How to Quit Drinking Alcohol
How to Quit Drinking Alcohol

Are you thinking about quitting drinking alcohol? Is drinking becoming center-stage in your everyday life? Are you experiencing adverse effects of drinking like trouble in relationships, money problems, performance at work or school, mental health struggles, and physical side effects making you want to give up alcohol? 

You’re not alone. According to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 2.2 million adults ages 18 and older received alcohol use treatment in 2022. Quitting drinking is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body, mind, relationships, and overall well-being. Especially if it’s taking over your life and you feel out of control.

Understanding how to quit drinking alcohol is a complex topic. But there are things you can do to evaluate your drinking habits and prepare to give up drinking. The better equipped you are with information and tips on how to quit drinking alcohol, the more successful you will be on your journey to sobriety. 

(By the way – we applaud you!)

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Ask Yourself These Questions to Help You Decide If You Should Give Up Drinking

If you’re unsure as to whether or not you should give up drinking, first, you need to do a little self-reflection. The idea of quitting drinking may be a bit overwhelming for you, especially if you find yourself drinking every day. So, it’s essential to ask and answer these questions honestly.

  • How much alcohol do I really drink in a given week? The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that healthy adults who drink alcohol should limit intake to one drink or less per day for women and two drinks or less per day for men. 

Of course, it depends on the number of drinks you consume and the amount. A “standard drink” contains 14 grams or 0.6 fluid ounces of pure ethanol. The chart below can give you a better idea of what that is.

Ask Yourself These Questions to Help You Decide If You Should Give Up Drinking
  • Has the amount I drink in the evenings increased? When you drink on a daily basis, your body develops a tolerance, requiring you to consume more alcohol to feel its desired effect. Perhaps you began drinking one glass of wine at night, but now you end up drinking a whole bottle to feel it.
  • Do I use alcohol as a coping mechanism? When the challenges and stressors of life weigh on you, do you turn to alcohol for (temporary) relief? A lot of people do. Consider how often you reach for a drink when you feel stressed, anxious, or sad. 
  • Am I drinking every night in my home? Not only is drinking every night a red flag that you may have an issue with alcohol, but drinking in the isolation of your home can be dangerous. Since the majority of people aren’t witnessing your drinking habits, it’s easier to drink more.

How’d you do? Do your honest answers indicate that it may be time to give up drinking for your health and well-being? If so, here are some helpful tips on how to quit drinking alcohol so you can live a healthier, more fulfilling life. (And yes, it’s absolutely possible!)

7 Tips to Help You Quit Drinking Alcohol

Whether you think you are dependent or addicted to alcohol or believe you are on track to get there, the most important thing to do is speak to a professional. Whether it’s your primary care provider or a therapist like ours at BOLD Health in San Diego, getting a professional evaluation is vital.

However, there are additional actions you can take to prepare yourself for a life without alcohol outside of alcohol treatment in San Diego. Here are some helpful tips. 

Tips to Help You Quit Drinking Alcohol

Identify and thoroughly understand your “why.”

Deciding to give up drinking just because someone else says you should isn’t necessarily going to fuel your motivation to get sober. You have to do some soul-searching and pinpoint your personal reasons – your “whys” for quitting drinking. They could be anything from improving your health or relationships, losing weight, or just because you know it’s taking over your life. 

This is a big question, so take the time to answer it fully and honestly. And when you do identify your why, write it down and put it somewhere you can refer to it on your sobriety journey.

Set realistic goals for giving up alcohol.

Sure, you can set a goal for “never drinking again.” That’s an excellent goal, but if you’re addicted or dependent on alcohol, it’s not that simple. Instead, write down some small, attainable goals for yourself. You could start with drinking three times per week instead of seven. Or you can set a goal to drink all of your recommended amount of water before having a glass of wine. The possibilities are endless.

Once you partner with an alcohol treatment professional, they can help you set goals for abstaining entirely. The important thing is that you not only set reachable goals before you get help but also partner with a professional to achieve sobriety. 

Get rid of the alcohol in your home. 

This may seem like an obvious way to help you give up drinking, but it can be challenging when you have an addiction. If you can, get a trusted friend or family member to help you toss it all – or have them do it for you! 

You should also get rid of any drinking memorabilia like posters, signs, and even drinkware. This can help you feel more in control of your situation by eliminating anything that has to do with alcohol from your safe space at home. 

Figure out your triggers.

Here is yet another action item that involves a little self-introspection. Think about what drives you to drink. What emotions, people, and situations make you want to drink alcohol to cope? Other triggers could include:

  • going to social events where alcohol is served 
  • driving past your old watering hole
  • stress from work or home
  • seeing certain commercials

Once you identify your triggers, trying to avoid them as much as possible is best. Sometimes, that’s not possible. But your alcohol treatment clinician can help you learn new, healthier coping mechanisms.

considering giving up drinking

Have a plan in place when cravings arise.

It’s going to happen. You’re going to want a drink. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Instead, have a plan in place for when this happens. Consider calling a friend or family member to talk it out, going for a walk, or doing some deep-breathing exercises. Again, your alcohol treatment provider can help you develop an excellent plan that can help deter your desire to drink. 

Establish a support system. 

One of the most critical aspects of achieving sobriety is to commit to not doing it alone. Of course, you don’t have to tell everyone you know that you’re giving up drinking, just a trusted few. 

Talk to those few trusted individuals and let them know what you need from them to help you through your recovery. You could tell them you need them not to judge you, let them know they’ll be on speed dial when you feel a craving hit you, or that you would love to discover some new hobbies to do together. 

If you can’t think of anyone, it’s okay. We’re here for you at BOLD Health. When you partner with us for alcohol treatment in San Diego, you’ll automatically gain a valuable support network. Not only will your clinician support you without judgment, but you’ll also have access to support groups and meet others struggling with similar issues in group therapy. 

Get professional help.

We’ve mentioned partnering with a professional alcohol treatment clinician several times in this article. And we’ll repeat it. It’s vital to your sobriety success, no matter your addiction level. Having a compassionate, experienced clinician by your side to help you better understand how to quit drinking alcohol and guide you through the entire process is something you shouldn’t consider optional. 

Choose BOLD Health’s Alcohol Rehab in San Diego To Achieve Sobriety Success

Choosing to give up drinking is a big deal, and we’re here for all of it. When you enroll in our alcohol rehab in San Diego, you get some of the most highly-trained, experienced, and understanding alcohol treatment clinicians backing you on your recovery journey. 

We take the time to get to know and understand you and what makes you who you are. That way, we can curate the ideal program for alcohol treatment in San Diego for you. Your treatment may include:

BOLD Health
  • individual therapy
  • group therapy
  • family therapy
  • intensive outpatient program (IOP in San Diego)
  • medication management

Don’t walk this path alone. Trust our top-quality clinicians to walk with you and support you every step to sobriety. 

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