Life without Alcohol

Tips to Stop Drinking Alcohol

Articles, Australia, International, Understanding Addiction

Find alternatives to quit drinking. Find new, healthy habits, activities or relationships to fill up your time instead of drinking alcohol. Seek other ways to deal with anxiety, stress or depression as well.

Stay away from things that urge you to want to use alcohol. Think about what triggers your mind to want to drink alcohol. Is it a person or a place? Whatever it is, try to avoid those things in order to stop using alcohol as a crutch for the underlying problem in your life. Are there certain activities that make you want to booze more, such as a sporting event, party or staying up too late? If these things make you want to drink, plan other options to stay away from these events until you can get your drinking problem under control. If your watering hole was on your way home from work, you may need to develop a new route home. Are there certain people you typically drink alcohol with? It might be worth finding a new set of friends to hang out with, so you are not tempted to drink when you are around your old alcohol drinking buddies. If you typically drink alcohol at home, make sure you clean out all alcohol from your house to avoid falling into the trap of boozing while you are at home alone. If there is no alcohol in your house or your desk at work (or wherever the craving hits you), then it will be easier to fight the urge to drink. You may still have the craving, but there will be no alcohol available!

Have a procedure in place for when a sudden trigger hits you. Set goals and make a list of ways to accomplish the goals you set. Call an accountability partner or a friend your trust to talk through how you are feeling and the urges you are experiencing. Have an activity available that you enjoy doing, such as exercise or any other hobby you love. Calm yourself with music. Distract yourself with other healthy behaviors you can think of doing. Do things besides drinking, and chances are your mood will feel better too! Be creative when developing a list of things to distract your mind from drinking. Exerting your energy elsewhere will allow you to cope with the problems in a more productive way as opposed to drinking alcohol.

Know your weaknesses when it comes to drinking. There will be times when you are not prepared for the desire to use alcohol to rear it’s ugly head, so learn your weaknesses to help you fight temptations in the times you may are unprepared for it to happen to you. If you are out with friends, have a go to non-alcoholic drink you order. Remember to be firm in your “no” to use alcohol, even when you are caught off guard. If you have a plan and are prepared, even for those unexpected times, you will be more likely to fight off the urges to drink. It is best to develop a plan, so you do not hesitate or second guess your decision to quit drinking.

Constantly remind yourself why you have chosen to stop drinking. Make list and carry them with you if you need to do so. If you suddenly have something trigger you to want to drink, pull them out and read them. Look back at the reasons you decided to quit often.

Do not beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon and do drink again. Overcoming an alcohol addiction is not easy, so ease up on yourself and refine your methods if your attempt to cease drinking fails. Look at it this way, if you backslide in your recovery, you can use your slip up as a learning experience of ways to improve your methods in the future. If you drink because you left alcohol in your house and thought you would not fall victim to it, then use it as a learning experience to not keep alcohol in your house in the future. Also, remember to take it one day at a time. Every day you do not drink is a successful day. Congratulate yourself when you make progress and recognize it is not the end of the world if you mess up while trying to quit drinking. Hop back on the train toward recovery and learn from the mistakes you make.

Seek help for an alcohol abuse problem when it is out of your control. It is a good idea to get help for the underlying issues that are causing you to drink as well. If your alcohol dependence is getting in the way of your everyday life, it may be time to seek professional help to overcome the issue.

Hopefully this advice will help you curb your alcohol urges and lead you down the path of recovering from your alcohol addiction.

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.

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