4 Tips to Stop Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol consumption can harm the affected person and those around him or her. Therefore, achieving sobriety is the main goal.
4 Tips to Stop Drinking Alcohol
Maryel Alvarado Nieto

Written and verified by the doctor Maryel Alvarado Nieto.

Last update: 25 August, 2022

Alcohol is considered acceptable in our societies, so its distribution is currently legal. However, when alcohol consumption is excessive, it becomes an addiction and is difficult to stop drinking alcohol.

It negatively affects the different areas of a person’s life, causing havoc. For this reason, it’s best to try to kick the alcohol habit in order to regain lost control.

The purpose of this article is to support those who wish to stop drinking alcohol by giving the advice to help them face their decision. However, it’s not intended to be a guide to alcohol withdrawal, nor does it encourage the patient to disengage from professional help.

On the contrary, it’s intended to provide honest information about the difficult road ahead. Ideally, this should be done with the support of a therapist.

1. Recognize that your alcohol consumption is a problem

The first step in achieving change is the most difficult: recognizing that your alcohol consumption has become a real problem. Being able to visualize the damage done can be quite a painful point to face.

However, it can be transformed into a real drive to overcome the problem. To do this, it’s necessary to be aware of the effect of alcohol consumption and the frequency with which it’s consumed.

Also, it’s necessary to stop and objectively evaluate the different roles that the person plays: partner, parent, child, sibling, friend, worker, and boss, among others. By reflecting on these aspects, the reality hidden in the jigsaw puzzle of addiction will begin to emerge.

The life of addicts is often fraught with constant arguments, financial problems, and low productivity. This is clear evidence that something is wrong. Knowing this can inspire change.

2. Assume the reality: It’s necessary to seek help

One of the great paradigms that still remains to be broken in many societies is to recognize that alcoholism is actually a disease and not a vice or a lack of character. The real advantage of this perspective lies in the fact that the alcoholic ceases to be the ultimate culprit and becomes a human being who needs the support of those around him or her.

Likewise, attendance at centers such as Alcoholics Anonymous is very useful. In these groups, help comes from different people dealing with the same problem.

Therefore, they truly know what they’re dealing with. The continuous mutual support on which these associations are based generates longer days of abstinence from alcohol, as long as there’s a commitment to attend at least once a week.

Aislamiento por alcoholismo.
Alcoholism can lead to isolation, which makes it more difficult to find social support networks.

Compassion from their environment and alcohol consumption

It’s often difficult for the alcoholic’s closest environment to be sincerely willing to help him or her without establishing a value judgment. The greatest difficulty in this regard depends on the degree to which their alcohol consumption has affected family life, since there’s usually frequent and constant damage to each of the members, especially the children.

For this reason, it’s common for there to be mixed feelings toward the alcoholic that often counteract the desire to see the family member recover. One useful way to address this is through the development of compassion. Although there are different techniques for doing this, they all aim to dismantle the hurtful monster figure that the alcoholic represents.

Cultivating compassion for the other and for oneself is a key point in healing varying degrees of toxicity. In the best of cases, the complex path to quitting drinking is smoothed somewhat when there’s support in the intimate environment.

However, if this doesn’t occur, being able to adopt a compassionate and honest stance will help the situation not become an excuse to drink again.

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3. Recognize the triggers for drinking

Typically, continued drinking is a form of protection from the world and the alcoholic him/herself. The habit of drinking provides some kind of relief from some aspects that the person doesn’t have the capacity to cope with.

It’s therefore essential to reflect on why one is drinking. The best time to do this is when the need to consume appears.

One way is through the preparation of a personal diary, where the perceptions that one has about it are written down. First of all, you must occupy your mind with something other than the urge to drink. Then you must determine what led you to the urge, to begin with. In this way, you’re becoming aware of some of the underlying causes of your drinking.

4. Stop drinking alcohol: Find ways to cope with anxiety

One of the problems a person in recovery faces is withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety. Various relaxation and meditation techniques have been described for the patient to decrease their stress levels. The aim is to prevent a relapse in alcohol consumption.

Underestimating the withdrawal syndrome is a common mistake.

For this reason, it is necessary to have the guidance of a professional who’s specialized in addictions, so that the best course of action can be chosen. The evaluation and constant follow-up of patients in an outpatient alcohol withdrawal program must be rigorous. This ensures that the patient has the therapeutic options he/she requires, including the use of medications.

stop drinking alcohol
Abstinence syndrome is a severe condition. Some patients switch from alcohol consumption to medication or even drugs to relieve symptoms.

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The key points to quitting alcohol consumption

Although it may seem obvious, making certain lifestyle changes will have a positive impact on the difficult task of kicking the alcohol habit. These tips are helpful in the beginning, as they will create motivation. However, they require consistency and discipline on the part of the patient.

Some of the recommendations include the following:

  • Eliminate any liquor from the house
  • Incorporate physical exercise routines on a regular basis
  • Avoid social gatherings where drinking alcohol is a priority
  • Schedule regular times for eating and sleeping at night

Quitting alcohol involves getting up again and again

The road to sobriety is a winding path, with constant relapses. For this reason, it’s not uncommon for stumbling blocks to appear that are so hard that they lead one to assume that the easiest way out is to give up.

And this may be true in the short term. However, it’s alcoholism that blurs the vision of the advantages of quitting, especially over time.

The main enemy of the process is the feeling of defeat. While for many this comes from the relapse itself, failing to persevere in staying sober as many times as necessary is the real failure.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Ramírez, A.; Naal, A.; Salinas, E.; Pérez, C.; Una Visión del Alcoholismo del Padre desde la Mirada de los Hijos; Health and Addictions; 14 (2): 109 – 120; 2014.
  • Carreras, A.; Intervenciones en el Consumo de Alcohol: de los Grupos de Autoayuda a la Regulación de la Propia Conducta. ¿Métodos Complementarios o Antagónicos?; Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid; Clínica Contemporánea; 2 (3): 249 – 269; 2011.
  • Montes, R.; Rabuñal, R.; Guía de Práctica Clínica: Tratamiento del Síndrome de Abstinencia Alcohólica; Galicia Clínica; 72 (2): 51 – 64; 2011.
  • Zgierska, A.; Burzinski, C.; Mundt, M.; McClintock, A.; Cox, J.; Coe, C.; Miller, M.; Fleming, M.; Mindfulness-based Relapse Prevention for Alcohol Dependence: Findings from a Randomized Controlled Trial; Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment; 100: 8 – 17; 2019.
  • Siñol, N.; Martínez, E.; Guillamó, E.; Campos, M.; Efectividad del Ejercicio Físico como Intervención Coadyuvante en las Adicciones: Una Revisión; Adicciones; 2013.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.