14.5 million people had an alcohol use disorder in 2019. Alcohol is a highly addictive substance which means it’s easy to develop a disorder and very hard to quit.
If you’ve noticed a problem and are wondering how to quit drinking alcohol, you’ve come to the right place. While these tips aren’t the full answer to living a sober life, they’re a big step in the right direction.
1. Identify Why You Want to Quit Alcohol
You’ll never be successful in staying sober if you haven’t identified the exact reasons why you want to quit alcohol. Otherwise, when presented with the opportunity to drink, you’ll overlook the benefits of sobriety.
Some people quit drinking because they see that their drunken selves hurt their loved ones. Some people quit because alcohol is having a negative impact on their physical or mental health. Others fear that they will lose their job if they keep drinking.
Whatever you’re reasons for choosing to get sober, write them down. And then put that list in an easy-to-access location so that you can look at it in your weakest moments.
2. Make an Actionable Plan
If you’re trying to learn how to get sober, you should know that the number one mistake people make is not having an actionable, solid plan. Too many people think that they can just stop drinking tomorrow, and that will be the end of it.
Instead, make a plan for when you’ll stop drinking. Is it tomorrow cold turkey? Will you try to moderate first?
You also need a plan for what you’ll do when you encounter your triggers to drink. What will you do on stressful days instead of drinking?
With a solid plan, you’re much more likely to succeed in your sober journey.
3. Get a Support System
Part of your plan should include finding a support system. These are the people you’ll go to for venting about the new challenges of sobriety. They’re the people who will get you through your triggered moments with a distraction.
Your support system can be family and friends who support your decision to stop drinking. They should be totally on board with not exposing you to triggers.
You can also include a therapist in your support system. There are even Virtual Rehabs that can connect you with a therapist who understands your struggle. Get more information here.
4. Replace Drinking Activities and Avoid Triggers
Sometimes it isn’t enough to just “avoid triggers”. Sure you might go to less drinking and events where drinking is taking place, but if drinking has been a major part of your social life or your way to wind down, you need to replace it with other activities.
Find social activities that don’t rely on alcohol such as recreational sports or hiking. Find other ways to relax at night such as reading, knitting, or sitting in a hot tub.
How to Quit Drinking Alcohol For Good
These tips are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to learning how to quit drinking alcohol. It takes hard work, a great team, and the will to win to stay sober and get your life back. But these tips should help get you started on your sober journey.
Looking for more mental health advice? Check out our Health section for more.
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