How to help an alcoholic stop drinking

John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. He is the medical director at Alcohol Recovery Medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

If you have been drinking at a level that is considered high-risk or heavy drinking, you may want to consider making a change in your drinking patterns or quit altogether. But which is the best choice for you? Should you try moderating your alcohol consumption, or should you try to quit?

Many people do learn to moderate their drinking and are successful in returning to a pattern of low-risk drinking. Just as there are support groups for those trying to quit drinking, there are support groups for those who are trying to cut down or moderate their drinking.

Cutting Back

If you try to cut down but find that you cannot stay within the limits that you set for yourself, it may be best to quit instead. One of the main reasons that people decide to quit drinking and seek help to do so is because they find they have lost the ability to control the amount they drink.  

You are the person who is in the best position to make the decision of whether to cut down or quit. If you can consistently drink one or two drinks and no more, then you may be able to cut down to a low-risk drinking pattern. But if you find that those first two drinks usually trigger an urge for more and you rarely drink only two, chances are moderation is not an option.

Quitting Drinking

There are other reasons that quitting drinking may be a better option for you than moderation or cutting down, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

When quitting might be your best option:  

  • If you have been diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder, or you currently have symptoms of alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence.
  • If you have certain medical conditions, such as cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis C, chronic pain, certain heart conditions, or mental disorders such as bipolar disorder.
  • If you are taking certain medications that can negatively interact with alcohol.
  • If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

Other Reasons to Quit

If you are planning to make a change in your drinking, it is best if you discuss the decision with your healthcare provider. Your physician may recommend that you quit drinking based on other factors, including:  

  • A family history of alcoholism
  • Your age
  • If you have had alcohol-related injuries
  • Alcohol-related sleep disturbances or sexual dysfunction

Tips to Moderate Your Drinking

Make some small adjustments to the way you drink. It may work for you. If it does not, then adjust and try something else. You may be able to get drinking back under your control.

Tips to try for moderating your alcohol drinking:

  • Eat food along with your drink. Don't drink on an empty stomach. Food will help your body absorb the alcohol more slowly.
  • Keep track of how much you drink. Make a note in an app or write it down on a piece of paper.
  • Measure out your drinks at home. Drink standard sizes. Ask bartenders to not top off your drink. Do not supersize your drinks.
  • Set goals and decide how many days a week you want to drink and how many drinks you will have on those days. Stick to your goals. If you stumble backward, start over the next day.
  • Space out your drinks. Set a pace to your drinking to not more than one per hour. Sip slowly. Make every other drink a glass of water or soda.

Help May Be Needed

Whatever your decision— to cut down or to quit drinking— there is support available to help you met your goals. If you decide to quit, you may want to seek help. You do not have to do it on your own.

As we live with active alcoholism, we have a tendency to do more than we should for the problem drinker. How can we stop being an enabler and start taking care of ourselves? This is a difficult task at first but as we learn how to use various tools that are learned in places like Al anon meetings, we can quit rescuing and constantly caring for the alcoholics in our lives.

You see, one of the biggest problems that we suffer from is being care-takers. Not only do we take good care of our children, homes, friends, and co-workers, we also are really good at caring for the alcoholic’s in our lives.

We have a tendency to soften all of the mistakes and falls that they make one a daily basis. We must learn how to stop doing this for them.

If they do not experience the pain that accompanies their poor choices, they may never get well.

How to help an alcoholic stop drinking

In essence, they should be left to take care of themselves. This is difficult at times because there are children that are in the picture. A fear can develop that if we do not take responsibility for the alcoholic that the children will suffer. This is a very difficult place to be and is going to require pulling on the wisdom of others for help.

This is why I am constantly referring to the importance of getting involved in some sort of meetings that are designed to help friends and family members of alcoholics. Many people in these type meetings have had to deal with these types of situations and can offer their experience, strenght and hope to you.

Here are a few tips to help you stop caring for an alcoholic

1) Quit giving them money.
2) Don’t let them free-load. They must pay for their living arrangements.
3) Learn how to say NO! This is a complete sentence by the way.
4) Have them baker acted.

These are only a few of literally hundreds of various ways to stop taking care of a problem drinker. The person in your life who suffers from alcoholism will take advantage of you until you identify how and when they are doing this and you say NO MORE! There are specific ways of communicating with an alcoholic that work wonders in the process of detaching.

If you do not begin to set boundaries and stop taking care of them, they will manipulate you in every way possible. They will use self pity, lies, anger and anxiety to get their way if you do not learn how to affectively stop them in their tracks. The fastest way to learn how to cope with an angry alcoholic is by by learning from others who know what to do.

Now, get on the phone and get to a meeting in your area for friends and family members of active alcoholics. The longer you wait, the worse your situation will become. Each day breads another let down, angry circumstance, more arguments, resentment and unforgiveness. Make a decision to make changes in your life today to stop the things that you have been doing that are not bringing positive results in your life. Get yourself untangled, unmeshed, and unhitched from the affects of alcoholism by learning how to deal with it from people who can help you.

How to help an alcoholic stop drinking

There are not many feelings worse than the helplessness felt while watching a loved one self-destruct by abusing alcohol. Frustrations can easily mount once it becomes apparent that all involved seek to help an alcoholic save for the alcoholic themselves. This is made worse still by reminders from others that the alcoholic can only help his or herself.

While true that the alcoholic themselves must take the major initiative to secure their own sobriety, there are things friends and family can do to support their loved one in their fight against alcohol addiction.

Establish Lines Of Communication

It is very important for the alcoholic to be made aware just how much his actions are hurting himself and others. It is equally important that the alcoholic also understands the concerns that loved ones have for their well-being.

It is quite possible that approaching a troubled loved one with this issue will be initially met with great resistance. Loved ones would do well to stay mindful of the desired objective to assure the conversation is productive. The objective at this time is to bring awareness to the problem and express concern.

Be Willing To Listen

It is the rare alcoholic that over drinks simply for the sake of over drinking. In most cases, drinking is a well-developed coping mechanism used to mask many pains and frustrations. When not drinking, the emotions that have been buried under years of alcohol abuse will now be uncovered. The result will quite likely be an onslaught of negative thoughts and emotions for the alcoholic. Patience is key to dealing with someone in this psychological and emotional state.

No Judgement

There is nothing to be gained by further battering the self-esteem of an alcoholic. It is important to remember that alcoholism is a disease and most who have not experienced this disease will have trouble understanding the behavior of alcoholics. Causing the alcoholic to feel shame will only result in him or her searching for comfort, which very likely will come from drinking.

No Ultimatums

It is probably impossible for a non-alcoholic to understand just how strong the desire is to drink in an alcoholic. Ultimatums are a terrible idea when confronting an alcoholic because many times the alcoholic will choose drinking over all else when his hand is forced. In lieu of ultimatums, offering advice and providing options will be much more productive.

Do Not Become An Enabler

There are many ways, both subtle and not so subtle, to enable an alcoholic to continue abusing alcohol. This could be providing money to drink, constantly cleaning up the messes the alcoholic makes, or simply becoming an excuse maker for the actions of the alcoholic. Tough love is key here.

Alcoholics by nature can become extremely manipulative if need be to facilitate the continued usage of alcohol. Those around the addict must disqualify themselves as vehicles that can be used to prolong this self-destructive behavior pattern.

Provide Resources

The challenges an alcoholic will face in finding sobriety can seem like an insurmountable task. Any aid an alcoholic can get from family and friends in their efforts to stop drinking can go a long way to increase the likelihood of a victory in their struggle against their addiction.

For starters, friends and family can perform some of the legwork for their loved one. It would be a good idea to research treatment programs and find programs you think would be a good fit for the person.

Once treatment begins, it helps for loved ones to take an active involvement in the recovery process. Attending meetings with a recovering person, providing encouraging, and celebrating milestones and successes are all great ways to be a resource to the recovering person.

Also, it would help the alcoholic to know that they will have help with life responsibilities while seeking recovery. This support could be as simple as baby sitting a child while the person attends an AA meeting.

Refrain From Drinking Around an Alcoholic Loved One

It would be highly inconsiderate to drink around a loved one who has recently began the search for sobriety. This is not a lifetime ban on drinking in the person’s presence as the hopes are one day that person will no longer suffer from alcohol cravings. But in the beginning the cravings for the person will be strong and to drink in his or her presence can have terrible consequences.

Be Willing To Stay The Course

The road to conquering alcoholism will not be without bumps or curves. Setbacks are inevitable and there will be times that may cause one to question their own willingness to continue to help an alcoholic loved one. However, it is the greatest importance that the alcoholic knows that he can depend on the support of loved ones with no fear of facing abandonment.

How to help an alcoholic stop drinking

Are you concerned about your alcohol intake? Maybe you feel that you’re drinking too much or too often. Perhaps it’s a habit you’d like to better control.

It’s always wise to check with your doctor — she should be able to help you decide whether it is best for you to cut back or to abstain. People who are dependent on alcohol, or have other medical or mental health problems, should stop drinking completely.

But many people may benefit simply by cutting back. If your doctor suggests that you curb your drinking, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) suggests that the following steps may be helpful:

  1. Put it in writing. Making a list of the reasons to curtail your drinking — such as feeling healthier, sleeping better, or improving your relationships — can motivate you.
  2. Set a drinking goal. Set a limit on how much you will drink. You should keep your drinking below the recommended guidelines: no more than one standard drink per day for women and for men ages 65 and older, and no more than two standard drinks per day for men under 65. These limits may be too high for people who have certain medical conditions or for some older adults. Your doctor can help you determine what’s right for you.
  3. Keep a diary of your drinking. For three to four weeks, keep track of every time you have a drink. Include information about what and how much you drank as well as where you were. Compare this to your goal. If you’re having trouble sticking to your goal, discuss it with your doctor or another health professional.
  4. Don’t keep alcohol in your house. Having no alcohol at home can help limit your drinking.
  5. Drink slowly. Sip your drink. Drink soda, water, or juice after having an alcoholic beverage. Never drink on an empty stomach.
  6. Choose alcohol-free days. Decide not to drink a day or two each week. You may want to abstain for a week or a month to see how you feel physically and emotionally without alcohol in your life. Taking a break from alcohol can be a good way to start drinking less.
  7. Watch for peer pressure. Practice ways to say no politely. You do not have to drink just because others are, and you shouldn’t feel obligated to accept every drink you’re offered. Stay away from people who encourage you to drink.
  8. Keep busy. Take a walk, play sports, go out to eat, or catch a movie. When you’re at home, pick up a new hobby or revisit an old one. Painting, board games, playing a musical instrument, woodworking — these and other activities are great alternatives to drinking.
  9. Ask for support. Cutting down on your drinking may not always be easy. Let friends and family members know that you need their support. Your doctor, counselor, or therapist may also be able to offer help.
  10. Guard against temptation. Steer clear of people and places that make you want to drink. If you associate drinking with certain events, such as holidays or vacations, develop a plan for managing them in advance. Monitor your feelings. When you’re worried, lonely, or angry, you may be tempted to reach for a drink. Try to cultivate new, healthy ways to cope with stress.
  11. Be persistent. Most people who successfully cut down or stop drinking altogether do so only after several attempts. You’ll probably have setbacks, but don’t let them keep you from reaching your long-term goal. There’s really no final endpoint, as the process usually requires ongoing effort.

Some of these strategies — such as watching for peer pressure, keeping busy, asking for support, being aware of temptation, and being persistent — can also be helpful for people who want to give up alcohol completely.

Once you’ve cut back on your drinking (so you’re at or below the recommended guidelines), examine your drinking habits regularly to see if you’re maintaining this level of drinking. Some people attain their goal only to find that old habits crop up again later. If this happens, consult your doctor.

To learn more about addiction diagnosis and treatment methods, read Overcoming Addiction , a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

Image: ©PIKSEL | GettyImages

Disclaimer:

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

Contact us today to speak confidentially with one of our representatives.

How to help an alcoholic stop drinking

AddictionAlcohol RehabAlcoholismRecoverySober LivingSubstance Abuse Treatment

Are you concerned about the amount of alcohol you consume? Are your weekend nights out becoming an everyday occurrence? Have you tried to quit drinking but can’t? If you have any concerns about your alcohol habits, it may be time to get some help or contact an alcohol rehab center. It is always best to talk to your doctor to determine your level of alcohol intake. If you feel you are at the point of needing full alcohol detoxification, then contact one of the friendly staff at Liberty Bay Recovery Center at 855.607.8758.

Ways to Help You Quit Drinking

Quitting drinking takes a lot of courage, and it can be a long, and sometimes lonely, path. It doesn’t matter how far down the rabbit hole you’ve gone. There is always help. Here are a few tips to help you quit drinking:

Remove Peer Pressure

Partying with your friends may be fun at first, but the hangover the next day is not something to look forward to. Calling in late to work, missing appointments, and feeling miserable is part of the party-life. Tell your friends you’d like to go to a movie or stay at home and read a book instead.

Stay Busy

Find alternative ways to spend your time. Going to the same bar and doing the same thing gets boring. Explore an old hobby or create one you’ve never tried before. Play board games with friends, find a sport or go hiking.

Remove Alcohol from the Home

The quickest and easiest way to quit drinking is by limiting your access to it. Maybe you’ve stopped the weekend partying, but those couple of extra beers in the refrigerator is a temptation you don’t need.

Create a Goal to Stop Drinking

Set a date to stop and log how much you drink every day. That will show you how much you drink and help you reach your goal by minimizing your daily alcohol intake.

Reach Out for Help

This may be the hardest tip on this list, but it is the most effective. Reach out to friends, family, and your doctor for support. If you can’t find the help you need, contact a recovery center. They offer hope to those coping with substance use disorder. They offer the experience and compassion you need to take the final steps toward recovery.

Benefits of Quitting Alcohol

The benefits of quitting alcohol are two-fold一your mental acuity increases, and you regain physical control over your life. Although alcohol may help you relax and give you the ability to talk more freely to those around you, the effects are temporary. However, the benefits of quitting are everlasting. Here are a few of the benefits of quitting drinking:

  • Improved heart health
  • Decreased risk of cancer
  • Possible weight loss
  • You will feel better mentally and physically
  • Stabile mood control
  • A better definition of who you are
  • You will sleep better

Quitting alcohol is a win-win situation. The quicker you get help, the faster you can heal. Take control of a more positive you and remove the guilt associated with drinking.

Discover the Power of Freedom at Liberty Bay

If you feel like you’ve tried everything else, we invite you to Liberty bay. Our Portland detox is not the last step; it is the beginning. It is time to receive the hope you need, the healing you deserve, at a place you can call home. We offer a caring and compassionate staff who listens and has experience helping people on their journeys to full recovery. Contact one of our discreet professionals at Liberty Bay Recovery Center by calling 855.607.8758 or using the online form.

How to help an alcoholic stop drinking

Being unable to cut down on alcohol use despite a desire to do so. Using alcohol in higher amounts or for a longer time than originally intended. Spending a lot of time obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects of alcohol. Cravings, or a strong desire to use alcohol.

What are the symptoms of an alcoholic husband?

These include using alcohol for stress relief or as a coping mechanism; hiding bottles of alcohol or lying to cover up how much they drink; the inability to stop with just one drink; cravings for alcohol; suffering from withdrawal when the drinking stops; and an increasing tolerance and dependence on alcohol.

What should you do if your partner has alcohol use disorder?

Get help for the whole family. The person struggling with alcohol use disorder should complete a professional detox and rehabilitation program, but it is equally important that their partner seek help too. If there are children or close family members involved, family therapy can greatly help strained relationships to heal and improve.

Is it time for my husband to go to rehab?

Committing to getting sober and seeking treatment for alcoholism takes courage. Yet, often times, those struggling with alcohol may not immediately be receptive to discussing treatment or admitting that they have a problem. If your husband isn’t yet ready to seek treatment, it may be time to consider an intervention.

Being unable to cut down on alcohol use despite a desire to do so. Using alcohol in higher amounts or for a longer time than originally intended. Spending a lot of time obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects of alcohol. Cravings, or a strong desire to use alcohol.

Is it possible to recover from an alcoholic spouse?

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), more than a third of U.S. adults who were dependent on alcohol are now in full recovery. So, recovery is possible as long as your spouse is willing.

How does alcoholism affect the spouse of an alcoholic?

While alcohol abuse undoubtedly creates problems for the alcoholic, another devastating consequence is the effects of alcoholism on the spouse. Coping with a spouse who abuses alcohol is distressing, and according to the research, it has the following potential negative effects for the spouse and family of an alcoholic:

What’s the best way to talk to an alcoholic spouse?

The best tip for how to talk to an alcoholic spouse is to express concern while avoiding criticizing or blaming. Explain how alcoholism has negatively affected them and the family, and offer a chance to go to treatment. In some cases, families may hire a professional interventionist to mediate and assist with the conversation.

Before you try to achieve sobriety, you need to think about your drinking habits. The way that a social drinker stops drinking is different from the way that a high-functioning alcoholic quits drinking. People with the disease of alcoholism require formal treatment. Those who aren’t addicted to alcohol may be able to quit on their own or with the help of friends.

You can find out if you’re addicted to alcohol by taking an alcoholism assessment quiz. These quizzes help you determine whether you meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder — the medical term for alcoholism, alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse. The diagnostic criteria for an alcohol use disorder were published in the American Psychiatric Association’s fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

You can decide how much help you need to quit drinking based on the results of the quiz.

How to Stop Drinking

Once you know how much of a role alcohol plays in your life, you can figure out how to quit drinking. Unfortunately, abstaining from alcohol isn’t a simple process. Things that work for some people don’t necessarily work for others.

If you’re a casual drinker, saying no to peer pressure may not be easy. You may see a friend who is a casual drinker say no when offered a drink and wonder why it’s easy for them. He or she may not need self-help tools, but those resources might work for you.

Similarly, some alcoholics may be able to stop drinking with the help of Alcoholics Anonymous. Others need residential rehab and long-term aftercare support. If one strategy doesn’t work for you, try another.

Quitting Cold Turkey

Stopping alcohol use abruptly is the riskiest way to quit drinking. If you feel physical cravings or withdrawal symptoms when you quit drinking, you shouldn’t try to stop cold turkey. Casual or social drinkers may be able to quit cold turkey.

Dr. Kevin Wandler of Advanced Recovery Systems describes the potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms that can occur when a person quits drinking alcohol cold turkey.

Tapering

People who are physically dependent on alcohol should gradually reduce, or taper, their alcohol intake. Dependence is different from addiction. People who are dependent but not addicted to alcohol may not require rehab.

Asking for Support

Almost everyone who struggles to quit drinking requires some form of peer support. As with any goal, quitting alcohol is easier if you have friends and family members supporting you. They can encourage you to stay sober and help you find other healthy ways to have fun.

Allison Walsh of Advanced Recovery Systems illustrates how peer support can help individuals in recovery avoid relapse.

Self-Help Books

Self-help books can boost your confidence and motivate you to stay sober. They provide strategies and tools to help you maintain sobriety. Numerous self-help books are available in print or online.

Smartphone Apps

The app store on your cellphone has several sobriety apps that can inspire you to quit drinking and stay sober. Some apps help you keep track of alcohol intake or sobriety dates. Others provide daily motivational quotes. They may help you quit drinking, but most of these apps haven’t been medically reviewed.

Support Groups

Alcoholic support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, provide free help for people struggling to quit drinking. People with minor alcohol problems or people who have already received treatment for moderate or severe alcohol problems usually benefit from AA.

Alcohol Counseling

Anyone experiencing problems with alcohol can benefit from counseling and therapy. A counselor can help you develop personalized strategies to get sober. Counseling can be simple or intensive depending on the severity of your drinking problems.

Alcohol Rehab

If you’ve struggled to quit drinking or overcome alcoholism, you may require rehab. Formal treatment for alcohol addiction allows you to detox in a safe environment and provides comprehensive therapy to teach you how to stay sober.

In general, it’s better to put time and effort into sobriety than to try to do the bare minimum. If you’ve struggled to quit drinking, you should consider support groups, counseling or rehab. Self-help books or apps are less likely to help you successfully quit if you are addicted to alcohol.

Help for Alcoholics: Where to Find Sobriety Resources

People with alcohol use disorders don’t have to look far to find help. Almost every community in the United States has community initiatives, support group meetings and some form of help for alcoholics.

Those seeking assistance while working to overcome alcoholism can talk to a therapist or expert in person or on the phone.

    : Several toll-free hotlines provide free information for people with alcohol use disorders or loved ones of people affected by alcoholism. : Several websites, support groups and nonprofit organizations can help you learn about overcoming alcoholism and staying sober. : Addiction treatment centers can provide over-the-phone assessments and help you determine how your insurance policy covers treatment for alcohol addiction.

If you’re still unsure of how to find help in your community, contact your local hospital or health department. Most health care organizations can direct you to helpful resources near you.

Tips for Those Trying to Stop Drinking

For many people, abstaining from alcohol is a major lifestyle change. It requires a lot of time, effort and mental energy. Some people can decide to quit drinking and do it without help. If you’re reading this page, you probably aren’t one of those people. Don’t compare yourself to them.

Use these tips to increase your chances of overcoming alcohol problems:

  • Stay positive. Quitting is more difficult if you have a bad attitude.
  • Commit fully. Sobriety isn’t something you can achieve with minimal effort.
  • Ask for help. Getting sober is hard to do on your own.
  • Have faith. When you believe sobriety is possible, you’re more likely to achieve it.
  • Take it one day at a time. Thinking about quitting for a year can seem daunting. Taking things one day at a time is more achievable.

Always think about the benefits of quitting alcohol and how they will improve your life. It may also help to think about the negatives that alcohol causes. With a realistic strategy, support and faith, you can quit drinking and begin alcohol recovery.

Donate Today!

Whether you have made the decision to quit drinking for health reasons or because you are concerned about the amount you drink, it is important to understand that it will present a variety of changes in your life. For example, if you typically stop in for happy hour with co-workers and you decide to quit drinking, you will either need to avoid this ritual or learn to control the temptation to drink during these outings. If you have an addiction to alcohol, it is essential that you understand the effects of alcohol withdrawal and seek support during this part of giving up alcohol. Whether you choose to seek help from a treatment center or other outside type of assistance for quitting alcohol, or you are attempting to quit drinking at home, the following self-help strategies will help you achieve a successful outcome.

Learn to Say No

One of the most difficult parts of the process in quitting drinking is learning to say no. At times, you will be offered a drink, especially when you are out with others who are drinking. It is important to learn how to say no and mean it. Don’t hesitate to answer when asked, because hesitation will often lead to giving in. You may find that it is more difficult than you anticipated to say no, so it may help to practice your responses to help you get more comfortable when responding. Here are some strategies to help in situations when you have to turn down a drink:

  • It can be hard, but the easiest way to avoid this situation is to ask others to refrain from offering you drinks
  • Have a non-alcoholic drink in your hand at all times while at events where alcohol is available
  • Ask others to be available for support to help you cope with temptation
  • Plan an escape in case the temptation gets too intense

Avoid Triggers

A trigger is something that encourages you to follow through with a habit you are trying to break. Take the time to identify your triggers, in other words, learn the activities, situations, moods or the other things that increase your urge to drink. For example:

  • Do certain activities trigger your drinking, such as stopping in for cocktails after work or a weekly poker game?
  • Does hanging out with certain friends always lead to drinking?
  • Do disagreements with certain people urge you to drink?

Once you identify your triggers, it is essential that you avoid them.

Taking Action

You probably drank for a variety of reasons, and you usually have many reasons for choosing to stop drinking. It is much easier to think about what you want to do than it is to actually follow through. Taking action now will make it easier to follow through with your goals to quit drinking. Regardless of how long you have been drinking, quitting will be a massive effort on your part to rebuild and restructure your life without alcohol. To be successful, you may have to make difficult decisions and take actions that require a lot of effort. You will have to relearn many behaviors, such as how to:

  • Communicate without the help of alcohol
  • Process your emotions without the help of alcohol
  • Have fun without drinking
  • Cut the toxic relationships from your life
  • Build new, positive and uplifting relationships

Get Physically Healthy

The time you spent drinking was also time spent abusing your body. Giving up alcohol is a big step toward living healthy and cleansing your body of harmful toxins, but it is also important to take other steps toward improving your physical health. Some of the things you can do to improve your health include:

  • Eating healthy, which means adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet
  • Exercise daily
  • Meditation
  • Give up other bad habits, such as smoking

Build Your Self-Esteem

Making the decision to quit drinking can have a serious impact on your emotions. It is common to feel anxious, scared and depressed when you quit drinking, but it is also common to find blame within yourself for drinking. For example, some people may feel self-pity and self-blame for areas in their life, which may encourage your drinking. One of the most important things you can do for both your mental and your physical health is to rebuild your self-esteem. Some things that may help improve your self-esteem include:

  • Finding friends who care about you for yourself
  • Helping others, such as volunteering, is a great way to build your confidence and self-esteem
  • Continually seek ways for personal improvement
  • Spend time getting to know you
  • Try new hobbies and activities

Overcoming an alcohol addiction can be a long and difficult journey. At times, it may even feel like an impossible task. But, if you are ready to quit drinking and willing to take the steps necessary to reach your goal of being alcohol free, you can recover from the alcohol abuse. Regardless of how bad your addiction is, or how defenseless you feel, you can do this. Keep in mind that some people can stop drinking on their own, but others need outside help and medical supervision to safely and comfortable withdraw from alcohol. It is critical for your success to evaluate your situation and determine if you would benefit from outside help. It is also important to know that seeking help for an addiction does not make you weak; it actually makes you stronger, because you realize that your health, your life and your success will benefit from the help of others. Regardless of how you choose to quit drinking, utilizing these self-help strategies will help you through this difficult time.