How to Stop Drinking Alcohol for Good

People who are dependent on alcohol should stop drinking completely. Read on to learn how to stop drinking alcohol for good here.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a little over 15 million Americans have an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol use disorder, as the condition is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV, comprises alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence.

Think you might have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol? If so, you may be wondering how to stop drinking alcohol for good. While it might not be an easy undertaking, it will benefit your health, relationships, career, and overall well-being. Read on to learn some practical advice for quitting drinking.

1. Tell Your Friends and Family

If your addiction has been negatively impacting your life, chances are that your loved ones will be glad to hear of your decision to get sober. Keeping them in the loop will allow them to encourage your efforts and to celebrate your successes.

The support of family and friends is crucial for newly sober people, particularly those who do not attend alcohol treatment programs. Don't be afraid to lean on your support system.

2. Steer Clear of Temptation

We humans are nothing if not creatures of habit. Giving up alcohol will be much harder if you don't break the habits associated with your drinking. That means turning down invitations to pubs and clubs, at least in the beginning. Maybe you have a standing "girls' night in" every Saturday that involves margaritas or wine. Beg off for the first few weeks, or ask your besties if they mind having a booze-free evening. 

3. Be Alert for Triggers

Similarly, you will want to prepare yourself for when the urge to drink hits. Many times, people with alcohol use disorder reach for the bottle because of certain triggers. If you always start a restaurant meal with a cocktail, try cooking at home or go to an establishment that doesn't serve liquor. If you habitually unwind from the work week with a beer, treat yourself to a fancy coffee drink when Friday rolls around.

4. Seek Out Substitute Activities

White-knuckling it through the evenings or weekend afternoons -- whenever you used to drink -- is going to be difficult. Instead of just gritting your teeth to get through, schedule something fun or relaxing as a substitute.

This could be taking a long walk in a beautiful environment or getting a mani-pedi. Try taking yourself to the movies, browsing in a bookstore, or just calling an old friend to chat. Make this your new routine and before you know it, you'll be looking forward to that activity all week.

5. Take Up a Hobby

The amount of free time you now have may surprise you. Finding fun ways to fill it is key for staying clean. A lot of recovering addicts discover that they enjoy crafting or learning a new skill. Others volunteer in the community or get serious about hitting the gym.

Cultivating a new hobby not only passes the time, but it also gives you something to focus on and devote your energies to.

Knowing How to Stop Drinking Alcohol For Good Is the First Step

It may be a cliché, but the day you stop drinking truly is the first day of the rest of your life. Now that you know how to stop drinking alcohol for good, incredible possibilities for health and happiness are opening up to you.

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