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How to Stop Drinking


How can I stop drinking?

Most people don’t drink their first drink of alcohol with the expectation of becoming addicted, but as drinking alcoholic beverages increases in consistency and quantity, the chemistry of the brain becomes altered and you are left with a dependence on alcohol.

The good news is that sobriety is possible and can be maintained for the rest of your life. A great way to reach sobriety is to take it one step at a time.

Step 1. Recognize and Admit to the Problem

If you’ve found yourself wondering if you have a drinking problem, it’s a good sign you do. The first step towards sobriety is admitting your drinking habits have gone too far. Stop justifying that your drinking problem isn’t as bad as others you know and recognize your drinking problem as what it is – a problem and an addiction. Recognizing and admitting the fact that you have a drinking problem might be the first step, but it isn’t the hardest step you will face along the way. This reality is what makes the next step so important.

Step 2. Seek Support and Be Honest

Once you have admitted to having a drinking problem, it’s important to ditch your drinking buddies and seek support from close and loyal family and friends. If family and friends aren’t an option for a good support system, you may want to consider attending recovery meetings and gaining a support system there. A strong support system will help you as you go through the toughest steps in the road to recovery.

It’s vital to your recovery that you remain honest when communicating with your support system. Addiction often generates a habit of lying, even to those you love. Often, lying comes out of a desire to protect those you love from your addiction and its effects, but in reality, you are just protecting yourself from adverse reactions from those you love.

Step 3. Make Changes to Your Lifestyle

This step can be the hardest for many recovering addicts. Going without alcohol isn’t the only life change that must be made. This step requires a consistent effort to not only eliminate alcohol from your diet, but to implement a healthy, balanced diet complete with regular exercise. You need to avoid places and people that you strongly associate with your addiction. It also requires you to find a healthy replacement for drinking. Your support team, which also includes your doctor, can help you come up with healthy alternatives.

Step 4. Recognize and Avoid Triggers

Triggers are reminders of traumatic events of the past. Triggers are usually very personal, unique to the individual, and can appear without warning. They can cause flashbacks, or vivid, involuntary memories of personal experiences from the past. Recognizing triggers may take some practice, but once you know their cause, it is easier to avoid them.

Step 5. Manage Your Stress and Focus on Self-Care

It probably isn’t too surprising to hear that stress can make it difficult to fight off the impulse to drink, especially when drinking was used in the past as a means of avoiding stress. Stress also makes you more susceptible to triggers. Exercise, yoga, meditation, and breathing techniques can help reduce and manage your stress.

Many recovering addicts tend to keep themselves busy to help keep their thoughts off drinking. This leaves little time for self-care. Self-care is something many people disregard as important, but the reality is that it is essential. Self-care is a term that refers to the activities in which you participate in order to take care of your physical, emotional, and mental health. These activities may include, but aren’t limited to, getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, participating in meditation, enjoying the outdoors, or routinely exercising.

Once you have completed these steps it’s imperative that you continue working on the steps to help maintain sobriety.

Keep your supportive team informed of triggers you encounter, successes you achieve, and temptations you are faced with. Maintain the relationships you have with your support team and keep open and frequent communication with them. It is also important to refrain from cutting corners. Imagining that you are stronger than others and believing you can skip steps to reach sobriety will only make your journey to sobriety longer.

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol addiction, contact New Choices Treatment Center today to begin your path toward sobriety.