Jun 11, 2013 | By Tim Stoddart

How to Quit Drinking Alcohol and 4 Steps to Long Term Recovery


how to quit drinking

Alcohol is without a doubt, the deadliest and most destructive drug in the world.

Between 2006 and 2010, alcohol contributed to 88,000 deaths. This does not account for the car accidents, hit and runs, harmful brawls, spousal abuse and ruined families that excessive alcohol use contributes to.

Overcoming addiction of any kind is never easy. Everyone has entirely different experiences and struggles throughout the recovery process. It’s safe to argue that alcohol is one of the most difficult substances to quit.

The withdrawal symptoms are severe, but many people find that the worst part about quitting alcohol is how tough it is to avoid it. Alcohol is readily available in stores, restaurants, sporting arenas, and it’s likely that most of your friends and family will drink alcohol at least on occasion. Like it or not, alcohol is everywhere.

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

Every individual will have different experiences when they try to quit drinking alcohol. The symptoms can range from very mild to dangerously severe.

When heavy drinkers suddenly stop or significantly reduce their alcohol consumption, the neurotransmitters previously suppressed by alcohol are no longer suppressed. They rebound, resulting in a phenomenon known as brain hyper-excitability. So, the effects associated with alcohol withdrawal are the opposite of those associated with alcohol consumption.  

[via webmd]

Withdrawal symptoms of alcohol include…

  • headaches
  • shaking
  • sweating
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • anxiety
  • restlessness
  • stomach cramps
  • diarrhea
  • increased heart rate
  • increased blood pressure
  • difficulty sleeping
  • difficulty concentrating

Withdrawal symptoms can last for approximately five days.

effects of alcohol
source: https://rosser-health-and-pe.wikispaces.com

Alcohol withdrawal can actually be fatal if it’s not handled properly. If you drink heavily and consistently, you are at risk for the most severe withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal can cause fatal heart dysrhythmias, and kidney or liver failure. It can also cause seizures, some of which cause a person to stop breathing, and a medical condition called delirium tremens (DTs).

If you are serious about quitting drinking, call the Sober Nation hotline and we will find a way to help you. 866-317-7050.

Why it is so Hard to Quit Drinking Alcohol?

I can’t find any official statistics on this, but many would agree that most relapses happen from drinking.

There is a social acceptance to alcohol that plays a big role in ones willingness to stay sober. Aside from dealing with the physical withdrawal effects of alcohol, our society contributes to the difficulty of staying sober and avoiding relapse. The media, movies, commercials and our collective ideal of what we think is “fun” play a huge role in the relapse rate of recovering addicts.

Too many times have we heard “I just want to have a drink like everyone else.” Some people may be able to drink socially, however, most relapses end up leading to full on alcoholism.

It is for this reason that we always recommend long term sobriety, and in order to achieve that one will need to learn coping skills to deal with the everyday temptation of drinking. Inpatient treatment may be your best option.

How to Quit Drinking Alcohol – 4 Simple Steps

Deciding that you want to quit is the biggest step.

Addiction counselors and psychologists alike will agree that coming to terms with your problem, and making a decision to change, is the foundation of any recovery process. Once the decision has been made there are many resources to help you work towards sobriety.

Here is a 4 step process that we recommend!

1 – Ask for Help

Talk to the people that love you. Be honest about your drinking problem, and ask for help.

Having trusted family members or friends on your side from the beginning will be hugely beneficial. If you don’t have someone from your personal life, ask a doctor, counselor, or simply call a recovery center for help.

2 – Go to Detox Center

Going through detox is perhaps the most painful aspect of one’s journey to quit drinking. Detox is absolutely essential, but doing it cold turkey can be fatal.

If you want to quit drinking safely, you must go to detox. Medical professionals can monitor your condition and can give you medications to help ease the intensity of the symptoms.

3 – Attend and Alcohol Treatment Center

You might spend several days in detox where acute withdrawal symptoms can last up to 10 days. After that period of time, treatment for alcoholism is your next step.

Treatment in rehab can last a few days or a few months. You’ll be in a controlled environment, so if you have any cravings for alcohol, you won’t have access to it. At treatment, you’ll be engrossed in recovery. Your schedule will be full of individual and group counseling, as well as other types of therapy depending on the center – such as art therapy, acupuncture, or equine therapy.

4 – Continue Treatment

At this point, you should have learned some tools and coping mechanisms to keep you away from a drink.

Regardless, you should continue to see a therapist or attend some type of group meeting, such as AA. It’s always helpful to have a support system of counselors and people who understand what you’re going through. This will contribute to a happy and healthy recovery. Recovery is a life long process, and the post treatment maintenance is just as important as the initial treatment process.

Other Ways to Quit

Some people decide to quit alcohol on their own, and this method is not recommended. It’s possible to gradually reduce the amount of alcohol you consume until you cut out all use, but this method is risky and often does not lead to long-term recovery. To be frank, detoxing yourself from alcohol is a bad idea. Call a professional.

No matter your method of choice, maintaining a support system is essential to sobriety. It’s also important to set boundaries for yourself after you’ve quit alcohol, such as avoiding old drinking spots, avoiding drinking buddies, and asking your friends and family to support you in your decision not to drink.

Sober Nation here to help!

If alcohol is a problem for you, know that you are not alone. There are millions of people who struggle with alcoholism, and only a few of them get the help they need.

Knowing that you have a problem with alcohol is a difficult realization to come to. When you realize your drinking has gotten out of control and you want to stop, it will be the most difficult and best decision of your life.

The road ahead is going to be rocky, but having your life back, is well worth the fight. Get started now!

10 responses to “How to Quit Drinking Alcohol and 4 Steps to Long Term Recovery

  • Cristhian

    9 years ago

    My husband is 30 years old he hade I alchol problem he star drinking went he was 13 years old now he’s addiction its out of control we have 2boys a 3years old and 7 years old we been togheter for 9 years and I hade done everything at this point to help him I just never hade get professional help because he Dosent like no body to get involve he been in to many car accident and other thinks I’m so tired to this problem Im to the point to lI’ve him and go with my family please help me to help him thanks.

  • Judie polkowski

    9 years ago

    Although I do not attend AA meetings regularly, I find a lot of support on these pages. And regularly view Sober Nation. I find a lot of support and useful information on it.
    I am now sober 19 months.

  • I am 45 divorced two years and need help to stop drinking. looking for support

  • Getting Sober after years of feeding my addiction to alcohol was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Do….being a verb. But the best decision I have ever made. I have a life now beyond what I had ever believed it could be. The world and all its opportunities are yours if u want it (:

  • kennitso muli

    8 years ago

    am trying to get help and if it would be possible i would appreciate

  • You must get to your own personal rock bottom, and only then can you stop drinking and start the recovery process. I didn’t think I would ever get to 14 months sober, and life is much better on all fronts.

  • I became a full blown alcoholic about 7 years ago. January 18th, 2015, I suffered a seizure due to my addiction to vodka. My first day of sobriety was January 19th, the very next day. I will be sober 1 full year in a couple of weeks and have never felt or looked better! I wanted to gain control of my drinking for years before having a seizure which gave me a message. If I have another drink, I will die. Thanks to my family and friends, support groups and sites like this, I keep my head on straight every day to keep moving forward.

  • I have been in a living hell for a couple of years now. The absolute worst thing is my treatment of my wife. She does not deserve this and I dont deserve her. I’m trying again today to stay sober one day at a a time Meeting tonight

  • Elina Smith

    7 years ago

    Therefore, it is always advised to choose the best alcohol rehabilitation centers in Florida that offer the most scientific clinical support to addicts and help them in their road to recovery. It is a therapeutic approach that is taken by the team of clinical psychologists, counselors, doctors and therapists who perform all types of therapies by undertaking a holistic approach.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

24/7 Rehab Help (866) 207-7436 Sponsored | Who Answers

Contact Sober Nation's Sponsored Hotline

If you are seeking drug and alcohol related addiction rehab for yourself or a loved one, the SoberNation.com hotline is a confidential and convenient solution.

Calls to any general hotline (non-facility) will be answered by Behavioral Health Innovators

Alternatives to finding addiction treatment or learning about substance:

If you wish to contact a specific rehab facility then find a specific rehab facility using our treatment locator page or visit SAMHSA.gov.

To learn more about how Sober Nation operates, please contact us