How to stop drinking alcohol
Those who suffer from alcoholism will often need to stay sober for life. In most cases, it’s impossible for those with alcoholism to become a moderate drinker, and many studies back up this conclusion. However, it’s not always as easy as just putting down the bottle and stopping, and you may be wondering how to stop drinking. Willpower alone is rarely enough to overcome alcoholism, so you may be considering addiction treatment to get you on the right path, and simply taking the time to undergo professional treatment could change your entire life.
The advantages of giving up drinking
Alcohol is a toxin, so it has a number of negative effects, and over time these effects can become life threatening. While alcohol can affect many parts of your body, the most at risk are the brain and liver. But the good news is that these organs can heal themselves, so even if you’re a heavy drinker, when you give up, some of the damage is reversible.
Even those who don’t drink to excess find that their health improves when they give up drinking. One study showed that moderate drinkers who gave up alcohol consumption saw a decrease in their blood pressure and cholesterol. Giving up alcohol can also lead to:
- Increased energy
- Weight loss
- More energy
- Better focus and concentration
If you are trying to find motivation to give up alcohol, think about how much better you’ll feel without the constant cycle of drinking and hangovers, and how energised you’ll be without alcohol in your system.
The effects of alcohol on the body
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) carried out research into what happens when drinking alcohol to excess. Even after a few drinks you can suffer from:
- Slurred speech
- Confusion and memory problems
- Trouble concentrating
- Reduction in inhibitions
These symptoms can cause both short and long-term issues, from accidents and injuries to legal problems and relationship breakdowns. That’s why it’s a good idea to seek help as soon as you realise you have a problem.
Withdrawing from alcohol
While some people are able to stop drinking alone, most people who are addicted to alcohol will need some sort of help to quit. That’s because those who are dependent on alcohol will often go through a difficult withdrawal, and studies have shown that it can be harder to come off alcohol than heroin, cocaine or other drugs. For some people, groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous can help, while others will need further assistance.
Step 1 Recovery offer a comprehensive treatment programme that begins with an alcohol detox. Coming off alcohol can cause a number of unpleasant side effects such as delirium tremens, also known as ‘the shakes’, and can even lead to seizures or can be fatal. That’s why it’s worth considering a medically assisted detox with prescription medication, which can remove some of the unpleasant symptoms and make the process much more pleasant.
If you’re wondering how to stop drinking, then it’s worth considering having a support system put in place while you detox. While friends and family can help to a certain extent, it’s much better to get professional help during this time. Withdrawing from alcohol can mean depression, anxiety and insomnia, and usually takes between 7-14 days if medically assisted, so that’s a lot of pressure to put on loved ones. When you choose Step 1 Recovery for detox, you get 24/7 support from our professional team who can get you through the toughest days and nights.
Long term recovery
Those who have an addiction often can’t think beyond the next few days, so you might not be thinking much about your long-term recovery. However, at Step 1 Recovery, we aim to set you up to become alcohol free for life, allowing you to really start living and make the most of things. We offer a range of treatment options which includes traditional individual and group therapy combined with holistic treatments, workshops, mindfulness and more. Your recovery from alcohol should feel like a reward, and we work on both your mental and physical health, with fitness sessions, chef catered meals and exercises such as yoga that can help you feel refreshed and revitalised. This helps you build good habits that you can continue once you’re back home.
It’s common to have cravings for alcohol, even when you’ve been sober for a long time, and you’ll no doubt find it difficult to turn down drinks at social events or on special occasions. That’s why we offer a year of free aftercare once you finish a rehab programme at our Spanish or UK centre. Those first 12 months are when you’re most likely to relapse, so spending time in support groups can help you stay on track. If you’re wondering how to stop drinking alcohol for life, then completing a programme and aftercare with Step1 Recovery gives you an excellent chance of long-term sobriety.