Across the nation, alcohol dependency is a major contributor to substance abuse statistics. Due to it being legal for decades, many disregard the severity of its life-threatening danger in comparison to higher class drugs. Though with legality and easy access, alcohol can make its way into the lives of individuals—young and old—and become a toxic part of their daily routines. In this article, we will provide you with tips to quit alcohol for good.
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Since alcohol has become a widely accepted and expected part of socialization, people may find it to be one of the hardest substances to quit. Regardless, the decision to remove alcohol from your life will not only free you from the physical effects of alcohol misuse, but it will also strengthen the relationships in your life that matter to you most—including yourself. The Detox Center of LA is happy to provide an array of tips that will help support you in this transition and offer a foundation to build and thrive with sober living.
Why Quit Alcohol?
When you decide to quit using alcohol, you are placing yourself on a path of resistance. You will feel the physical withdrawal symptoms, experience emotional opposition, and face personal demons along the way. It is not an easy feat. It is a journey that takes courage and strength—to battle the person you’ve become with the person you were meant to be.
Quitting alcohol doesn’t only release you from potential health risks, it alleviates impacts on mental health, financial insecurity, and harmful relationships. Individuals experiencing alcohol dependence have often become detached from the reality they live in—through the process of removing alcohol, one can hope to reclaim this reality. In doing so, the physical benefits of removing alcohol will also begin to appear. Some benefits include:
- Improvement or reversal of cognitive damage
- Increase in memory, planning, and organization
- Behavior control
- Increased reaction time
- Low blood pressure
- Maintaining healthy body weight
Best Tips to Quit Alcohol for Good
Though quitting alcohol for good can seem like an impossible task, The Detox Center of LA knows that you are deserving of success. Each individual brings their own experiences, faces their own challenges, and will more than likely have to fight the urge to give up. We urge you not to—addiction wants you to fail and you will have to say “no”. Using the strategies below, explore our top 5 tips for quitting alcohol and reclaim your power.
- Alcohol Alternatives: With the ever growing awareness and acceptance of sober living, finding alcohol alternatives has never been easier. Many restaurants and bars not only serve and provide alcohol-free beer, the creation and presentation of mocktails have become a trend. Finding ways to enjoy beverages without alcohol is a great way to transition into a sober lifestyle without sacrificing your social life.
- Avoid Triggers: While you may be able to head out to your favorite establishments and mingle with friends, it is crucial to avoid triggers—people and places. Cravings for alcohol can be intense, especially in the first six months. Though you may feel you are ready to handle certain situations, it is important to recognize who or what your triggers are and have an exit plan should you face them.
- Seeking Support: Sober living is never done alone. It takes a network of support and encouragement to continue on this courageous path. Seeking various support groups is highly recommended for maintaining your sobriety. Some organized groups to consider are Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS), or Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART). These organizations are peer-led by individuals living in recovery and are dedicated to providing consistent, reliable support through group meetings seven days a week.
- Fighting Urges: Craving alcohol is a reality that you will face in recovery. Initially, you may feel disappointed in yourself, though it is important to understand that this is normal and it is okay. When you experience the urge to drink, remind yourself that you can overcome this moment—it will pass. Distractions are a quick fix for cravings, though you might seek out support from an aforementioned support group, contact someone you trust, or remind yourself how far you’ve come and have the potential to go.
- Saying “No”: This is one that will take consistent practice and should be used limitlessly. You will have to face saying “no” to others and to situations—avoiding possible triggers and setbacks. Though more importantly, you will have to say “no” to yourself. Remember, you are in control of your life and the magic of “no” will let you keep it.
What Happens To Your Body When You Quit Alcohol?
As you begin to soak in your sobriety, your body will experience physical changes. These changes will shift in severity based on how heavily and frequently you consumed alcohol. Symptoms may range from mild to severe and present themselves over the course of days to weeks. Some of these symptoms include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Stomach cramps
- Trouble concentrating
- Elevated heart rate and blood pressure
Most symptoms begin within hours of stopping alcohol, peak within the first two to three days and subside within five to seven days. It is important to note that if these symptoms persist or worsen, you should seek medical assistance immediately. Withdrawal from alcohol is not only unpleasant—it may be life-threatening.
Alcohol Withdrawal Management
Alcohol withdrawal management refers to monitoring the physical and mental state of the person quitting alcohol use. This is not a process that an individual should experience alone and it is highly recommended that medical detox be considered. Though people may quit alcohol without medical assistance, it is essential to communicate this decision to someone you trust and can support you during this time.
As listed in the previous section, alcohol withdrawal can present an array of symptoms. Through medical detox, your withdrawal experience will be managed professionally and mindfully by a team who will tend to any physical or psychological needs. Benzodiazepines or other sedative medications may be utilized to offer comfort to the patient during peak levels of withdrawal.
Should you choose to manage alcohol withdrawal at home, it is highly recommended that you know your options for nearby medical detox facilities and keep a log of symptoms to monitor your progress. While many can and do safely stop using alcohol without medical detox, it is better to be prepared and have emergency support in place.
Alcohol Detox and Rehab at The Detox Center of LA
At The Detox Center of LA, you will have access to the full continuum of care and be given the opportunity to explore your options in a nationwide network. The teams at TDCLA are committed to providing you with compassionate, mindful, and equitable care and are driven to help you reach your goals. We understand that approaching a lifestyle shift can be challenging and cause doubt—let us manage the intricacies of detox and rehabilitation while you focus on yourself.
The Detox Center of LA offers services from medical detox, inpatient/outpatient rehab, and a wide range of therapeutic care. Our professionals are trauma-informed specialists in their field yearning to offer you the tools you need to be successful. When you walk through our doors you will be met by empathy, understanding, and a willingness to be with you every step of the way. Your success is our success and together we can bring you closer to the life you were meant to live.