Men are more likely to develop alcoholism, which can have a detrimental impact on your personal health, family life, and professional life.
Here’s how to stop drinking alcohol and enjoy a sober life.
How to Stop Drinking Alcohol
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, over 14 million adults over the age of 18 reported having alcohol use disorder. This group includes mothers, fathers, children, college students, co-workers, friends and family members.
If you have trouble knowing when to stop drinking or often drink to the point of excess, maybe even to blackout stage, you are one of the 14 million. If friends and family members tell you that you have a drinking problem, they are likely right.
If you feel the physical effects of withdrawal when you stop drinking, it’s time to stop drinking.
You may be wondering how to stop drinking alcohol. Below, specific steps are given to guide you in the right direction.
Admit Your Reality
No one likes to admit they have a problem. But it is not until you do that you can begin correcting that problem. Be honest with yourself and start making a list of how drinking alcohol has impacted your life. Have you lost money, jobs, or relationships due to drinking too much? Have you failed classes, wrecked vehicles, injured yourself or even gotten into legal trouble because of your drinking?
It’s okay to answer “yes” to any of these because once you admit the reality of your situation, you can start focusing on making positive changes.
Consider Your Options for Help
You may think you can stop drinking on your own. Many people say they can and within a few weeks, or days, they realize it is too hard to do alone.
To consider your options for help, be realistic about the level of help you need. Are you a college student who likes to binge drink on the weekend? Are you a functional alcoholic who performs well on the job but must drink to catch a buzz every night? Are you an alcoholic who experiences extreme withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop drinking?
Most people who drink often will need some form of inpatient treatment. Those with higher levels of addiction will need medical help through the detoxification process. It is necessary to seek medical treatment since withdrawing from alcohol can cause serious problems.
Being smart and seeking treatment during detox is essential for you to remain alcohol-free in the future.
If you do not need detox, you still need to consider inpatient treatment as your first line of action. It takes you away from your drinking environment and teaches you the skills to stay sober when you return to it. Your old drinking environment must change.
Creating a New Environment
If you are an alcoholic, you would never want to go to rehab, make positive changes in your life, and then go and hang out at a bar. But that’s exactly what you would be doing if you don’t change your home environment after you stop drinking.
This may mean you must avoid friends or family who will try and influence you to drink again. You cannot attend drinking parties. You must put sobriety as your top priority.
For some, this means ending relationships, changing jobs, or spending more time with sober people. For others, this means moving away from the area that makes it too hard to avoid drinking. Until you are stronger in your sobriety, you must do whatever it takes to keep you on the right track.
Stay on the Right Track
To stop drinking alcohol for good, you must stay in some form of treatment, even after you leave inpatient rehab. There are many options to help you do this.
You can attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Many recommend attending 90 meetings in 90 days. This is a good plan. It takes about this long to secure new behaviors as positive habits. You can also attend support groups for other mental health or addiction issues.
Most people who drink too much also struggle with depression, anxiety or other addictions. There are support groups for all these issues. Check with your local treatment centers, hospitals and community groups to see what is available in your area. If it’s not available, start it yourself. Or, attend online support groups.
If you’re interested in removing temptation and need a little more support, consider exploring men’s sober living houses in your area.
Don’t let unavailability be an excuse that could lead to your drinking again.
Individual and group therapy, intensive outpatient therapy, and medication-assisted therapies are available to help you prevent a relapse. You need all the support you can get during this time.
Build a Support System
You must surround yourself with the right people. The right people are those who provide positive help. You can call them any time of day and they will talk to you or visit with you. They will attend support groups with you, give you rides to meetings, and attend sober parties and activities with you so you don’t get bored or upset that you can’t go to the club or to a drinking party.
Support systems should include people who will be honest and stern with you, not people who will let you get away with whatever you want. Support can be therapists, sponsors, sober friends and family, a boss, co-worker, or someone you met at a support group.
Sober supports will remind you why you need to stop drinking.
Remember Your Reasons
Each time you start to struggle or have thoughts of wanting to drink, remember why you quit in the first place. Your health was deteriorating. You need a job because you need money. You were making bad, even illegal decisions. You were losing friends and loved ones.
These are the things you do not want to go back to. You deserve a life filled with happy relationships, great working environments, and good health. You deserve to be respected and trusted and you can earn those when you are not drinking.
Once you stop drinking, you will begin to see the many positive qualities within you. Your self-esteem will improve, and you will start loving yourself and reaching positive goals. What you can gain from not drinking is a far greater high than alcohol could ever provide.
Now that you know how to stop drinking alcohol, you can take the next step on your journey to recovery with confidence.
If you’re interested in learning more about sober living, give us a call.