Alcohol consumption is common. In fact, according to data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 85.6% of American adults reported that they had consumed alcohol within the past year, as of 2019. While some people can drink in moderation and never experience negative side effects, the reality is that alcohol consumption can become problematic for some people. In this case, cutting down on drinking, or learning how to stop drinking alcohol altogether, can be beneficial. Some people may be able to stop drinking on their own, whereas others may benefit from additional support, such as working with a recovery coach. In cases of severe alcohol misuse or addiction, it may be necessary to find an alcohol rehab program or participate in medication assisted treatment for alcohol use.
5 Tips to Effectively Stop Drinking Alcohol
If your alcohol consumption has become excessive, or you’re starting to notice negative side effects from alcohol, it may be time to consider quitting drinking. Perhaps you have been spending most of your weekends drinking and you’d like to make better use of your time. Or, maybe you’re tired of experiencing hangovers. Whatever the case, there are strategies that can help you give up alcohol. Consider the tips below.
Weigh The Pros and Cons.
If you’ve been drinking to the point that it’s starting to cause more harm than good, making a list of pros and cons can be eye-opening. Maybe you enjoy socializing while drinking, but there are probably also negative side effects, such as frequent hangovers, health problems, lack of productivity, or relationship problems stemming from alcohol use. Seeing all the drawbacks of alcohol use can give you a reason not to drink alcohol.
Explore What You Get Out Of Drinking
Drinking may fulfill a specific purpose in your life, such as helping you to relax or giving you an opportunity to socialize. Think about why you’re drinking, and what you’re getting out of the behavior. Once you identify your reasons for drinking, you can find alternatives. For instance, if you’re drinking merely to socialize, you can find other ways to socialize. You might consider taking up a hobby or joining a gym to connect you to other people.
Take Some Time Off And See How You Feel.
It can be overwhelming to think about quitting drinking for good, but taking a brief hiatus may seem manageable. Commit to giving up alcohol for a period of time, perhaps a month or two, and evaluating how you feel. Chances are that you’ll feel better without alcohol, which might just motivate you to permanently give up alcohol, or at least to cut back on your alcohol consumption.
Researchers have found that stress is linked to both alcohol consumption and binge drinking. If you’re drinking to relieve stress, take some time for self-care. This means getting plenty of rest, incorporating regular exercise into your routine, and eating a nutritious diet. When you prevent stress through regular self-care, there is less of a need to turn to alcohol to relax.
Consult With a Doctor.
In some cases, it is possible to learn how to stop drinking on your own; however, some people may need professional intervention to give up alcohol. This is because ongoing alcohol misuse can lead to the development of an alcohol use disorder, which is the clinical term for alcohol addiction. An alcohol use disorder is a legitimate medical condition, which leads to lasting brain changes that make it difficult to stop drinking. If you believe you might have an alcohol addiction, a doctor can prescribe medications and/or refer you to an alcohol rehab program.