Are you tired of your drinking habits? Do you want to quit drinking permanently? Or would you like to tone it down?
According to the 2015 National Survey on Drugs Use and Health, about 6.7% of adults who had Alcohol Use Disorder in 2014 received treatment. You too can overcome alcoholism if you take the right steps.
With this in mind, here are seven strategies you can use in overcoming alcoholism.
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1. Compare Benefits Against Costs of Drinking
It is hard to quit alcohol when you don’t see anything wrong with it. Alcohol users need to think of all the benefits they will get if they stop drinking, and weigh them against the cost of consuming alcohol.
The list containing the advantages of drinking may look like this:
- Consuming alcohol makes me forget my problems
- It is my way of relaxing and unwinding
- I’m fun when I drink
After that, you can write down the list of potential benefits of quitting drinking, for example:
- I will save more money and invest
- I will perform better in my job and maximize returns from it
- I will not get into a fight with my family and other people
The list will make you see the reality and help you pick the best option. When you have strong reasons to quit, you will be motivated to stop drinking even if you don’t feel like it.
2. Set Goals for Overcoming Alcoholism
This is the time to make clear, specific and realistic goals. You goals tell you what you truly want, make you believe in yourself, and hold you accountable for your failures. Your goals can be something like:
- I will drink only on weekends starting from this date
- I will drink water whenever I feel like drinking alcohol
- I will drink only on the last Saturday of every month
Once you set your goals, it is essential to tell your family and friends. They can help you achieve them. They can remind you whenever you forget to follow through your goals. Also, be ready to seek help whenever you need it.
You must also keep off all the sources of temptations. Keep alcohol away from your home, avoid going to your favorite drinking joints, and stop spending time with your drinking buddies.
3. Decide Whether to Cut Back or Quit Drinking Completely
Those who are not addicted to alcohol, i.e., those who can control their drinking, may want to opt for reducing the amount of alcohol they drink. In this case, you should set a limit on how much you want to tone down and keep track of your drinking.
However, it is advisable to quit even if you can control your drinking because even the little dosage can cause alcohol-related diseases.
Those who can’t control their drinking (alcoholics), should decide on quitting entirely.
4. Find All the Support You Need
When you are recovering, especially as an alcoholic, you need all the support you can get from the relevant people. Support can come from:
- Friends, Colleagues, and Family
They can offer their moral support, give financial assistance, or keep you on your toes throughout the recovery journey. They can motivate you to keep fighting the battle to recovery even when you feel like giving up.
Those who need medical supervision to help them withdraw safely from alcohol will require rehab. Here you will get treatment for your addiction. It offers a safe environment to detox, and you will get comprehensive therapy to help you recover from alcoholism and live the happy life you desire.
They can provide simple or intensive counseling depending on how severe your problem is. This will help you develop personalized strategies to get sober.
- Self-Help Groups
The group’s members support and encourage one another to stay alcohol-free. The best known are 12 step programs. An example is Alcohol Anonymous.
5. Build a New Meaningful Life
Getting support from friends, therapists, rehab, and self-help groups is only the beginning. You need to build a new life where alcohol has no place. The following steps can help you start a new positive life:
- Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle
Eat the right food, exercise (insert external), and get enough sleep to live a happy life. You’ll also help the body recover and develop a strong immunity after being subjected to alcohol abuse.
- Develop New Life Goals to Achieve
This is the time to focus on those big dreams you’ve always wanted to achieve in life: Financial freedom, touring the world, starting your own family, going to the gym, and many more.
Whatever your dreams and aspirations in life are, focus on them since the new lifestyle will make you forget about alcohol.
- Build New Social Connections
You won’t need your drinking buddies anymore. Build a new friendship that conforms to your new lifestyle. Many groups are dedicated to helping alcoholics recover, and you should feel free to join any that suits you. These new connections help you avoid relapse and improve faster.
6. Manage Your Cravings and Triggers
It is easy to relapse to your old drinking ways if you give in to cravings and triggers. Avoid activities and places that make you crave for alcohol. You will have to lose some of your friends too if they interfere with your recovery.
In those moments when you crave alcohol, look for something that can distract you until the urge to drink disappears. You can call and talk to a friend, take a walk, drink water, or do any other thing apart from drinking.
7. Control Relapse and Setbacks in Your Recovery
Quitting alcohol is a long journey. Sometimes you will slip back to drinking, but whenever it happens, aim towards preventing it from happening again. Talk to your therapist of self-help group if you struggle with regular relapses.
It is also important to remember what triggered your slip. It may be stress, financial constraints, or even meeting up with an old drinking buddy. Take measures to control these triggers and prevent future relapses in your recovery journey.
Overcoming Alcoholism is Possible
The journey to overcoming alcoholism is long, and you need a helping hand to walk you step by step throughout the road to an alcohol-free life. However, it is possible to pull yourself out of the snares of alcohol addiction.
1st Step Behavioral Health’s caring and dedicated professionals are here to help. Contact us today to book an appointment.