March 12, 2024

“I Need to Stop Drinking” | Here’s What to Do

image representing i need to stop drinking

People decide to stop drinking for many different reasons. Some people stop drinking to embrace a healthier lifestyle by eliminating hangovers, improving sleep, boosting energy, and shedding unwanted pounds. Others decide to quit drinking as a personal challenge, to support a friend in their journey to sobriety, or to contribute to a charitable cause. Beyond this, some people choose to sober up on health grounds, possibly due to an alcohol-related health issue like liver disease, or because of negative interactions with medications.

Whatever your reasons for thinking, “I need to stop drinking”, this is an achievable goal, and it can be streamlined with professional assistance. This guide offers practical advice on how to successfully quit drinking, outlines the positive changes you might see, and discusses potential withdrawal symptoms for those transitioning from heavy drinking to sobriety.

What to Do If You Need to Stop Drinking

Need Help Getting
Addiction Treatment?

If you’re ready to stop drinking, here are some pointers to make it easier on yourself:

  • Acknowledge your decision: Recognizing the need to quit drinking is the first step toward recovery. It takes courage to make this commitment to yourself.
  • Educate yourself: Learn as much as possible about the impact of alcohol on your health and the benefits of sobriety. Understanding potential withdrawal symptoms can also prepare you effectively for the journey ahead.
  • Set clear goals: Determine if your aim is to moderate or discontinue use. Creating clear and actionable goals can help make your intentions more tangible.
  • Seek support: Building a support system is highly beneficial for anyone who wants to stop drinking. This may include friends and family, support groups like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), or online communities. Engaging with counseling can also offer personalized guidance and support.
  • Develop new habits: Replace drinking with healthy alternatives by exploring new hobbies, exercising, or practicing relaxation techniques that don’t involve alcohol.
  • Avoid triggers: Identify and manage your triggers. This may involve changing your routine, avoiding certain social scenarios, or practicing stress management techniques.
  • Celebrate milestones: Acknowledge every success along the way, no matter how small. Each alcohol-free day is an achievement.
  • Plan for setbacks: Understand that setbacks are part of the process due to the relapsing nature of alcoholism – four to six out of every ten people who receive alcohol addiction treatment relapse at least once before achieving and maintaining long-term sobriety. Setbacks offer learning opportunities and a chance to strengthen your commitment. Relapse should never be viewed as a failure.
  • Consider medical detox: For those with severe alcohol use disorder, abrupt cessation can be dangerous. Participating in a medically supervised detox program can provide a safe environment to manage withdrawal symptoms and complications.
  • Seek professional help: If stopping drinking seems like an overwhelming undertaking, professional help from a healthcare provider could mean the difference between repeated relapse and sustained recovery. They can offer medical advice, therapy, and possibly medication to ease withdrawal symptoms.
  • Stay positive: Keeping a positive mindset can help you through challenging moments. Focus on the long-term benefits of your decision to quit drinking.
image of man representing i need help to stop drinking

Why Is it So Hard to Stop Drinking by Myself?

Attempting to stop alcohol consumption independently may feel unmanageable due to many different variables, such as:

  • Physical dependence: Over time, regular alcohol use can lead to physical dependence, making the body crave alcohol to function normally. This dependence can result in uncomfortable or even dangerous withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation.
  • Psychological dependence: Alcohol often becomes a way to cope with stress, anxiety, or depression. Without it, some people might feel unequipped to handle these emotions, leading to a strong psychological urge to drink.
  • Social and environmental triggers: Social settings, certain people, or even specific environments can trigger cravings for alcohol. Strategizing how to manage these triggers can minimize the likelihood of succumbing to temptation.
  • Lack of support: Overcoming addiction is an ongoing journey that typically requires emotional and sometimes physical support. Doing it alone means not having someone to share the burdens or celebrate the victories, which can be isolating and demotivating.
  • Underestimating the challenge: Many people underestimate the complexity of alcohol addiction, thinking that it’s simply a matter of willpower or choice. This misconception can lead to frustration and setbacks when they realize the depth of the challenge facing them.
  • Absence of alternative coping mechanisms: Without alcohol, there may be a void in how to deal with life’s ups and downs. Developing new, healthy coping mechanisms takes time and effort, and this can be taxing without support and guidance.
  • Fear of withdrawal: The fear of facing withdrawal symptoms can be a barrier. Symptoms can range from mild anxiety and shakiness to severe complications like seizures. This fear can deter people from even beginning the transition to sober living.

Overcoming these obstacles often requires a multi-pronged approach that includes medical intervention, therapies, and robust support networks. 

Is it Safe to Quit Drinking at Home?

Quitting alcohol at home, especially for those with a heavy or prolonged drinking history, can pose severe health risks. Detoxification under professional care ensures that medical staff can monitor vital signs, manage withdrawal symptoms, and intervene in case of complications. 

Withdrawal from alcohol can range from mild discomfort to life-threatening symptoms, including seizures, hallucinations, and DTs (delirium tremens). Medical detox facilities are equipped with medications and treatments to mitigate these symptoms, making the process as comfortable and safe as possible. Some withdrawal symptoms can lead to severe health complications. Medical detox offers immediate access to healthcare services to prevent or treat these complications promptly.

Beyond the physical aspects of withdrawal, medical detox programs often provide access to counseling and psychiatric care to address co-occurring mental health issues.

A medical detox provides a structured, alcohol-free environment, reducing the temptation and ability to drink. This setting helps people focus on their recovery fully and without the distractions or triggers present at home.

Successfully detoxing is just the first step in overcoming alcohol addiction. Medical detox facilities can also offer resources and planning for ongoing treatment and support, setting a solid foundation for long-term recovery.

Who Can Help Me Stop Drinking?

If you need help to stop drinking, it can be hard to find appropriate resources and treatment providers. Calling an addiction hotline can be a valuable first step. Shortcut your search by calling Addiction Hotline at 855-701-0479. You can speak with a compassionate and experienced professional in confidence about all aspects of addiction and recovery.

An image of a woman using addiction hotline's to representing signs you need to stop drinking

Call Addiction Hotline for Free, 24/7 Help to Stop Drinking

If you have noticed some signs you need to stop drinking but don’t know where to turn, reach out to Addiction Hotline today.

For those who are ready to withdraw from alcohol, supervised detoxification provides the smoothest pathway to ongoing recovery. We can put you in touch with medical detox facilities throughout California so you can address the issue of alcohol dependence under controlled conditions.

We can also refer you to inpatient rehabs (also known as residential rehabs, outpatient treatment centers, and addiction support groups near you, enabling you to engage with treatment at an appropriate level of intensity.

Call 855-701-0479 today and begin your recovery from alcohol addiction tomorrow.

Want to learn more?

Table of Contents

Compassionate Care for Substance Abuse Treatment

Read More Blogs

man looking away representing xanax rehab
April 23, 2024

How to Find a Xanax Rehab

Rehab for Xanax addiction is available at varying levels of intensity at inpatient and outpatient rehab centers. Effective treatment for

image representing fentanyl rehab
April 22, 2024

How to Find a Good Fentanyl Rehab

Finding a good fentanyl rehab could be the difference between sustained recovery and repeated relapse or life-threatening overdose. Fentanyl is

image representing prescription drug rehab
April 16, 2024

How to Find a Prescription Drug Rehab

Prescription drug rehab is a process that helps people who have developed dependence on prescription medications discontinue use and initiate

image representing xanax addiction treatment
April 12, 2024

Hydrocodone Rehab

Hydrocodone is among the most commonly prescribed opioids. Like all Schedule II controlled substances, though, hydrocodone has a strong potential

image representing oxycodone rehab
April 9, 2024

Oxycodone Rehab

Rehab for oxycodone offers a highly structured pathway to recovery for those looking to achieve and maintain abstinence from opioids.

image representing hydrocodone
April 5, 2024

Hydrocodone: Side Effects, Addiction Risk, & FAQs

Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid painkiller that’s commonly prescribed to manage moderate to severe pain. Despite its therapeutic properties, hydrocodone

Recent Articles

man looking away representing xanax rehab
April 23, 2024

How to Find a Xanax Rehab

Rehab for Xanax addiction is available at varying levels of intensity at inpatient and outpatient rehab centers. Effective treatment for

image representing fentanyl rehab
April 22, 2024

How to Find a Good Fentanyl Rehab

Finding a good fentanyl rehab could be the difference between sustained recovery and repeated relapse or life-threatening overdose. Fentanyl is

image representing prescription drug rehab
April 16, 2024

How to Find a Prescription Drug Rehab

Prescription drug rehab is a process that helps people who have developed dependence on prescription medications discontinue use and initiate

image representing xanax addiction treatment
April 12, 2024

Hydrocodone Rehab

Hydrocodone is among the most commonly prescribed opioids. Like all Schedule II controlled substances, though, hydrocodone has a strong potential

image representing oxycodone rehab
April 9, 2024

Oxycodone Rehab

Rehab for oxycodone offers a highly structured pathway to recovery for those looking to achieve and maintain abstinence from opioids.

image representing hydrocodone
April 5, 2024

Hydrocodone: Side Effects, Addiction Risk, & FAQs

Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid painkiller that’s commonly prescribed to manage moderate to severe pain. Despite its therapeutic properties, hydrocodone