Strategies For Cutting Down Drinking & Alcohol Consumption NIAAA

Once urges and cravings are well-managed, a person may consider reconnecting with certain individuals. These symptoms may start a few hours or a few days after your last drink of alcohol. Sometimes, symptoms may be severe enough to require medical treatment at a hospital or rehabilitation facility.

During this stage, most people focus their energy on coping with cravings and resisting the urge to drink. Consider tracking and analyzing your urges to drink for a couple of weeks. This will help you become more aware of when and how you experience urges, what triggers them, and ways to avoid or control them. Be sure to discuss your decision with a trusted healthcare provider because quitting drinking may have its own health impacts or affect another underlying medical condition. The goal was to address an unmet need to provide treatment for substance use along with underlying mental health issues. Secular Organizations for Sobriety offers an alternative path to the faith-based 12-step model.

  1. Affirming intentions, knowing the reasons for quitting alcohol, and setting up the environment for success are important strategies.
  2. WFS offers both in-person and online support groups (although in-person offerings can be sparse outside urban areas).
  3. When a craving for alcohol strikes, a good first step involves acknowledging the craving, according to Mehta.
  4. For those who prefer a comprehensive program that addresses mental health, consider The Recovery Village.

If you’re living with alcohol use disorder, quitting drinking is important for your health. But quitting on your own can pose risks to your health and is unlikely to be successful. Rehabilitation facilities can help you on your path to sobriety by addressing alcohol withdrawal symptoms and becoming involved in sober living support groups, like AA. Overcoming an addiction to alcohol can be a long and bumpy road. If you’re ready to stop drinking and willing to get the support you need, you can recover from alcoholism and alcohol abuse—no matter how heavy your drinking or how powerless you feel. And you don’t have to wait until you hit rock bottom; you can make a change at any time.

I stopped drinking three months ago – it’s not as simple as the internet makes it look

It’s often easier to turn down a drink when you don’t have to do it alone. It’s possible to develop a better relationship with alcohol and make more mindful, informed choices about drinking without total sobriety. The more you drink, the higher your risk of serious health problems, including hypertension, stroke and cancers, including breast cancer. If a drink is a way you handle boredom or stress, try finding something else to do instead. Exercise is a great stress reliever, and simple things like cleaning, a new hobby or DIY can be a good way to occupy mind and body.

Make a plan for when cravings kick in.

Make it clear that drinking will not be allowed in your home and that you may not be able to attend events where alcohol is being served. BetterHelp is an online therapy service that matches you to licensed, accredited therapists who can help with depression, anxiety, relationships, and more. Take the assessment and get matched with a therapist in as little as 48 hours. If you’re still finding it hard to stop drinking so much even though you want to, check out the NIAAA’s website Rethinking Drinking for more information. “If we do something — anything — while we are thinking of having that first drink, we change our focus to something hopefully healthier,” Fiellin said.

The three basic steps of urge surfing:

She lives in Washington with her son and a lovably recalcitrant cat. Therapy, medication, and recovery programs can all have benefit for reducing and preventing cravings. Combining medication with therapy and other interventions can prove even more helpful than medication alone.

And consider joining a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous. While the recovery period may be challenging, it’s also filled with milestones that can transform your life into one that’s better than you could have previously imagined. Combining therapy with support groups can greatly improve your odds of success. Clinical evidence suggests that the most common causes of relapse during this stage are neglecting self-care or not attending self-help groups. During the repair stage, taking care of yourself is paramount.

If they drink, ask them to support your recovery by not doing so in front of you. Whether you have a diagnosed mental health disorder or not, therapy is a positive tool for long-term recovery. A therapist can help you uncover key insights regarding your alcohol use and offer tools that will set you up for successful and satisfying long-term recovery. Excessive alcohol use often coincides with other mental health disorders.

As you prepare your plan to quit drinking, make a list of the barriers that might be standing in your way and brainstorm ways to deal with these problems. Potential solutions might include looking for low-cost treatment options, joining a support group, and talking to a mental health professional. If you’ve become dependent on alcohol, acetaminophen and alcohol cutting it out of your life may produce withdrawal symptoms, such as a rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, sweating and shaking. Psychological symptoms can include irritability, anxiety and restlessness. The best program to quit drinking is the one that delivers results for your unique situation, and it varies from person to person.

It can be used with counseling or therapy and is not meant as a substitute for professional help. If you choose to try it on your own and at any point feel you need more help, then lsd: what to know seek support (see Help Links). If you are trying to choose the best method for yourself, it’s important to consider your situation and what level of support you will need.

Try to commit to at least two days each week when you won’t drink at all. Tell trusted family and friends about your plan to quit or cut back on alcohol. When those around you are in the know, it can help them know not to offer you drinks. It may even help if you spend time with other nondrinkers for a while so you can support each other.

It’s proven successful for people who are seeking a different path to sobriety. Women for Sobriety (WFS) offers substance use recovery programs designed specifically for people who identify as women. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually start within hours after you stop drinking, peak in a day or two, and improve within five days. But in some alcoholics, withdrawal is not just unpleasant—it can be life threatening. Most people with alcohol problems do not decide to make a big change out of the blue or transform their drinking habits overnight.


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