If you have reached the point where you want to quit drinking alcohol then there is a lot of opportunity to do just this. There are people, websites, organisations and support groups amongst others which can help you.
The first question
to ask though is why do you want to quit drinking alcohol?
Is it just a temporary thing because you have been drinking heavily recently? Or is it a long-term goal you have? What will it give you in quitting?
This question is important so that you can feel motivated and encouraged. When you think about the answers to these questions, they must make you feel emotionally moved and hopefully energised. Emotion is a key element of decision-making and indeed in helping you to take action.
Without a strong why you want to quit, it could be hard to do this. So please take a bit of time to think this through.
If you are on the edge of making a decision, then you can start by listing and reliving some of the negative impacts that alcohol has had on you and work out how to get to the point of making a change.
Also do you want to quit drinking forever or for a specific period, e.g. for a month or six months or for a particular goal e.g. because you are planning your wedding or doing a marathon or triathlon etc.
Steps To Quit Drinking Alcohol
So, let’s say you are secure in wanting to quit alcohol. Well, the next thing is to make a plan.
The first thing is to see your doctor. You must get their input because depending upon your situation, it could be physically dangerous for you to suddenly quit drinking if you have been drinking heavily for a long time. You may need to gradually reduce your drinking rather than giving up in one go.
Your doctor will be to advise you and may be able to suggest medication to take to help you.
Then the plan is how to stop drinking. One of the absolute key things is the environment. This includes people, place and things. If you have been going to the same bar every night after work for years and drinking heavily there, then if you go back and say you are no longer drinking, there could be heavy peer pressure not to mention sheer force of habit which could drag you in.
This means you will almost certainly need to look at new things – new people, places and locations. Even just going home every evening may not be appropriate if that is where you drink heavily. You will need to look at and change your routine.
And keep a diary or journal to record where you drank, how much and who with. If you can reflect on what happened each day, it will help you plan in advance.
One thing which may happen is that you lapse on a particular day or days. This is a normal part of the process so keep your eyes focused on the longer term goal of quitting drinking and keep going!
You can also use any slips as a learning experience. Why did you slip up? By looking back you might find there was something specific you hadn’t thought about which is a cause of you drinking.
Finally, what else can you do instead of drinking? If there’s a hobby or passion you haven’t done in a while and you can fit it in instead of drinking, that may be an option instead.
You can also factor in such things as your ‘rewards’ for cutting down successfully for a period of time.
Solution To Wanting To Quit Drinking Alcohol
One recommendation is to download the Give Up Alcohol Course as this has helped people quit drinking alcohol since January 2007.