizures in some people. They experience mild symptoms that just grow worse with time. Without medications, this can be life-threatening.
Since that risk is present, it is wise for people with alcoholism to:
- Visit a healthcare provider.
- Undergo a complete physical.
- Discuss the need to get sober.
- Understand the risks involved.
- Enroll in medical detox.
This is the safest method in which to get sober. Generally, medical detox is always recommended for those who need to detox from alcohol after continued abuse.
The Detox Process
Step 5: Get More Help.
With the steps above, people with alcoholism can quit alcohol. But how can they stay sober? That comes with the help of a formal alcoholism rehab program.
A program like this involves:
- One-on-one counseling focused on addiction education, trauma resolution, and emotional understanding
- Group counseling that focuses on skill building
- Medication management
- Physical therapy
- Nutritional support
The National Institute on Drug Abuse says effective programs last 90 days or longer. During that time, people are exclusively focused on healing and recovery.
That may mean:
- No work
- No childcare responsibilities
- Limited family contact
- No unstructured free time
As the program progresses and healing begins, people may begin to take over more of these tasks that were once restricted, but that only comes as people make strides in recovery.
Step 6: Stay in Touch.
Even with the best of treatment programs, alcoholism relapse can occur. As the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism points out, alcohol abuse can cause a form of brain damage. When that happens, it is hard for people to deal with stressful situations without the help of alcohol. These people are not weak; their brain cells have changed.
Support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, can help. The Alcoholics Anonymous General Service Office says there are some 60,000 groups in the United States to choose from.
Some people in the early stages of recovery go to meetings every single day. Others go just once or twice per week. Still others go just once per week and devote outside time to studying printed documents from the organization.
Finding a group means:
- Heading online to search for groups in your area
- Finding a meeting time and place that works for you
- Attending one meeting
- Choosing a different meeting, with different participants, if needed
- Talking with members of the group
- Finding a sponsor from that group
- Going back to meetings as often as possible
Any of these methods could work. The idea is to make AA part of everyday life, so the challenges that crop up during recovery are not met with a return to drinking. Ongoing support makes relapse less likely.
Staying in touch with the treatment provider is a smart idea, too. A slip to drinking may happen at any point, and when it does:
- Make a note of the thoughts and feelings you had in the days leading up to the slip.
- Write down what happened and where you were when you drank.
- Contact the treatment provider.
- Outline the slip.
- Ask for additional advice.
In some cases, you might be asked to re-enroll for another course of treatment, so you will not slip again in the future. You might be given a bit of online or over-the-phone treatment, too. That could also keep you on course, so your slip does not turn into a relapse.
All Steps Are Important
Everything outlined here could help a person with alcoholism to get better, but the first step is vital. In order to recover, you need to take a close assessment of your life as it is now, and think about how you’d like for your life to be different. You may find that you are ready to get better. When you are, following these steps can help to make it all happen.
- Is Binge Drinking Alcoholism?
- Types of Alcoholics
- Symptoms of Alcohol Use
Are you struggling with alcohol? Are you questioning whether or not you’re an alcoholic? Are you wondering if you should quit drinking? Do you have to quit drinking? If you’ve answered yes to any of these, it’s recommended you quit drinking, and if possible, seek professional treatment. Alcohol kills over 240 people every day. That being said, it’s scary as hell to quit something you’re addicted to, and it can be ridiculously hard, especially with alcohol.
Quitting isn’t even the hardest part. It isn’t even what happens to you when you quit. The hardest part of the journey to sobriety is attempting sobriety in the first place. Still, people can and do recover from alcoholism, perhaps more often than you may think.
OK so you need to quit, you know it’s going to be tough, but you know it’s possible. Professional treatment is strongly recommended. What follows is a list of reasons and ways to stay on the path to recovery. There is no particular order of any kind. We have simply combined our knowledge of alcohol treatment to give you a guide on how to stay sober.
ADMIT THE PROBLEM
With drinking, we tend to think in black and white terms: are you an alcoholic or a normal drinker? Meanwhile, the large gray area in between is full of problematic drinkers who either are alcoholics, or are well on their way. If you have a drinking problem, chances are you are aware of it. As the old saying goes, the first step is admitting you have a problem.
If you find yourself caught in a thought cycle – comparing your drinking to that of others, taking online assessments, or just asking yourself if you have a problem – give these three things a try:
- Ask the right question. Stop asking yourself whether or not you’re an alcoholic. If you’re asking yourself this, you probably are one. Sorry to be so harsh. Instead, ask yourself if drinking is preventing you from having the life you want. If yes, step one is over. You’ve admitted the problem.
- Stop the comparisons. They do you no good. That’s not your life. You are an individual with a complicated, unique life. So what if you drink less than Billy down the street… If you have a problem, you have a problem. Comparing your drinking to that of others will only lead to self-justification.
- Think of your future self. Picture yourself five years from now with the same drinking habits. Are you okay with what you see? If not, you likely have a problem with alcohol. Now admit it, so you can begin treating it.
REALIZE WHY YOU SHOULD QUIT DRINKING
Long-term benefits are rarely enough to motivate people to quit. We often prefer instant gratification. Quitting drinking is no exception. The long-term benefits are only about saving your health and well-being anyway, (please note sarcasm), so here are 4 short-term benefits we all can relate to:
- Reclaim lost time. Jill is a moderate drinker. She drinks three times a week, 2-3 drinks per occasion. Each time, she ‘loses’ about 3 hours of productive time being buzzed. Every year, Jill loses a month and a half. That’s a lot of lost time that could have been spent sober and productively. Don’t forget about any time Jill (or you) may spend hungover.
- Have more meaningful talks. Conversation builds character and makes us grow. Those benefits disappear when you’re drunk. Alcohol prevents any meaningful change from talking. It might seem terrifying to meet new people without drinking, but the damage alcohol causes is scarier.
- Get rich quickly. It’s easy to spend $150 or more per week as a drinker, especially if you go out. of drinking. After 6 months, quitting could allow you to afford backpacking around the world. Are you willing to pay $600 a month for health problems?
- Sleep better. Alcohol is a depressant, which means it will make you tired. Alcohol also disrupts sleep patterns, throwing off your body’s balance. This only adds to the damage alcohol does. Quit drinking and it’s a guarantee your sleep quality will increase dramatically.
We joked a bit before about the long-term benefits of quitting alcohol, but the fact is that quitting alcohol (as a drinker) is the healthiest decision you can make. Weight loss, improved liver function, lower cholesterol, stronger immune system, a clearer mind, better emotional balance, and more efficient brain activity are among the ocean of long-term benefits.
MAKE SOBRIETY NUMBER ONE
Giving up alcohol must be made priority number one in your life. A partial commitment is a commitment to failure. Establish rules and do not break them. Say no to bar night, say no to the sale on six-packs, and say no to the devil on your shoulder telling you it’s only one drink. Put sobriety on a pedestal and don’t remove it until you know your problem is cured.
FIRE YOUR DRINKING PALS
Easier said than done, right? Whether alcohol is a major part of your social life, or it’s just something you and the gang do once in a while, it’s going to be hard if and when your friends/family drink around you. Step one is telling them all you simply cannot be around drinking for a while. Step two is cutting off anyone with whom all you did was drink.
Besides, if the only thing you have in common with someone is knocking them down, you might want to consider unfriending them. I’ve let go of people in my social circle before and I know it’s not easy — but that doesn’t make it unnecessary. This might be the hardest thing you do in choosing a life without alcohol. The key is to remember that true friends are an abundant resource. Having a strong social circle is purely a function of the effort you invest into it. That includes choosing to associate with people who are aligned with your purpose, avoiding the energy vampires.
ADVERTISE YOUR CHOICE
Tell people what you’re doing. Not only does this add accountability to your goal, it also drops the hint that if your friends are planning on going out and getting wasted, you’re probably not interested. Plus, if someone offers you a drink and you look at them and say, “I can’t. I’m a full blown alcoholic,” they probably won’t ask you again.
ISN’T IT DANGEROUS TO QUIT?
The first 72 hours are the most painful part of recovery. As your body rids itself of alcohol, you’ll experience acute withdrawal – unpleasant. Alcoholics can experience especially difficult recoveries, and professional help is recommended for them. Regardless, the benefits of quitting drinking will soon make themselves known.
Even though it may not feel like it, the acute withdrawal stage of the recovery timeline is the beginning of something great. Withdrawal symptoms are evidence your body is healing. The onset of withdrawal symptoms can begin as soon as six hours after your last drink. You may experience:
- Elevated temperature
- Increased blood pressure, breathing rate, and pulse
- Excessive sweating
- In extreme cases, one may experience seizures, sometimes life-threatening.
The body is working overtime to cleanse itself. When done correctly, detox is the most important step in the recovery process. At the same time, many recovering addicts relapse when they use drink as self-medication for the withdrawal symptoms. Ironic, but true. This is why it’s crucial to seek professional treatment when necessary.
CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE
Even after you admit that you have a problem, you need to change your attitude regarding your situation.
Don’t get mad at people when they try to help. Don’t put yourself down because you have gone through a rough patch. Instead, get in the right frame of mind by realizing that you are taking the right steps on the road to recovery.
Is it easy to have a good attitude when you are dealing with such a difficult situation? Of course not. That being said, when you approach the situation the right way you are going to ease the stress on yourself and make it much easier to reach your goals.
CHECK INTO REHAB
Sometimes, quitting alcohol on your own is not possible. You are in too deep to figure things out without professional assistance and medical guidance. There are both inpatient and outpatient rehab programs that offer all the assistance you could need.
By comparing multiple treatment programs and facilities, you can settle on the one that is best for your addiction and lifestyle. Your approach to quitting alcohol is not going to be exactly the same as the next person. However, there are many things you can do to find yourself on the right path to a better life in the near future. Once you are “alcohol free” you can really begin to enjoy your life!
Finding a treatment center can be very difficult.
Give us a call for help or get it online!
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2+ WEEKS AFTER QUITTING
Full detoxification from alcohol can take up to two weeks. As your body is getting rid of its last remnants, some negative symptoms may pop up, but the benefits will already be clear. As expected, recovery comes with emotional highs and lows. The negative effects may include:
- Anxiety & depression
- Decreased energy & metabolism
- Feelings of aggression or hostility
- Declined sexual interest or function
- Sleep disruption & nightmares
Don’t let this deter you. The positive effects will be abundant, too many to list.
…AND ALL THAT JAZZ
The worst part of all may be cravings for alcohol, which may last a lifetime. Even after removing all traces of alcohol from your system, the brain will still want it to help return to the balance of chemicals it has gotten used to — but knowing the source of these symptoms is key to dealing with cravings appropriately.
Develop and enforce new hobbies and habits that don’t include the bottle. In a treatment program, you can attend therapy, perform group work, and receive one-on-one attention from medical and clinical professionals. Building effective coping skills and getting to the root of your addiction is key to alcohol abuse recovery.
Seek out a therapist. Attend some type of group meeting, such as AA or NA. It’s always helpful to have a support system of counselors and people who understand what you’re going through. Utilize your friends and family as well. Go to WAR with your addiction. Recovery is a lifelong process, and post-treatment maintenance is just as important as the initial treatment process.
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