If you are here, it means that your time for giving up alcohol has come.
You have probably understood that drinking has become a problem for you in the last few months, or weeks, and even if it is a problem because it harms you now, you are not able to quit.
This situation is entirely reasonable. Every person, with a drinking problem, an alcohol addiction, will come to a conclusion, at a particular time of his life: that “NO to Alcohol” has to be your only motto to continue living happily.
Indeed, stopping drinking alcohol will lead your life to witness and experience so many benefits that you will wish to have stopped years before. Those benefits will be discussed in this post with three testimonials, referring to the experiences of three certified Life Coaches.
Facts and statistics about alcohol
Let’s talk in brief about numbers: according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “In 2014, 24.7 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month; 6.7 percent stated that they engaged in heavy drinking in the past month.”
So, 16.3 million adults (18+) had an Alcoholic Use Disorder (i.e. medical conditions that doctors consider as a progressive brain disease, and diagnose when a patient’s drinking causes distress or harm) and, a more worrying situation, 700.000 adolescents (12-17 years) had the same disorder as well.
So yes, you contributed to these facts and statistics.
However, the worst is that there also exist these facts and statistics:
- 88.000 annual deaths in U.S.
- 10.000 annual deaths due to alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in U.S.
- 3.3 million annual deaths worldwide.
- Alcohol is responsible for 200 diseases and injury-related health conditions.
- More than 10 percent of U.S. children live with a parent with alcohol problems.
If you do not want to contribute to these last horrible facts and statistics, keep reading this tutorial.
What are the different strategies to quit drinking?
In this article, you will be informed about many tips that you have actually to use to stop drinking alcohol.
Moreover, you will read testimonials about the benefits of sobriety, and you will understand why it is more convenient for you to quit drinking alcohol by yourself and using your willpower to apply effective strategies. These strategies will also involve ones that require you to be in contact and seek support from people close to you, rather than attend AA meetings; AA meetings reveal themselves as less efficient than the strategy you may adopt at cognitive and behavioral level.
Regardless, AA meetings are useful, and they can help you if you put faith in yourself and the community surrounding you. However, they could become a vicious cycle if you are not capable to effectively quit this bad habit (which is a dependence on an addictive substance) and more importantly if you continuously think in an obsessive manner about alcohol. There is an interesting Wikipedia article about the effectiveness of AA meetings.
Another aspect to be considered is that as many types of research and studies suggest, quitting alcohol cold turkey can lead to death if you are a heavy drinker. You can read more info about stop drinking cold turkey in this useful post from Quora, a thread of answers to the question “What happens when a severe alcoholic goes cold turkey?”
In particular, the user Michael Dixon tells:
I was a down and dirty alcoholic for 30 years. I quit drinking cold turkey a couple of times and did have delirium tremens and seizures. Both times were about the same. It was horrible. I saw insects on the walls and floors. Two people showed up in my room and we had long conversations when I wasn’t dry heaving. They were not real, they disappeared and I was alone. I had a loud radio station playing inside my head. It talked to me, I requested songs to be played. Someone came and nursed me out of it with a glass of vodka.
I was very blessed not to have died those two times.
Steve Harris, MD from University of Utah School of Medicine, adds this:
Severe alcoholics are given drugs (benzodiazepines) for the first few days to wean their bodies from the worst of these effects. These drugs keep your vital signs relatively normal and keep you from dying of seizure. They don’t stop the psychological misery of withdrawal: depression, anxiety, delusions.
For this reason, I strongly remark the point that you have to control alcohol and learn to love yourself. Only by doing practices and acting on your attitude and your habits you will finally defeat alcohol addiction.
Moreover, you don’t have to put faith in God or a ‘higher power,’ because religion is not related to your drinking problem.
You have to learn that life can be enjoyable even without alcohol, and, moreover, even without the constant thought of missing alcohol.
Let’s then make the last point before starting:
You don’t have to think obsessively about alcohol, so a cognitive behavioral therapy (which is nothing but a set of very regular habits to start, a change in attitude and exercises that you have to practice to quit drinking alcohol) is, indeed, very efficient for this purpose.
And it is far even better than “12 steps” method or expensive counseling or religion.
So, let’s start with a huge list of tips and exercises that you can refer to control, and completely stop, alcohol drinking.
The ultimate guide for quitting alcohol drinking
There is not a single way or strategy, but a great variety of approaches, several exercises, and tips that you are going to discover and apply as soon as you wish to quit drinking alcohol (I hope very soon since it is in your best interest).
Giving up on alcohol totally may not be as simple as you expect if you have been (or are) a heavy drinker, but the following strategies and tips will make your intentions and goals easier to achieve.
1. Let people close to you know your intentions
Let your friends and family know what are your plans about quitting alcohol drinking, what are your reasons and what you are going to do to let this happen.
Talking with your friends and your family will lead you to share your results, your emotions and your little daily successes with them. You will be then more and more motivated to accomplish the goal that you have set.
Your family, your friends, your partner will all be glad of your actions, and they will support your goal achievement during the overall process of giving up alcohol.
2. Let people you usually drink with know your intentions
This tip is based on the same concept of the strategy presented in the previous paragraph, but it is more precise and ten times more efficient than the previous one. Tell your drink companions that you are going to stop drinking. Tell them your reasons and say what are the changes you are going to undergo, what are your expectations in one or two months.
Ask them for support, but don’t lose their friendship. If you used to get out with your friends and drink, continue to do it! Of course, avoiding drinking. If they take a beer, you take a nonalcoholic drink. But remember that it is crucial that you don’t lose your social life and the friends that you used to drink with.
Don’t worry about how you think they could judge your choices: if they are your friends, they will understand your reasons, they will support you, they will not leave you alone and they will continue to enjoy their time spent with you, and you won’t lose your social life.
It is important that you understand how to enjoy your life without alcohol.
3. Avoid temptations
Try to avoid situations where you are more likely to be tempted by alcoholic drinks; for example, you can try to stay away for a while from Pubs, beers, wine stores.
Instead, to avoid to obsessively think about alcohol, try to organize with your friends on Friday and Saturday for movies or dancing events.
But, as said before, don’t lose the opportunity to share a funny night in the pub with your friends. Be open and, if you want a beer, ask for a nonalcoholic drink.
I’ve learned from my experience that you can have fun and enjoy your nights without drinking even if your friends are drunk as hell!
If you are in a pub in the middle of a temptation, talk about this with your buddies, and they will help you overcome the temporary craving, and you will continue to enjoy your time with them 🙂
4. Avoid to find yourself bored
Temptations arise when you find yourself bored.
Try to plan your time to not get bored. The more you will plan to practice exciting activities, the less likely you will be to fall into temptations.
Try to start practicing sports, playing guitar or instruments, read books, go out with your family and your friends. Start a new hobby or try to learn a new language or to practice a new skill that you have always wanted to learn.
Keep your time busy at least for the very first month.
5. Be prepared to share your reasons
The pattern is to be prepared to explain your reasons to people you know (or you meet for the first time) that are asking you why you are quitting alcohol.
You don’t have to be afraid of this kind of situation because I’ve learned that people are interested in your reasons when you choose to give up on alcohol. Indeed, they are supportive. Remember that you may be very inspiring in front of these people when they are asking you about your reasons.
So, be prepared for this sort of “speech.”
PS. If you are prepared for this speech to give to people you meet, you will strengthen your willpower about giving up on alcohol, simply because you will have a clear and defined pattern of reasons in your mind, before giving it as a speech to other people.
6. Give up gradually
The purpose of this step is to let you know that if you previously abused alcohol and want to quit cold turkey, you may be exposed to some risks; so you should understand that if you want to give up on alcohol by cold turkey you have first to detox yourself from alcohol.
Cut down day by day the amount of alcohol you usually drink (if you are drinking one glass of wine per day, you can start drinking one glass of wine every two days, and so on till the end of the habit a few weeks later);
This is because the situation will become more quickly to sustain and you will not think obsessively about alcohol.
Then, if you drink every night, try to drink every three night, until you are completely able to stop being conscious of the fact that you don’t need alcohol anymore.
7. Set goals and try to achieve them
Set yourself high and important goals: try not to drink for one month. Then try not to drink for two months.
If you find difficulties, try to reward yourself every time that you complete a goal: you can spend the money you save from buying alcohol in things that you’ve always wanted to buy, or in gifts for people and friends that have been close to you during the break from drinking.
From time to time, you will notice that not drinking is far better than drinking because you will want yourself to be rewarded by yourself!
8. Reward yourself
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, rewarding yourself is maybe the best part of the entire pattern I’m explaining in this article.
The most important element of a quitting alcohol addiction pattern is YOU.
Yes, it is you.
So, whenever you notice a good level of progress overall your addiction quitting period, you should reward yourself.
By the other side, you should never blame yourself if it happens for you to drink after one night or one week of sobriety; it is entirely reasonable that something like this would happen while you are trying to give up.
If you don’t blame yourself, you have more possibility not to think obsessively about alcohol anymore and, more importantly, to keep going on staying motivated, leading on the way to a complete and controlled sobriety, with the ability to have fun or be happy even without drinking alcohol.
To keep you motivate, set short-term goals: one week free, one month free, and so on.
Then set long-term goals.
Finally reward yourself enjoying the benefits of the consequences of quit drinking (better health, money saved, time spent in a better way).
9. Don’t blame yourself if you fail
I know people that have never had a drink since the day they decided to break, and people that have found themselves drinking after they’ve devoted not to; however, the latter have not started to blame themselves, but rather they’ve looked ahead without giving themselves a hard time.
So, if you have found yourself betraying you, don’t be mad and upset; just start again to have faith in yourself respecting the strategies yet presented in this article.
10. Learn how to detox
Is imperative that you care about detox process, because it may be hazardous to stop quitting cold turkey, as I said in the intro of this article.
For this, I can recommend you to refer to a doctor or to view some techniques that are explained in the guide How to Control Alcohol – The complete guide to quit or control your drinking, by Seb Grant. I’ll spend few words about this program later on this article.
Alcohol detox needs to be done gradually.
11. Avoid people that may have a bad influence on you
Avoid that kind of individuals who tempt you and try to offer you drinks; they are not behaving like your friends, or they are not your friends. Your friends will support, not convince you that you don’t have a drinking problem.
12. Keep a journal of your sober activity
Write down, day by day, in a diary what are the things that you are enjoying in a life without alcohol. Write what are the new activities that you start, the new people that you meet, the new hobbies that you may want to start, the new skills that you want to learn, and the benefits that you notice.
Write down also the reward that you want to give to yourself every time you attain a goal that you’ve set.
Benefits of sobriety [Testimonials]
Here you will find some suggestions, testimonials, and experiences from experts and life coaches on the advantages of quitting alcohol use.
I have abstained from alcohol for over 3 years now and love it. It hasn’t always been easy, but the benefits outweigh the need to drink.
A brief overview of my personal benefits from abstaining from alcohol:
– I started running
– I quit my job and started my own business
– I became a life coach
– I’m happy and no longer in a place in life where I have to deal with my emotions with alcohol
– I am inspired to help anyone who is suffering
– I lost weight
– My overall health has improved
– My mental health and love for myself has improved
– My self worth has dramatically increased
– I take care of my body every day”
~Tara J. Massan, Certified Life Coach. You can reach her at www.foreverbemoved.com.
One of the best benefits of quitting alcohol is the improvement of mental and physical health. There has been a long correlation with alcohol use and problems with mental health.
Additionally alcohol or other substances are one of the leading issues mentioned in why couples separate or divorce, additionally in cases of domestic violence typically substance abuse is involved.
Although typically physical consequences from alcohol use is limited to those with a severe pattern, many others are susceptible to moderate health issues eventually. Even for someone who doesn’t have a substance abuse problem, limiting or even eliminating their alcohol use would lower the chance of mental health issues, loss of relationships, and minimize any possible legal issues.
~Ryan Potter, the Director of Clinical Development at Ambrosia Treatment Centers.
The benefits of quitting alcohol are extensive and extend to every facet of health and lifestyle.
Alcohol use can have devastating health effects and is a known contributor to more than 60 diseases with conditions that include cancer, cardiovascular disease, dementia, cirrhosis, nerve damage and high blood pressure. Alcohol also impacts emotional health and is known to cause anxiety, contribute to depression and linked to low self-esteem.
Excessive drinking is known to limit cognitive function and can be a cause of poor judgment, leading to feelings of anger, sadness, and regret. In terms of fitness, the excess calories don’t help drinkers stay in shape, reduces their access to fat fuel, mean =ing activities are being supported by carbohydrates and can also impact sexual function.
Abstaining from alcohol improves health, wellbeing, mental outlook, cognitive function, fitness, self-esteem, confidence – the list goes on!
Once abstinence or detox has begun, these significant changes arise in a relatively short amount of time.
One of the most valuable outcomes of quitting alcohol is the inevitable clarity that comes from sobriety, which is a positive catalyst for substantial personal change.
~Jasmine Aranda, LPC, LAC, Clinical Director at The Foundry Treatment Center
- Talk with your family and friends to (or “intending to”) sharing the motivation and the road to success.
- Don’t lose your old friends.
- Try to avoid situations in which you could be tempted.
- Try not to get bored, and spend your time in new activities.
- Try to inspire other people with your reasons.
- Do not give up completely, but gradually.
- Set Goals.
- Give yourself a reward every time you feel satisfied with your efficient operation.
- Don’t blame yourself if you fail.
- Learn how to detox if you were a heavy drinker.
- Avoid people that may have a bad influence on you.
- Keep a journal of your activity.
Quality web resources to stop drinking alcohol
Many times people struggle and write to our team because they go through the internet trying to find a good program, a very helpful guide or book, or some guru-like suggestions that could change the attitude regarding alcohol addiction, without spending tons of money.
To help you in your decision, Mind Globe team always takes care of recommending splendid resources through the world of Internet that everyone can afford.
Since we know that everyone wants to find resources or excellent guides that are cheaper than more of the zillion courses you can find out there in your city. Some courses suck the money from your wallet every month, or more trustworthy than fraudulent products or scams many people find through the web, but, more importantly, you can practice the exercises/strategies directly at home with a constant online support.
For this purpose, the best guide suggested for Alcohol Addiction Management is How to Control Alcohol – The complete guide to quit or control your drinking, by Seb Grant.
This guide is exceptional for you to defuse your psychological addiction and to help you regain the motivation for improving your life and your career.
This step-by-step course is suitable for you if you constantly feel tired and sick, waking up with the worst headaches of this planet, going to sleep at very late hours in the night, always thinking about controlling and quitting the overall addiction.
The guide explains in precise details how you should proceed to stop your addiction gradually, avoiding some severe consequences due to Cold Turkey strategies, which are wrong and dangerous.
More importantly, you will learn how to recognize the pattern of your choices and your thoughts that have led you to drink, avoiding you to enter in an endless vicious loop.
You need to understand that every habit is a routine difficult to break, especially if it is a drug addiction (yes, alcohol is a drug if you didn’t notice).
How to Control Alcohol course will then lead you to take control over your body and your mind. When you have total control, you can drink just two. Maybe one, or none at all… Or you can quit drinking alcohol for the rest of your life (and that’s the most recommended choice).
Finally, the course will also include a guide about how to naturally detox from alcohol to start your control and management practices.
I hope that this article has intrigued you enough to start the exercises as soon as you wish, for you to avoid all the problems related to alcohol and live a happy life even without drinking.
I expect you to leave some comments below to clarify some concepts that may be not clear or to share your experience and your inspiring speech to other people that want be free from alcohol.
PS. If you want to deepen your knowledge about Alcohol, look at this resources:
- Long-term Effects of Alcohol
- Short-term Effects of Alcohol
- Difference Between Alcohol Dependence and Alcohol Abuse
- Discover Why Did You Start Drinking
- Mental State During Addiction Recovery
- How to Recognize an Alcohol Addiction
- There is a way to stop drinking alcohol?
- Effects of Alcohol on Your Brain