Alcohol is one of the only legal psychoactive drugs in the U.S. Every year, hundreds of millions of Americans enjoy alcoholic beverages without problems or consequences.
But alcohol can also be a dangerous and addictive drug. An estimated 88,000 people die each year in the U.S. from alcohol-related causes. This makes alcohol the third-leading cause of death in the country, after tobacco and living an unhealthy lifestyle.
If you are one of the 14 million Americans living with alcohol use disorder (AUD), then you may be wondering how to overcome alcohol addiction. Remember, professional addiction treatment is the only suitable option for addressing AUD.
Even if you are not addicted to alcohol, there are several reasons why you may want to cut back or stop drinking. Below, we’ve outlined some of these reasons and given practical tips on how to stop drinking. Read on for more!
Benefits of Quitting or Reducing Alcohol Intake
There are a lot of ways that quitting or drinking less can improve your life. You don’t have to be addicted to alcohol to decide that you would rather not drink, or to want to drink less.
Knowing the benefits of quitting is also a key part of staying strong when you are feeling tempted to drink. It is important to connect with your own personal motivation for reducing your alcohol intake.
There are several well-known benefits of drinking less or ceasing to drink. Reducing or quitting alcohol can:
- Improve your mood.
- Help you sleep better.
- Improve your relationships with friends, family, and loved ones.
- Help you to perform better at work or school.
- Lower your risk of long-term health issues such as cancer, heart disease, liver disease, and high blood pressure.
- Help you save money.
With a strong motivation for kicking your alcohol habit, the rest of your journey will be much smoother.
Make a Plan
Once you have your motivation for making a change, it’s time to decide whether you need to give up alcohol altogether, or simply reduce your drinking.
This decision comes down to what kind of drinker you are and what your motivation is in changing your drinking habits. If you feel you don’t have total control over yourself when it comes to alcohol, it is probably best to plan on giving it up entirely.
If you simply want to feel better and reduce your chances of health problems in the future, perhaps this could be achieved by curbing your drinking.
Whichever route you choose, it is important to make a plan and stick to it. By committing to specific drinking-related goals, you give yourself a roadmap for the coming weeks and months.
It doesn’t matter if you’re choosing to stop drinking entirely for 3 months, or if you want to cut down to less than 5 drinks per week. What matters is that you follow up with the commitment you make to yourself.
A key way to overcome alcohol addiction, or any substance use disorder, is to recognize triggers to use and learn to work around them. Even if you are giving up alcohol for reasons other than addiction, this is an important concept to understand.
Everyone drinks in different situations. Many people are social drinkers who meet friends at bars or restaurants to have a few drinks. Others drink at home when they get off work. Some people drink heavily when they watch sports.
Whatever the situations are that prompt you to drink more than you want to, you need to recognize and learn to avoid them. This may require you to ask your friends and loved ones for help. Instead of meeting at a bar, perhaps your friends would consider hanging out somewhere less alcohol-oriented.
Learning to avoid your drinking triggers is especially important during the early stages of abstinence. During this time, you may lack confidence in your ability to say no to alcohol. As you stay sober for longer, you might find that you are able to enjoy these situations without needing alcohol.
Get Treatment for Alcohol Addiction
If your drinking problem is more severe, you may need to seek professional help. Fortunately, alcohol treatment centers can help you to overcome alcohol addiction and get back on your feet.
Alcohol addiction can kill you in a number of ways, whether it be a car accident or a long-term health issue like cancer. Those possibilities aside, it is likely to ruin your close relationships and make work more difficult.
There’s no shame in calling for help. Call Northeast Treatment Center today to learn how we can help you kick your alcohol addiction.