If you want to know how to stop drinking alcohol, the first step is a true understanding of your relationship with alcohol. Do you drink a few a month and want to stop because you have health concerns or need to cut down on your sugar, or are you courting a substance abuse or dependency issue? Maybe you’re already completely caught in the cycle of addiction and you want to know how to quit drinking successfully when nothing else you tried has worked.
How you quit drinking depends heavily on these factors, because if it’s not a habit for you at all, you simply quit drinking cold turkey and be alcohol-free by making different choices. And this can be confusing for those stuck in addiction or the people who love and care about them, because many people don’t understand why some individuals can’t make these choices.
For anyone who has developed any type of dependency on alcohol, it’s not necessarily a drinking habit you can break by sheer will; it’s likely become a chronic disorder with physical, emotional, mental health symptoms and alcohol withdrawal effects that need to be addressed during alcohol rehab.
Plus, chances are that if you’re dealing with alcohol dependency or addiction, it’s not enough to learn how to quit drinking. You also have to learn how to move positively into the future, breaking the cycle you’re caught in, addressing the root causes for why you have a drinking problem and developing healthy coping mechanisms and lifestyle choices to foster long-term sobriety.
But this is something that’s possible, and there are treatment options for seeking help if you’re serious about getting out of the cycle of alcohol addiction.
Alcohol Use Disorders by the Numbers
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other government and health organizations are pretty clear about the damage that alcoholic beverages can cause. According to the CDC, alcohol use disorders caused a loss of life between 2006 and 2010 equal to 2.5 million years of living. On average, those who die from heavy drinking are losing potentially 30 years that they could be seeking their dreams or spending time with loved ones, says the CDC.
One of the reasons many people are all in with alcohol addiction before they figure out they may need to stop drinking is that many people don’t understand what binge drinking or excessive alcohol consumption is. These are the types of alcohol use disorders that can lead to physical dependence or addiction. The CDC says that binge drinking is defined as more than 8 drinks weekly for women and 15 weekly for men. Binge drinking occurs when you have more than four or five drinks at a single dinner, party or other social events.
If you’re looking at those numbers and thinking you’re well below them, consider this. One drink is only 5 ounces of 12%-alcohol-content wine. In a quality, large pinot noir glass, 5 ounces takes up about a quarter of the available space, which means many people have multiple drinks when they pour a single glass of wine.
Other examples of a single drink include 12 ounces (one small can) of beer that has an alcohol content of 5% or a single 1.5-ounce shot of harder liquors. You can see with these serving sizes how it’s easy to get to the 8 or 15 per week drink numbers without even realizing it. And by the time you do the math, you may already be spiraling into addiction.
And you wouldn’t be alone. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, more than 15 million adults in the United States struggle with an alcohol use disorder.
How to Stop Alcohol Dependence With Professional Help
If you’re a heavy drinker despite the negative consequences or to make it through the day, can’t keep yourself from drinking or find yourself wanting to drink an increasing amount of alcohol, you may be dealing with alcohol dependence. Here’s how to quit drinking with professional addiction treatment help.
First, make contact with professionals who can offer information, evaluation and referrals. At Changing Tides, our caring counselors are available to answer your phone calls and emails 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We listen to your story and help you understand what type of treatment you may need. If that’s our oceanside alcohol rehab in North Carolina, we’ll help you understand how to start the process of seeking treatment with us. But if we’re not the right option, we can provide referrals to other alcohol treatment facilities.
Second, decide whether inpatient or outpatient treatment is best for you. For many people, residential (or inpatient) alcohol rehab is the right step because it forces them to break away from whatever is keeping them in the cycle of addiction and connects them with 24-hour support from medical and therapy staff. At Changing Tides, we provide this level of expert, research-backed treatment in a relaxing, beach-side atmosphere that allows you to walk on the beach, enjoy spectacular sunrises and engage with a variety of recovery methods for holistic rehab.
In many cases, once you decide on residential recovery, you can talk to your treatment team about options for medically assisted detox. This can be helpful if withdrawal symptoms have been driving you back to alcohol abuse and you’re worried about discomfort or even health issues within the first few days or weeks after you quit drinking. Medical teams work with you to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible and monitor you for the safest possible detox.
At Changing Tides, we work with all our residents to develop a treatment plan that works for their unique needs. Whether that’s alcohol detoxification, yoga-enhanced AA meetings or something else, we strive to create recovery that works for you and supports long-term sobriety. Because when it comes to the question of how to quit drinking, while there are best practices for treatment, we know that much of it depends on the individual person.
Take the First Steps to Recovery Today
Don’t spend more time looking for a magic answer to the question of how to stop drinking alcohol. Reach out to our beachside recovery center today by filling out our contact form to find out more about our treatment programs and how we can help you break the cycle of addiction.
For more guidance through this process call us at 252-715-3905.