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Do You Need Help Quitting Alcohol?

Reasons-to-Stay-Sober-in-Difficult-Times

Drinking is a largely accepted social activity but, for some people, quitting alcohol can be extremely difficult.

Alcohol is also often seen as a method of coping with stress or anxiety.

Unfortunately, alcohol is only a short term solution, and it also comes with major downsides.

Even moderate drinking can cause a host of issues such as being hangover, but as you increase your dosage, you may notice other health effects.

This might include poor sleep, digestion issues, increased depression or anxiety, and memory issues.

These are all signs that quitting alcohol might be right for you.

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Quitting Alcohol and Understanding Your Relationship With It

The first step in quitting alcohol after realizing you have a problem is to understand why you drink in the first place.

Count How Much You Are Drinking

Even if you do not necessarily have a physical dependence on alcohol, you may be wondering whether or not you drink too much at a time. This might include one drink turning into three, or even five. Maybe you aren’t able to stop drinking once you start. These are all good reasons to consider quitting alcohol.

Consider Why You Drink

There are many reasons why you drink. Maybe you are using alcohol to numb the pain of your emotions or a co-occurring disorder such as depression. This is very common, but also dangerous. It is much better to seek treatment and work towards quitting alcohol while dealing with your mental illness. You may also tend to drink due to stress, trouble at work, or insomnia. Regardless, these are not reasons to drink.

Consider Your Approach to Quitting Alcohol

You may decide that you want to give up alcohol, but you are not sure how. The best way to quit alcohol is to go to a treatment program. This can help you to develop a better relationship with alcohol and make healthy choices when it comes to sobriety.

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What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a term that is used to describe someone with a severe alcohol use disorder. Alcohol use disorder, also known as an AUD, is defined as a chronic brain disease. It is characterized by compulsive drinking, loss of control over the use of alcohol, and feeling negative emotions when not using alcohol.

Signs of alcoholism:

  • Cravings to drink
  • Desire to stop drinking, but being unable to
  • Recurrent drinking leading to dangerous situations, such as driving a car
  • Giving up activities you once loved
  • Increase in tolerance to alcohol, meaning you will need to drink more to achieve the same effects
  • Experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms

What Happens When You Start Quitting Alcohol?

When you attempt to stop drinking after periods of prolonged use of alcohol, you will feel sick. These symptoms are known as withdrawal symptoms. Because of these symptoms, it might be difficult giving up alcohol. You may even turn back to drinking to avoid experiencing the physical and psychological symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

These symptoms will depend on how long you have used alcohol as well as how much you typically drink. These symptoms can be mild, but can also be quite severe and may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Bad dreams
  • Depression
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling jumpy or nervous
  • Irritability or becoming excited easily
  • Rapid emotional changes
  • Shakiness
  • Clammy skin
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Paleness
  • Rapid heart rate or palpitations
  • Sweating, especially the palms of your hands or your face
  • Tremor of your hands

Talking About Quitting Alcohol

Talking to the people in your life about your decision of quitting alcohol will help you to gather a support system.

This may also help motivate you to stick with your decision. Not only will having a support system in your partner, parents, siblings, and friends may motivate you to change, but it can also allow them to help you stay accountable.

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Find a Community While Quitting Drinking

If you are attempting your chances at quitting drinking, you may also want to build relationships with other people in the sober community. This can allow you to avoid joining co-workers at happy hour, and instead grab a pastry and coffee with someone from your sober group.

The same can be said for new relationships. It can be helpful to find sober partners who do not prioritize drinking in their lives.

The best place to meet other sober people is at 12-step groups. These are groups that can help you after treatment, to stay sober and talk about your daily struggles. Here you may be able to meet lifelong sober friends.

Treatment For Quitting Alcohol

There is no one cure for alcoholism, but many treatment options to help you achieve your goal of sobriety.

Detox

Detox is almost always the first step in getting treatment for alcoholism. Especially if you have a significant level of physiological alcohol dependence, it is important that you do not immediately attempt to abruptly stop drinking.

This can be extremely dangerous and will cause serious complications. One of these dangerous symptoms is withdrawal seizures.

Going through a medically supervised detox can help to keep you safe and comfortable throughout withdrawal.

Inpatient Rehab

If you are suffering from a severe alcohol use disorder, then you will be at risk for a severe withdrawal. Inpatient treatment is typically in a hospital-based setting or a rehabilitation facility. You will sleep, and spend 24 hours per day, at this facility. These programs can last anywhere from 30 to 90 days.

Outpatient Treatment

This form of treatment requires you to go to treatment for two to five hours per day, two to four times per week. It allows you to continue living at home and is a good choice if you are suffering from a mild to a moderate use disorder. Outpatient rehab can also be the second stage of treatment if you have already spent time in an inpatient facility.

Behavioral Therapy

There are many forms of behavioral therapy used in treatment for an alcohol use disorder.

Common forms of behavioral therapy include cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational enhancement.

These both focus on helping you think differently about alcohol.

Motivational enhancement is typically used to push you to engage with your treatment, and also helps in overcoming barriers to changing behaviors.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on identifying negative behaviors and developing new coping skills in order to better maintain sobriety.

These both focus on helping you think differently about alcohol.

Motivational enhancement is typically used to push you to engage with your treatment, and also helps in overcoming barriers to changing behaviors.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on identifying negative behaviors and developing new coping skills in order to better maintain sobriety.

Family Therapy

Family therapy can help you to set boundaries and behaviors. This will allow you to gain support from your family members while handling your use disorder.

Co-Occurring Disorders

If you suffer from a mental health disorder as well as a substance use disorder, then it is considered to be a dual diagnosis. It is essential that you go through a treatment program that is able to deal with both of these issues. Whether that is a mental health issue, such as depression or anxiety, or even bipolar disorder. By treating all of your disorders, you will have a higher chance of achieving sobriety long term.

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Your Road to Quitting Alcohol

Quitting alcohol on your own can be extremely difficult. Because of this, there is no need to go at it alone.

If you are having a hard time achieving your goal of sobriety on your own, contact us at Resurgence Behavioral Health.

We can help you find a therapy program that works for you. You should also involve yourself in a 12-step program to find support.

Contact us today to learn about our free insurance verification for treatment.

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