How To Stop Drinking Alcohol

There are many reasons why you might want to stop drinking. Maybe you want to stop drinking for the health benefits, like having more energy and sleeping better. It could be a challenge or a way to raise money for something you care about. This article tells you how to stop drinking and why it's important to do so.

Or maybe it's important for your mental and physical health that you stop drinking. This could be the case for people with alcohol-related diseases like liver disease or for people who are taking new drugs that can't be mixed with alcohol.

No matter because you want to stop drinking, you can do it. But it's important to note that the way you quit is important for some people, like those who are addicted to alcohol, even if they can still function.

What Is the Best Way to Stop Drinking?

If you've decided to stop drinking and join those who are sober, you might be wondering what the best way is to stop. Should you do just that and stop doing it right away, or would it be better to do it more slowly?

The answer depends on how you feel about alcohol right now. If you are currently dependent on alcohol, which means that if you try to stop drinking alcohol, you will experience withdrawal symptoms like delirium tremens, sweating, or nausea, it is not a good idea to stop all at once. Doing so could hurt your health.

Getting sober is a process and taking it one step at a time can help. Different people have different ways of getting sober. Don't be hard on yourself if your way is different from someone else's.

First, you need to figure out how much you drink now. How often do you drink? Save it up for bingeing? Or do you drink too much often and become dependent on it?

This is done so you can figure out which way to stop drinking will work best for you. If you drink a couple of glasses of wine a week, you may find it easy to stop drinking all at once and stay sober.

Also, if you don't drink often but sometimes drink too much, you might be able to figure out why you do it (peer pressure? social anxiety?), deal with it, and stop drinking very quickly and suddenly.

But if you have been abusing alcohol for a long time or need it to function, a medically supervised detox is the best way to get clean. This can help you deal with the sometimes-painful withdrawal symptoms and give you the best chance of getting clean and staying clean.

Handling Urges to Drink Alcohol

Pay close attention to what sets you off. What do they mean? When you want to drink, get interested. Find out why you want to do that. Maybe it's a certain group of people, a certain place, or an event. It could also have something to do with how they feel on the inside, like shame, anger, or loneliness.

No matter what your triggers are, the key to getting rid of your urges is to find a new, effective way to deal with them. How this looks will depend on your specific triggers.

If being around a certain person makes you want to drink a lot, you might want to stay away from them for a while to give yourself the best chance of staying sober.

Maybe you feel like you must drink when your job stress gets too much. If this is the case, you need to learn some healthier ways to deal with stress, such as setting stronger boundaries at your workplace. This could mean telling your boss that you can't answer work emails or calls outside of business hours.

You might want a drink when you walk by a certain bar. In this case, you could just take a different route on your walk and avoid it for now.

The point is that different things make different people want to drink. The best way to beat them is to learn healthy ways to deal with them and to keep in mind why you want to stop drinking.

Alcoholic Brain vs Normal Brain

One way to look at the difference between the brains of alcoholics and people who don't drink is by looking at a study from the University of Oxford. For 30 years, the study followed people, their drinking habits, and how their health changed.

At the start of the study in 1985, none of the people who took part were alcoholics. Over the next 30 years, they answered detailed questions about how much alcohol they drank and took tests that looked at their memory, reasoning, and other cognitive skills.

After 30 years, when the researchers looked at the data, they found that the amount of shrinkage in the hippocampus, which is involved in memory and reasoning, was related to how much people drank.

It was found that people who had four or more drinks a day were almost six times more likely to have a shrinking hippocampus than people who didn't drink. Even people who were only light or moderate drinkers lost more weight than those who didn't drink at all.

How to Stop Drinking Alcohol on Your Own?

Yes, you can stop drinking without help. It comes down to what you think is the best choice for you and how you drink now.

If you are physically dependent on alcohol and are likely to have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms like delirium tremens, hallucinations, and seizures, it may not be the best idea to stop drinking on your own. You would do better in a medically supervised detox, where you can get medicine and help to get through the worst of the withdrawal symptoms.

But if you only drink occasionally, you may be able to stop drinking on your own. You will still benefit from thinking about what makes you want to drink, whether it's a glass of wine at the end of the week to relax or a binge drinking session at a party.

Stopping drinking will make you sober, but the things that made you think you needed to drink will still be there and need to be dealt with. In the example of using a glass of wine to relax, this could mean looking for ways to get rid of certain stressors in your life and also finding healthier ways to relax, like calling a loved one or taking a long, warm bath.

Why Do You Get Depressed When You Stop Drinking?

Stopping drinking can make you feel sad. There is a biological reason for this, along with the psychological ones. Your brain's reward system will be shocked, and it may take a while for things to get back to normal now that there is nothing to make your dopamine levels rise artificially. Also, research has shown that drinking can make you feel unstable emotionally and make your depression worse.

You might also have a little bit of time to grieve. Stopping drinking can feel like a loss, especially if it has been a big part of your life. You might also feel like life isn't as "fun" now that you can't get the high that comes from drinking. On the other hand, you'll have to deal with the problems that you used to drink away.

You can help yourself get through this hard time, which is good news. You can make a routine of taking care of yourself, like writing in a journal or meditating, and focus on other things that make you happy, like old or new hobbies and spending time with good friends.

How to Stay Sober

Once you've stopped drinking, you'll want to stay sober, so you don't go back to drinking. Different people use many ways to stay sober. Here are a few ideas:

Find your triggers. What makes you want to drink? Once the physical withdrawal symptoms are gone, you won't want alcohol anymore. However, your mind may still want alcohol in response to stress, certain people, or environmental cues. Know what sets you off and learn how to deal with them.

Set up a routine. When alcohol is no longer the centre of your life, you'll have a lot freer time. You'll want to make new habits and routines, partly to keep your mind off of things and partly to rebuild your life the way you want. This could mean making new friends, starting a new hobby, or coming up with a way to wind down before bed every night.

Get help. If you don't want to slip back into old habits, you'll need help. Support is important, and it doesn't matter if it comes from friends and family or is more structured, like going to AA meetings or seeing a therapist once a week.

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Prepared by: Mr. Denny Prasad, Psychologist
LinkedIn Id: https://www.linkedin.com/in/priya-dharshini-she-her-815a3285