Tips on cutting down

John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we’ll use this information to improve our online help. Hallucinations usually diminish after 7 days, though for some, they can last up to 1 month.

By cutting out trips to the bar and morning hangovers, you’ve probably freed up some time in your schedule. This could involve relocating your weekly hangouts to places other than bars or replacing drinking games with other activities. You might also appreciate verbal support and words of encouragement from friends and family. At the very least, they shouldn’t relentlessly tease you or pressure you to drink. Many of us use alcohol to as a social lubricant or to unwind and have fun with friends and family members.

Talk with a doctor.

Taking time for yourself is important as you go through the process. Make sure to prioritize self-care on your journey, and find ways to demonstrate compassion for yourself—and celebrate your achievements and milestones. Give yourself plenty of reasons to pat yourself on the back as you go, and be kind to yourself no matter what. Deciding to slowly cut back or quickly end your drinking is a personal choice, but you have to be honest with yourself and your abilities. Being addicted to alcohol means that it has control and power over you, so weaning yourself off might be impossible.

They can create mild distress or severe danger, depending on how much you drink and how long you have been drinking. 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. This is one of the most important tips for quitting drinking. In some cases alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous or even fatal. Some people find the symptoms mild enough that they can ride them out by themselves.

Identifying triggers

If you need help, contact your healthcare provider and support resources. With the right mindset, know-how, and support team, you can do anything, including quitting smoking. Smoking while pregnant can severely harm a developing fetus, so it’s vital to quit as soon as possible after finding out you are pregnant. The best way to quit smoking during pregnancy is by using NRTs or e-cigarettes, as they have been rated safe to use. If other members of your household smoke, they should also quit. Hypnotherapy has been studied as a possible aid in quitting smoking.

  • But some people might think they can’t stop drinking because they’re used to drinking too much or for too long.
  • Do you tend to beat yourself up if you make a social faux pas?
  • There is also a dating community for those looking for others who are practicing sobriety and looking for a relationship.
  • There are several prescription medications proven effective in helping people moderate or give up alcohol.

Psychological symptoms can include irritability, anxiety and restlessness. If your body is used to a certain amount of alcohol, you may feel certain effects when you stop. How you feel when you stop drinking is largely based on how often and how heavily you drink. People who only drink occasionally probably won’t notice any physical or psychological symptoms.

Is Any Amount of Alcohol Safe to Drink?

Say it quickly and firmly so that you don’t give yourself time to change your mind. Some people trying to cut down have been successful by pacing their drinking. That is, they sip their drinks slowly or make sure they have only one drink per hour. Write down the maximum number of drinks you want to drink per day and the maximum number of days a week you want to drink.

tips to quit drinking

Replacing alcohol with healthy activities that do not encourage drinking can be a healthy alternative. People may also decide to speak with a doctor about effective strategies. In addition, local or virtual support groups can help by providing an environment to safely discuss tips and challenges. This article explores different strategies on how to stop drinking alcohol. The urge to drink will inevitably come—so make a plan for it.

Staying Social When You Quit Drinking

If you believe you have a serious problem with alcohol, it’s best to speak with a doctor. Whether you’re a daily drinker or simply sober curious, quitting alcohol can be a challenge. Alcohol has woven itself into so many aspects of our culture, and many more people experience some level of alcohol use disorder (AUD) than one might expect.

Because of that, medical professionals have worked tirelessly to help smokers kick the habit through different quit-smoking aids and cessation devices. Even your liver can begin to recover when you stop drinking. If you have a fatty liver or alcoholic hepatitis, your liver can repair itself, and you could decrease the damage. You may not be able to reverse the course of cirrhosis, but deciding to stop drinking can add years to your life. If you go out with people who are drinking and you’re not having fun, or you’re really tempted to drink yourself, then you’ll want to leave early. This is especially important if you’re going somewhere where you used to always drink before.

How To Quit Drinking Alcohol

At the end of the day, one of the most important tools you have at your disposal is self-compassion. Instead of criticizing yourself for having a hard time or slipping up and having a drink, remember that no one’s perfect. What matters tips to quit drinking most is your ability to maintain an open, curious outlook as you learn what does and doesn’t work for you. Maybe you don’t think you depend on alcohol exactly, but you still wonder whether you might be drinking too much.

  • If you answer “yes” to two to three questions, your symptoms align with mild AUD.
  • With the right mindset, know-how, and support team, you can do anything, including quitting smoking.
  • This includes beer, wine, and liquor, as well as products that contain alcohol such as rubbing alcohol and vanilla extract.
  • So make the most of the time you gain by doing something enjoyable or productive.
  • For many of us, there’s a strong link between drinking and socializing.

That said, since these medications are designed for temporary use, the health benefits far outweigh the side effects that could develop when taking these medications. Smoking tobacco can lead to various harmful health effects, such as various cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and heart disease. Quitting alcohol can help you maintain a healthier weight and diet, which can improve your self-image and self-esteem. By Amy Morin, LCSW

Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do,” have been translated into more than 40 languages.

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