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How to Stop Drinking - 6 Straight-Forward Steps to Success

Lisa Taylor
Lisa TaylorAddiction Counsellor

Everybody drinks, right? No, that is actually not true. Some people have never tasted alcohol while others used to drink but decided to stop for whatever reason. Any decision you make to stop drinking alcohol will put you in the company of a lot of very good people who have also chosen abstinence. You would not be abnormal at all.

If you want to learn how to stop drinking, we can help. We can explain how to stop by yourself or to do so using professional treatment and therapy. It really only depends on the severity of your drinking problem and how badly you want to quit. Thankfully, this is our area of speciality. As an independent counselling and referral service, we provide alcohol abusers and their families with comprehensive assessments, sound advice, and free referral service.

If you want to stop drinking, you can do so by following the six steps to success:

Step 1 – Stop Ignoring Your Problem

The first and most difficult step to giving up alcohol is admitting that you have a problem. In order to do so, you have to stop ignoring it. There are ways to quit drinking that can only be applied once you come to terms with the fact that you have a drinking problem. So, do you have a problem requiring help? You may, if you display any of the following symptoms:

  • You experience alcohol cravings that cannot be satisfied in any other way
  • You regularly exceed what are considered generally safe levels of drinking
  • You binge drink more than once every few months
  • You find it hard to get through the day without drinking
  • You find yourself hiding alcohol at home, work, or school
  • You find you need to drink larger amounts of alcohol to still feel good.

Ignoring the symptoms is not a wise thing to do. If you exhibit even a few of them, you may already be in the early stages of alcohol abuse. Exhibiting all of them suggests you might be an alcoholic. Stop ignoring the problem or you will never be able to conquer it.

Step 2 – Call Our 24-Hour Helpline

The second step to quitting alcohol is to call our 24-hour helpline or contact us through our website. What can we do for you? First, we can explain how to stop drinking in further detail. Second, we can provide you a comprehensive assessment of the seriousness of your problem. Third, we can walk you through various treatment options and refer you to the treatment provider of your choice.

Alternatively, you can schedule a visit with your GP or an alcohol counsellor. Both kinds of professionals can do the same sorts of things we do. We would offer one caution here: alcohol recovery services provided by the NHS are often oversubscribed and limited in the resources they offer. That likely means a waiting time for you. The time you spend waiting on the NHS is time you could be spending on conquering your problem via a private clinic or counsellor.

Calling our helpline is the fastest and most effective way to get you started on your journey. Our services are confidential, free, and fast. Contacting us today could mean starting your rehabilitation programme within 24 to 48 hours.

Step 3 – Choose a Recovery Programme

We can provide you with a comprehensive assessment of your circumstances. We can supply you with a list of treatment providers in your local area whose services are appropriate to your needs. But you must choose a recovery programme by yourself. Why? Because your willing participation in recovery is necessary to ensure success. If we or one of your family members attempted to force you into a recovery programme against your will, you would likely fail.

We cannot emphasise strongly enough how important it is to stop drinking by using a professional treatment programme. You could attempt to quit by yourself, but the effects of stopping could be dangerous if your problem is severe enough. Professional treatment includes medical monitoring just in case withdrawal symptoms give you a problem. It is far better and safer to undergo professional treatment than trying to do it alone.

Step 4 – Commit Yourself to Treatment 100%

Physicians and therapists specialising in alcohol treatment have developed some of the best programmes we have ever seen. For example, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has been very successful in helping alcoholics overcome. Yet no treatment programme can truly succeed if the client is not 100% committed to good health. We believe it is valid to make the argument that client commitment is the most important factor in determining success or failure.

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Your therapists and physicians want you to succeed. They will do everything they can to ensure you do. But they need your help by way of a full and total commitment. Do everything you are asked to do; be faithful and make all of your appointments; let your doctors and therapists know when you are struggling.

Step 5 – Commit Yourself to Aftercare as Well

Completing an outpatient or inpatient rehab programme does not mean your struggles with alcohol are over. Upon returning to the life you knew before treatment, you will be faced with some of the same temptations and pressures that enabled your drinking in the past. The best way to overcome them, and avoid relapse at the same time, is to commit yourself to aftercare services.

Your aftercare programme will probably include participation in a local support group. Embrace it. You have already learned how to stop drinking; involvement in a support group will teach you how to stay away from drinking in the future. You might also participate in one-on-one counselling and other forms of therapy in addition to support group participation.

Bear in mind that the most difficult time after successful treatment is the first year. Former alcoholics and alcohol abusers who do relapse typically do so within 12 months. Being faithful to aftercare services throughout your first year following treatment is the best way to avoid a relapse of your own.

Step 6 – Build a Support System

The final step in the process is to build a support system of friends and family members you can rely on. Professional treatment is necessary to stop drinking while aftercare support is a valuable tool for avoiding relapse. But neither professional treatment nor aftercare can last forever. At some point, you will have to be able to go it alone. That's when a support system becomes so important.

A support system includes people you can talk to when you're feeling anxious about alcohol. It includes individuals who will hold you accountable, people who can make sure that you do not take another drink even when you feel you must have one. Statistics show that former alcoholics and alcohol abusers are much more likely to remain abstinent for life when they have the support of family members and friends.

These six straightforward steps can help you give up drinking once and for all. Recovery from alcohol will not necessarily be easy for you, especially if you are already an alcoholic, but it is entirely possible with professional treatment and the right kind of support. If you want to know more details about how to stop drinking, please contact us immediately. Our trained and professional counsellors are standing by to help you.

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