How to Quit Drinking or at Least Cut BackEbuka Okoro
The answer is complicated, and depends on that person’s individual relationship to alcohol. It’s normal for the readjustment period to take time, and for people to encounter speed bumps along the way. Assume that for several months to a year you will need to focus on this process, and continue to problem solve as you go along.
In fact, for several decades now, the medication naltrexone has been successfully used to help people cut back and moderate their drinking, without requiring total abstinence. And in general there is sufficient research to suggest that moderation-based programs can be an effective alternative to traditional treatment.
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If there are any people who encourage you to drink too much, try to avoid them for the first month or so while you get used to your new style of drinking. If you are constantly surrounded bypeer pressureto drink, start seeking out new friends or family members who don’t drink as much. This will dilute the effect of alcohol consumption and therefore reduce the drive to drink excessively. Switching to drinking less concentrated how to control drinking drinks, like beer or wine over vodka, is one way to reduce alcohol intake. Alcohol consumption contributes to 3 million deaths each year globally as well as to the disabilities and poor health of millions of people. Overall, harmful use of alcohol is responsible for 5.1% of the global burden of disease. If cutting back on alcohol is hard for you to do on your own, ask your healthcare provider about getting help.
Instead of going to your usual restaurant for dinner and drinks, why not try a new place that doesn’t serve alcohol? You’ll get to experience something out of the ordinary without feeling tempted to drink. Check out apps like Meetup to find other people interested https://ecosoberhouse.com/ in alcohol-free activities. Consider cultivating friendship and romance with people who don’t prioritize drinking as an important part of their lives. Turner notes the importance of bringing along a trusted support person when attending events that involve alcohol.
When Is My Drinking an Issue?
Remove alcohol, and you’ll suddenly find yourself in overdrive. This isn’t always necessary, but some people prefer to go straight through withdrawal—the equivalent of ripping off a band-aid. The advantage can be that you push through the physical symptoms quickly, and come out the other side ready to change your habits. The downside is that cold turkey can also leave you feeling drained and vulnerable. This might actually encourage relapse, and then make you scared to quit again. Binge drinking is generally defined as four or more drinks on one occasion for women, and five or more for men. While this may overlap with alcohol use disorder, it doesn’t necessarily.
- It also results in severe cravings, often strong enough that a person can think of little else.
- This is especially true if you think you have a serious drinking problem.
- Ria Health offers a combination of remote medical supervision, anti-craving medication, weekly recovery coaching, online support groups, and app-based tools.
- Many people, including some medical professionals, believe that abstinence is the only way.
- Set a goal for how many drinks you want to have and write it down.
Satisfying hobbies can distract you from wanting to drink, but they also help you relax — something everyone needs to do. If you usually meet friends for a drink after work, consider going for a walk or meeting them for a hangout in the park or another alcohol-free space. Depending on where you live, you might be able to visit a sober bar and socialize without alcohol.