How to Stop Drinking Alcohol Safely

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If you like drinking, you may have felt the want to continue pouring after a hard day. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), alcohol abuse can lead to major health problems, such as liver disease, seizures, increased heart rate, depression, hallucinations, stroke, gastrointestinal bleeding, and some forms of cancer. And even moderate drinking is related to greater injury risks from violence, falls, and automobile accidents.

The body experiences severe withdrawal symptoms if a habit-forming drug, such as alcohol is reduced. Your body has adapted to the quantity of alcohol you’ve been consuming, so reducing your intake throws it out of balance. But this effect lasts temporarily. Once the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are gone, you will be able to enjoy the health effects of reduced alcohol consumption.

More than 6 percent of U.S. people, or around 1 in 12 men and 1 in 25 women, suffer from an alcohol use disorder (AUD). Alcohol consumption problems are seen in an additional 623000 adolescents aged 12 to 17. In the United States, over 88,000 individuals die annually from alcohol-related medical conditions.

There are 7 useful tips for quitting or lowering your alcohol consumption:

Track Your Intake

The important first step towards stopping drinking alcohol is to acknowledge how much alcohol you are consuming. The best practice to do that is to keep a drinking diary. Start by writing down:

  • each drink you have
  • when you had that drink
  • and how many units of alcohol it contained

If you are not sure how many units are in your drink, here is an explanation of a standard drink:

  • 12 ounces of 5% beer (about one can)
  • 8 ounces of 7% malt liquor (around the size of a standard drinking glass)
  • 5 ounces of 12% wine (one glass)
  • 1.5 ounces of 40% (80 proof) liquor (one-shot)

Start to Reduce

Once you’ve stabilized your drinking for one week, you may gradually reduce your intake. Start by lowering your daily alcohol consumption by 10 percent. If you regularly consume 20 units of alcohol per day, consider dropping this to 18 units. Continue drinking at this lowered level for four days, then attempt to reduce your intake by an additional 10 percent.

If you begin to experience severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms, you are quitting too quickly. Continue drinking at your most recent safe level for one more week, and then reduce again. Consider reducing your weekly consumption by 5 percent instead of 10 percent. When your daily alcohol consumption is less than 10 units, you can attempt to quit drinking.

Talk About Your Addiction

When you stop drinking, your family members, friends, and support group may encourage you and support you. Sharing your experiences with alcohol might inspire others to examine their drinking patterns.

Perhaps your spouse, sibling, or roommate is contemplating a shift as well. Together, you can support one other while increasing your drive and accountability by quitting drinking.

It is advised to have a dependable support person when going to gatherings where alcohol will be served. When you’re not alone yourself, it’s frequently simpler to decline a drink.

Change a Triggering Environment

When alcohol is a regular part of a person’s routine, drinking may become an almost natural response, particularly when they feel worried or overwhelmed. It may not be necessary to entirely overhaul your life to stop drinking, but making a few modifications to your environment to minimize alcohol triggers can significantly impact you.

Having alcoholic drinks in your home might be a temptation if you are attempting to quit. If you’re in the mood for a drink, the knowledge that you’ll have to make a purchase can discourage you long enough to locate a suitable diversion.

Maintain a supply of alcohol-free beverages for yourself and others. You need not provide booze to be a good host. Permit visitors to bring their alcoholic beverages and to take them with them when they depart.

If you live with roommates, consider requesting that they store their alcohol out of sight rather than in common areas.

Don’t Drink and Drive

Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeding 0.08 is prohibited in the U.S. However, when driving, there is no such thing as a safe amount of alcohol. Drinking more alcohol increases your risk of getting into a car accident, which may not just include you but also another person.

Learn to Say “NO”

Prepare yourself for those occasions in which you will be offered a drink. Find words that assist you respectfully but firmly refuse. “No thanks” is a straightforward expression. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recommends substituting a nonalcoholic beverage for alcohol, asking a friend for support in uncomfortable situations, or leaving early if temptation becomes too great.

In Case of Relapse, Return to Your Plan

Instead of succumbing to regret and humiliation, simply resume your plan. According to Moore, “Success truly is about how you react to setbacks and things that are thrown your way.” If a person’s plan to drink less doesn’t work, it’s important to acknowledge and consider the lessons learned and to act—at least by taking one next, correct step—to start changing things.

Picture showing stats of alcohol abuse in the U.S.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What’s the safest way to stop drinking?

The easiest method for tapering off the drinking problem is to lower the number of beverages consumed over time progressively. For instance, if you consume five glasses of wine daily, consider reducing your intake to four glasses for several days and then reducing it to three.

How can you stop yourself from drinking alcohol?

Simple tips for cutting down the alcohol usage

  • Make a plan
  • Set a budget
  • Cut back a little each day
  • Involve friends and family
  • Stay hydrated

How can I stop drinking alcohol, and what precautions to take to avoid side effects?

Tips for binge drinkers to stop drinking and avoid side effects:

  • Understand how much you are drinking and how much you should
  • Eat before (and during) drinking sessions
  • Count the number of drinks you consume
  • Slow your intake with alcohol-free drinks
  • Skip the drinking games and shots
  • Don’t drink and drive
  • Say “No”

How can I stop drinking?

Alcoholics can follow the following steps to stop drinking:

  • Know your why
  • Have a plan
  • Note the positive
  • Understand alcohol detox
  • Point out your triggers
  • Share your goals
  • Keep going

Being Your Recovery with Indiana Center for Recovery

If you are having a hard time quitting alcohol addiction on your own despite your best efforts, then it is time to get medical attention from the best treatment facility, like Indiana Center for Recovery. You can benefit from our inpatient and outpatient medical treatment options. Our medical professionals aim to improve the lives of people struggling with substance use or mental health disorders.

For more information on how we offer professional help or additional resources, contact our team of health care providers at (844) 650-0064 today.

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