stop drinking alcohol

How to Stop Drinking Alcohol

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) found nearly 15 million people have Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). AUD occurs when someone cannot stop drinking, even if they know this behavior impacts their ability to socialize, complete work obligations, and more.

If you’re interested in learning how to stop drinking, this guide is for you. We show you symptoms to look for indicating you’re drinking too much, why you do not want to quit cold turkey, and which treatment options are the most effective. 

What Are Some Signs My Drinking is Too Much?

The first step is to assess your alcohol use. Do you drink daily, weekly, monthly? And when you drink, how many do you have? The NIAAA notes heavy drinking occurs when you consume more than four drinks in one sitting (men) or three drinks for women. Binge drinking happens when you do this more than five times in one month

Along with this behavioral pattern, you might exhibit some of the following traits:

  • You forgot what you did the night before when you were drinking.
  • Your drinking interferes with work, social, or family life.
  • Your alcohol use causes damage to yourself or another person’s property or well-being.
  • You grab a drink regularly to start your day.
  • You drink more to generate that buzz feeling.
  • You decide to drink even though you realize it causes problems with work or your social life. 

If you notice you or someone else you know exhibits some of these traits, it’s vital to address the issue correctly. 

Can I Stop Drinking Cold Turkey?

No, as quitting cold turkey could result in:

  • You feel anxious
  • Within the first few days of withdrawal, you might see hallucinations
  • You express confusion
  • You get the chills
  • You have problems sleeping 
  • You could incur seizures 
  • You might have regular headaches
  • You feel nauseous
  • Or experience tremors 

Your brain creates more dopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) when you consume alcohol. Dopamine manufactures pleasure sensations. Meanwhile, GABA relaxes the brain.  

As you continually drink, your brain stabilizes these levels. In essence, your brain grows accustomed to having these chemicals and adjusts to them. If you quit cold turkey, you do not give your brain adequate time to calibrate. In some severe cases, people might incur sudden alcohol cessation, where potentially fatal seizures or heart failure could occur. It is why it is critical to avoid trying to quit cold turkey. A safer alternative is to enroll in a treatment program with Recovery Without Walls. 

Safer Treatment Solutions are Available

Our team offers personalized treatment solutions. During detox, you will receive individualized coaching, allowing your body to recover from alcohol use. Our outpatient care includes psychotherapy and integrated healing solutions, such as meditation, massage, and exercise. Best of all, our programs allow you to receive the help you need without interfering with your work or family. Contact us to learn more about this course of treatment.