How Can You Quit Alcohol?

How Can You Quit Alcohol?


Anyone who is struggling with alcoholism or problem drinking might be wondering how they can quit alcohol.  In terms of detoxing safely when someone is dependent on alcohol, the answer is “very carefully.”

Because alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous, anyone who gets the shakes should go through a medical detox from alcohol.  That is generally going to mean that the person will need to go to rehab.  There they can give medications that will help with the shakes and prevent seizures from occurring.  Many people experience their first seizure ever when they quit drinking cold turkey.

Weening yourself down from alcohol is not recommended.  It is much better to go seek medical help in a rehab setting.  It is very, very difficult to taper down with the alcohol and stop drinking successfully that way.  I have yet to meet an alcoholic who has done so successfully. (If we could do it, we would probably not be alcoholics!).

Saint Lucia Day 3 (Feb 4, 2011) (103)
Creative Commons License photo credit: missmeng

Most alcoholics and problem drinkers have had periods of brief sobriety throughout their life.  They have had days or even weeks where they stopped drinking temporarily.  The problem has never been stopping….the problem is in staying stopped. That is the real challenge of recovery.  How can we quit alcohol successfully and find a new way to live?

Many people will recommend that you try AA meetings.  This is a good suggestion and I would encourage anyone to give it a shot.  It is not a perfect solution, and it does not work for everyone, but it is the best starting point.  One reason for this is because the meetings are everywhere.  Another reason for this is because it is free.  Plus, there is a ton of support from the people in the meetings.  You could certainly do worse.

On the other hand, don’t feel that this is the only path to sobriety. It is not.  There are other ways to stay sober.  But you have to take action.  Real action.  You have to do something in order to not drink.  If  you just stop drinking, and nothing else changes in your life, then you are going to return to drinking very soon.  The only way to start living a new life is to really make drastic changes and essentially change everything.

Can you picture your life with you sober?  Can you picture yourself being happy?  If not, then you need to take a leap of faith and just stick it out for a while.  Happiness will come if you stay sober and keep putting one foot in front of the other.