Easy Way to Quit Alcohol
Whether you have alcoholism or you want to change your lifestyle before it turns into that, you may want to know how to stop drinking alcohol quickly.
How Do I Stop Drinking Immediately?, How to Stop Drinking Alcohol in the Fastest and Easiest Way, How Can I Train Myself to Drink Less Alcohol?, Is Drinking Every Night Okay?, How Do I Not Drink Alcohol Every Day?, How Do You Flush Alcohol Out of Your System?, Why Do I Have No Off Switch When Drinking?, Will My Memory Improve if I Stop Drinking?, What Drink Can Replace Alcohol?, What are the First Signs of Liver Damage from Alcohol?, What Happens After 3 Weeks of No Alcohol?, What Diseases are Associated with Alcoholism?, Rehab is Your Best Chance
Drinking is largely accepted as a social and recreational activity. People drink to cope with stress, to bond with their friends, and sometimes to help with their anxiety or insomnia. However, all of the perceived benefits of alcohol are short term. In fact, when it comes to the long term, drinking causes more problems than it solves.
Even if you drink moderately, it can leave you feeling foggy or hungover. Those who drink a lot tend to suffer from more serious consequences, especially if they do it on a regular basis. Regular drinkers may notice several health effects like digestive problems, sleeping difficulties, and memory problems. It may even contribute to certain mental health problems like anxiety and depression.
Once you start experiencing the adverse effects of alcohol, you may want to stop drinking immediately; especially if you think it is developing into a problem. You may wonder if it’s time to take a break from alcohol.
Alcoholism is a serious problem, and with the number of people who are struggling with alcohol use disorder or AUD, it is important to take a step back and assess the role alcohol plays in your life.
Whether you have alcoholism or you want to change your lifestyle before it turns into that, you may want to know how to stop drinking alcohol quickly. The good news is that anyone can stop drinking. Here we are going to cover some of the best ways to address this problem before it gets worse. We will also talk about some of your options if you do have an alcohol use disorder.
How Do I Stop Drinking Immediately?
It’s hard to determine if you are an alcoholic if you don’t get yourself tested by a medical professional. But rather than obsessing over the thought of being an alcoholic, you need to stop and consider how alcohol is affecting your life at present.
Look out for red flags that may be alluding to a bigger problem. If you are embarrassing yourself in social situations, waking up unable to remember where you were, or finding yourself drinking alone in the middle of the day, you may have an alcohol problem.
Alcoholism is characterized by the uncontrollable urge to drink even when you are already suffering from its consequences. Once you are addicted to alcohol, you will keep on drinking even if it is already affecting other aspects of your life such as your work, school, family, and relationships.
Alcoholic people also tend to engage in risky or irresponsible behavior that may inconvenience other people. In some cases, they may put themselves and other people’s lives at risk. One example is drunk driving, which may lead to vehicular accidents.
Even if you don’t engage in these activities, you may still drink an unhealthy amount, which puts you at risk of serious medical conditions down the line.
When drinking takes up most of your time, you miss out on other activities that may be healthy or productive for you such as exercising, reading, or spending time with loved ones.
Before you decide to stop drinking, first you have to consider if you are dependent on alcohol. Your approach to quitting may change depending on whether you are alcohol dependent or not. When in doubt, consult your doctor or another medical professional.
If you are alcohol dependent, it means your body is no longer capable of functioning normally without the presence of alcohol. This means if you quit, your body will go through a period of alcohol withdrawal. This is an uncomfortable stage of recovery that involves withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings. Normally, patients who are alcohol dependent go through medical detox in order to recover safely.
During detox, the patient gradually lowers their alcohol intake to safer levels while medical professionals treat their withdrawal symptoms. This is done in a safe, clinical environment where the patient can focus on recovering. Medications may be used to keep symptoms and cravings under control.
If you’re not alcohol dependent and you can still quit on your own, there are some practical advice that you can follow in order to cut down on your alcohol intake.
How to Stop Drinking Alcohol in the Fastest and Easiest Way
When you’re ready to stop drinking, there are a few steps you can take to quit alcohol. However, unless you are only a casual drinker, there is no quick and easy way to stop drinking. If you are regularly binge drinking or drinking heavily, quitting may be a long and difficult process that you need to push through.
To do it effectively, first you have to make your intentions known by telling your friends and family about it. They have to know that you are planning to quit so that they can support you properly. Your friends won’t encourage you to drink and your family can give you the emotional support you need.
You need to understand your “why”—your reason for quitting. There’s a reason why you’ve come to the point where you realized that there is a problem and you need to keep that in mind. Whether it’s weight loss, better health, or improved relationships, keeping your “why” in sight can help boost your motivation.
Next, you have to actively avoid alcohol by staying away from temptations. For this you need to know all about your triggers. Triggers are situations, places, and people that cause you to drink excessively. These are social situations, stressors, and other things that can affect your judgment and lead you to alcohol abuse. Being around your triggers and temptations can make it harder for you to stick with your recovery plan. Avoid them as much as possible.
If you have no choice but to be exposed to these triggers, try to limit your exposure to them by leaving early or having someone to help keep you under control. This person needs to be a trustworthy friend or relative who knows about your recovery plan and wants to help you stick with it.
On this note, you have to learn how to say no, thank you to people who encourage you to drink, especially if you are trying to stay sober. Those with serious alcohol problems can easily spiral back into alcoholism if they don’t control their reactions to these situations. This is called a relapse and is actually a common part of recovery. It does not mean you failed—it is just another hurdle in your path.
Having a plan and sticking with it can go a long way in your journey towards sobriety. There’s no quick and easy way to do it if you want to do it effectively or if you want any meaningful change. If you want long-lasting results, you need to do it the right way.
Once you’ve developed a plan for your recovery, stick with it and keep going.
How Can I Train Myself to Drink Less Alcohol?
Although alcoholism has genetic and environmental factors, there’s also a part of it that can be attributed to the person’s behavior and choices. This means that you can reduce your risk of exposure to alcohol abuse by making the right choices. At the same time, with proper motivation, you may be able to train yourself to drink less alcohol by embracing healthier habits.
One common advice is to journal your drinks. Literally keep track of all your drinks by writing them down in a journal. This is a powerful tool for understanding just how much you are actually drinking on a regular basis. It also helps bring attention to certain patterns and triggers. Even if you think you’re not drinking much, a journal might show you otherwise. There are even apps you could use to help you keep track of your alcohol intake.
Even the simple act of recording what you drink may help you drink less because you become more conscious of what you are doing.
Now that you are aware of exactly how much you are drinking at any given time, try to set limits on your alcohol consumption. Reducing your alcohol intake is something that must be done consciously. You need to consistently make the decision not to drink too much, even when you are in a situation where you could.
Take note of the physical changes you experience while cutting back on alcohol. You may notice that you are sleeping better, eating healthier, feeling more energetic, or being more productive as a result of your lowered alcohol intake.
Another way to cut down your alcohol consumption is to keep it out of the house. Out of sight usually means out of mind. Even putting it on a high shelf to maintain a physical distance from alcohol may help you stay disciplined.
If you are eating in a restaurant, order non-alcoholic drinks. If you do have to drink, make sure you eat as you do so. Eating helps slow the absorption of alcohol. It also makes you feel more full, which helps you drink less.
Is Drinking Every Night Okay?
Some people drink every night and start wondering if it means they are an alcoholic. The answer is not necessarily. However, this is something you may want to pay attention to because it may lead to a more serious problem with alcohol in the future. It could be an early sign of alcohol dependence or even alcoholism.
Drinking every night does not automatically make you an alcoholic as it does not equate to alcohol use disorder according to the experts. But doing so can increase your risk of developing alcohol-related health problems.
The term “too much” when it comes to alcohol can be different from one person to another. In fact, for some individuals, having one drink a day may be considered too much. For others it could be two to three drinks a day.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults of legal age who choose to drink should limit their intake to two drinks or fewer for men, and one drink or fewer per day for women.
If a person who drinks every night suddenly feels the need to drink more frequently or loses the ability to cut back on their drinking, this may be an early sign of alcoholism. Some people begin to develop alcohol dependence because they drink as a coping mechanism whenever they are feeling anxious or stressed.
How Do I Not Drink Alcohol Every Day?
If you are drinking on a regular basis and are afraid that you might develop alcoholism, there are strategies you can employ to help you stop drinking. First, you need to start developing a new daily routine—one that keeps you away from alcohol.
Filling your morning with activities can help keep you away from alcohol, especially if you dedicate your time to exercise or other healthy activities. Find a workout routine that you enjoy—that’s the secret to exercise. Don’t just do it to lose weight: exercise as a way to gain the benefits of a strong and healthy body.
Channel your energy into new hobbies and other fun activities that you enjoy. If possible, don’t keep alcohol in your home. This will also help you save money because you will be spending less on alcohol.
Tell people about your plan to stop drinking in order to get their support. Sometimes when sheer willpower isn’t enough, you need the help of other people to keep you on the right track.
You may want to go through some introspection to determine why you drink on a daily basis. Understanding your situation can help you come up with a solution. Focus on the benefits of staying away from alcohol and only drinking in moderation. It can save time, money, and energy while keeping you healthy.
If you find yourself unable to stop drinking, you may need to seek professional assistance. There’s no shame in going to rehab for an alcohol problem. This may be exactly what you need to get sober again. You can go through medically-assisted detox as well as behavioral therapy and counseling. Alcohol addicted patients can get the help they need through a wide variety of programs such as inpatient, outpatient treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy, and more. You are not alone.
How Do You Flush Alcohol Out of Your System?
Alcohol is flushed out of your system during the process called detox. This is often done in a clinical or hospital setting. Addiction experts and healthcare professionals can keep an eye on you as you go through alcohol withdrawal. Rehab provides a safe and comfortable environment where patients can just focus on getting better.
The body typically breaks down alcohol at about 100mL per hour. This simply means that a grown adult male can take an hour to process one drink. How long alcohol remains in your body depends on a number of factors including your gender, age, weight, alcohol consumption, and even what type of alcohol you are drinking.
If you are alcohol dependent, it is highly recommended that you go through proper detox because withdrawal can be uncomfortable, painful, and even life-threatening in some cases. But if that’s not the case, you can detox your body in other ways.
First, get some sleep. Your body won’t automatically flush out the alcohol when you do, but it does help get your body back to normal.
Drinking lots of fluids also helps. Alcohol is known to cause dehydration, which is why you feel lethargic the morning after drinking. Drink plenty of water or tea to get you rehydrated faster.
Get some food into your system. This applies while drinking and after drinking, because eating helps flush alcohol out of your system. Alcohol has toxins that can cause low blood sugar, so you have to balance it out with food. Eat something light like eggs or crackers if you are too nauseous to eat. Later, once your body can handle it, eat more meats and foods that are rich in Vitamin D.
Another way to properly detox is to sweat it out. Moving might feel difficult, but sweating and breathing deeper are great for flushing out the alcohol naturally. When you move, you get more oxygen that can help your liver filter out those toxins.
If you are able to, take a short walk outside or even do some low-impact cardio to release endorphins.
It also helps to drink responsibly in the first place so it’s easier to control your alcohol intake. Do not mix different types of alcohol and avoid binge drinking. Binge drinking is when you drink excessively within a short period of time. This is a popular activity among young adults, especially college students.
Eat before drinking, and also drink water in between your drinks. Keep track of how much you drink so you don’t drink too much.
Why Do I Have No Off Switch When Drinking?
Alcoholism is a complex medical condition. In fact, it may affect each person in a different way, making it difficult to address the situation in a straightforward manner. That is why when people enter rehab, a personalized treatment plan is created just for them. Each person has individual needs that have to be addressed for rehab to succeed.
Some people may feel like they have no off switch when it comes to alcohol. This can be a problem since even regular alcohol consumption can turn into alcohol abuse down the line.
According to Mayo Clinic, a good rule of thumb is two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women. Drinking excessively on a regular basis can lead to some dangerous health consequences.
Some people have difficulty drinking in moderation and it is due to a number of factors. Some are genetically predisposed to alcoholism because they have family members who are also alcoholics or have been through the same experience.
There are also environmental factors that contribute to a person’s likelihood of becoming an alcoholic. The more risk factors a person is exposed to, the more likely they are to develop alcoholism themselves. Risk factors include stress, poverty, peer pressure, lack of parental support, lack of social support, etc.
One study that was published in the journal Biological Psychiatry suggested that compulsive drinking may have something to do with a specific brain pathway that usually helps keep drinking under control.
Andrew Holmes, PhD, senior investigator of the study and Chief of the Laboratory on Behavioral and Genomic Neuroscience at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), said that: “Difficulty saying no to alcohol, even when it could clearly lead to harm, is a defining feature of alcohol use disorders. This study takes us a step further in understanding the brain mechanisms underlying compulsive drinking.”
However, scientists are still studying how the wiring in the brain is different for people with alcohol use disorder compared to those without it. Their goal is to make treatments more optimized in the future.
Will My Memory Improve if I Stop Drinking?
The physical consequences of heavy alcohol use are well known, but alcohol abuse also has a significant impact on the brain. Even moderate users have reported feeling anxiety, mood shifts, and mental fog after drinking. The effects are magnified for those who drink regularly. For those with alcohol use disorder, the effects on the brain are significant and severe. It could potentially create debilitating effects on the person’s cognitive function.
The good news is that even after years of alcohol use, your brain can start healing once you quit alcohol. For example, the frontal lobe of the brain is heavily impacted by alcohol abuse. This is the part that controls many critical functions such as memory, reasoning, motor function, and behavior control. When a person drinks excessively, the brain’s frontal lobe could be affected, which leads to bad decisions due to poor judgment, and even memory loss. Once the person quits alcohol, new cell growth will begin to repair the damage suffered by the brain through years of alcohol abuse.
Not only will your memory improve when you quit alcohol, you will also begin to generate normal levels of dopamine, allowing you to enjoy activities that you used to enjoy before alcohol flooded your brain with abnormal levels of dopamine.
You will feel motivated as your mood begins to improve and your brain begins to heal. This may take some time to occur, so don’t expect all of these to happen during early recovery. But it is worth working towards.
What Drink Can Replace Alcohol?
When you are just getting started on your journey to sobriety, you may feel the need to replace alcohol with some other drink. This is perfectly normal.
Here are some common alternatives to help you with your cravings without exposing you to alcohol: soda and fresh lime, tea, kombucha, virgin Mojito, virgin bloody Mary, soda and fresh fruit, and berries in iced water. Pick your preference. You can also try various fruit shakes to keep you healthy. Or you could just stick with water.
Stay away from ‘diet’ sodas because they are full of sugar and may put you at risk of diabetes. But you may treat yourself to them every now and then.
Some people try non-alcoholic beer as an alternative. Just keep in mind that this may become a gateway to the alcoholic version, especially for non-beer drinkers.
What are the First Signs of Liver Damage from Alcohol?
Alcohol damages the liver—this is common knowledge. But not many people know exactly how alcohol affects the liver.
Located on the upper right side of your abdomen, your liver is responsible for breaking down alcohol, drugs, and other potentially toxic substances. It also produces bile to help with fat digestion. Your liver can also make proteins that are important for blood clotting. Finally, the liver also stores nutrients like glucose in the form of glycogen, along with certain vitamins.
There are many different substances that can potentially damage your liver, and alcohol is one of them. Liver tissue is able to regenerate on its own, but continued damage can lead to the buildup of scar tissue. This scar tissue will take the place of healthy tissue in the liver, which can impair its ability to carry out all of its vital functions.
Alcohol consumption is actually one of the leading causes of liver damage. Alcohol-related liver disease refers to liver damage caused by alcohol.
When you drink, your liver breaks down alcohol along with other potentially toxic substances. This allows the body to get rid of the unwanted substances. But some people drink more than the liver can process effectively, and the alcohol damages it. Over time it can lead to the accumulation of scar tissue as well as inflammation.
Unfortunately, the early stages of liver damage caused by alcohol abuse often have no symptoms. You may not even know that you’ve experienced liver damage before it gets worse.
In cases where symptoms do manifest, they may include: loss of appetite, fatigue, sudden and unexplained weight loss, nausea, vomiting, and discomfort in the upper right side of your abdomen. That last one may be because of swelling of your liver.
In some cases, excessive alcohol consumption inhibits the breakdown of fats in the liver, which leads to alcoholic fatty liver disease or the accumulation of fat in the liver. People who are suffering from this disease may have symptoms like fatigue, unexplained weight loss, and discomfort in the liver area. However, it is common for people not to have symptoms at all.
Continued alcohol consumption can lead to inflammation in the liver, which causes a condition known as alcoholic hepatitis. It typically has symptoms including fever, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite, and jaundice or yellowing of the skin and eyes.
For those who have these conditions, contacting your treatment provider about your alcohol use disorder is the right step. They can come up with a proper treatment plan to address all of your health concerns, including liver damage. With proper treatment, you may be able to reverse the effects of alcohol on your liver, but you have to commit to taking care of your body and maintaining sobriety.
What Happens After 3 Weeks of No Alcohol?
Giving up alcohol has its benefits, and you can start feeling them within a few weeks of quitting. That said, it is important to keep in mind that everyone responds to addiction, dependence, and withdrawal in different ways. So even if there is an expected timeline of symptoms and benefits, these are not set in stone.
Withdrawal symptoms are likely to begin within the first 24 hours of you quitting the drink. There are also some people who start going into withdrawal within two hours after their last drink. Expect these early symptoms to be mild. As time goes on, your cravings for alcohol will increase.
For some people, more serious withdrawal symptoms begin after 12 to 72 hours after their last drink. In rare cases, people in withdrawal develop delirium tremens. Other less common symptoms include seizures, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and hallucinations. Whatever the symptoms, this period is typically the most dangerous and difficult for anyone who has suddenly stopped drinking.
The withdrawal symptoms may stop after three days to a week, although it is also possible for withdrawal to last for two or more weeks, particularly those who have been drinking excessively for a long time. Medical supervision is highly recommended for those with more severe cases of alcohol use disorder.
Eventually, you will start feeling better. You will sleep better, feel more motivated, and be more energetic. Even after one week away from alcohol, you may notice that you are sleeping a lot better. When you have been drinking, your body skips the important rapid eye movement or REM sleep. Instead it goes straight into deep sleep.
REM sleep is when the brain exercises important mental functions that keep you healthy. Usually, people have six or seven cycles of REM sleep each night, but if you drink, this is reduced to one or two.
When you sleep properly, you become more productive. It improves your brain function, mood regulation, and memory. Your ability to control your emotions also improves.
Quitting alcohol also makes you more hydrated, because as we all know, alcohol dehydrates you. You lose about four times as much liquid as you actually drank when you consume alcohol. Dehydration leads to headaches because your organs take water from the brain to compensate.
Giving up alcohol keeps you well-hydrated, which has a positive impact on your overall health. This allows you to concentrate better and stay productive.
After two weeks without alcohol, you will continue to enjoy the benefits of improved sleep and hydration. You should see a reduction in symptoms as your body readjusts to its alcohol-free condition. At first it may throw off your entire system, but the body will soon adjust itself to flush the alcohol out of your body.
Overconsumption of alcohol leads to a gradual increase in blood pressure over time. But after three weeks without alcohol, your blood pressure will start to reduce.
Staying away from alcohol will leave a positive impact on your skin, thanks to your improved levels of hydration. You will start to have a more radiant and natural glow. It also reduces dandruff as well as eczema because your body is well-hydrated. You will even find it easier to lose weight. Not to mention the increase in motivation will allow you to embrace healthier habits such as exercise, in place of drinking.
Your liver function will start to improve and so will your other organs. Overall, your body will thank you for quitting alcohol.
What Diseases are Associated with Alcoholism?
If you don’t quit alcohol or seek help for your alcohol use disorder, you will be putting yourself at risk of some serious health problems related to alcohol.
Drinking frequently is harmful to your health—that is something most people are aware of. And yet drinking is widely accepted and celebrated anyway as a fun social activity. But for those who end up developing an alcohol abuse problem, it is important to take note of all the diseases that are commonly associated with alcoholism.
Alcohol consumption does not have to be a long-term habit for it to cause significant damage to a person’s body. Even a single episode of binge drinking can lead to serious harm or even death. Vehicular accidents, for example, are often caused by drivers who drink excessively beforehand. Since alcohol impairs judgment and affects mood, drunk drivers can easily get into accidents and even harm other people who are sharing the road.
Binge drinking is also common enough to be a cause of concern. In 2010 to 2012, around 38 million American adults said that they participate in binge drinking around four times a month. Each session, they averaged eight drinks.
Meanwhile, long-term abuse can also lead to several chronic diseases and other serious health problems.
Liver disease is the most obvious long term effect of continued alcohol abuse, since alcohol is metabolized in the liver. Alcoholic liver disease is influenced by the amount of alcohol abuse as well as the duration. The more you drink, the more you are exposed to the risk of developing liver disease.
Pancreatitis is another chronic disease associated with alcoholism. This condition often requires hospitalization as it involves a painful inflammation of the pancreas. This condition is so closely linked to alcohol abuse that around 70% of cases of pancreatitis involve people who drink large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis.
Cancer is another possibility, with chronic alcohol consumption increasing the risk of different cancers. It is possible for alcoholic individuals to develop cancers of the mouth, larynx, liver, stomach, esophagus, colon, breast, and rectum.
As alcohol passes through the digestive system, heavy drinking increases the likelihood of developing acid reflux, stomach ulcers, heartburn, gastritis, and other gastrointestinal problems. If alcohol damages the digestive system, it can cause serious internal bleeding. In fact, alcohol damages the gastrointestinal tract significantly.
Alcohol abuse also affects the brain, causing memory lapses, blurred vision, slurred speech, and difficulty walking. This is because alcohol alters the brain receptors and neurotransmitters, affecting mood, cognitive function, and emotions on multiple levels.
Long term drinking can even speed up the brain’s aging process, which results in early dementia.
Alcohol affects a person’s behavior. When drunk, they become less concerned about the consequences of their actions, making them act recklessly and in ways they wouldn’t if they were sober. It doesn’t mean they are fully unaware of their actions when they are drunk. They just don’t care as much about the consequences. This is why some people take unnecessary risks or even become violent when they are under the influence of alcohol.
Continued drinking affects nearly every aspect of a person’s life, including their body, mind, emotions, relationships, career, and social life. It can even get them in trouble with the law.
The road to sobriety is not an easy one. There is no quick solution that will immediately solve everything, especially if you want long-term success. If you want to make meaningful progress, start looking for treatment facilities nearby. Ask them about their treatment options and programs.
Weigh your options and look for the best facility that will cater to your specific needs. There are many options out there, from outpatient programs to residential treatment programs. There are even less conventional treatments such as art therapy, dance therapy, equine therapy, yoga, etc. These ones work best when paired with more traditional methods like cognitive therapy and medical detox.
While it’s not easy to beat alcoholism, especially if you have been drinking for a very long time, it is possible to regain your sobriety. Rehab will teach you healthy coping mechanisms so you can stay sober even once you are out of the facility. Get started on your journey to long-lasting sobriety today.
Rehab is Your Best Chance
Treatment is an addicted individualʼs best option if they want to recover. Beating an addiction not only requires eliminating the physical dependence, but also addressing the behavioral factors that prevent them from wanting to get better. Simply quitting may not change the psychological aspect of addiction. Some people quit for a while, and then take alcohol again, only to overdose because they did not detox properly. Recovery involves changing the way the patient feels, thinks, and behaves.