How To Quit Alcohol
By: Zinnia Healing Editorial Staff | Edited By: Rebecca Hill
Alcohol Abuse and How to Quit Drinking
Drinking alcohol, for some, is a way to relax and unwind at the end of a stressful day. For others, alcohol masks stress, often leading to excessive drinking. People can lose their livelihood, relationships, and health when drinking becomes excessive. In severe cases, a person can die from alcohol-related complications. According to the Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, excessive drinking results in 95,000 deaths each year. But it’s important to note that drinking alcohol regularly doesn’t make a person an alcoholic.
There are guidelines to determine if a person is a moderate drinker or an alcoholic. Moderate drinking is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as having one drink or less per day for women and two drinks or less per day for men. This is an acceptable level of drinking. However, if you drink more than this amount, you may have an alcohol addiction.
If you believe that you or a loved one has an alcohol addiction, Zinnia Healing can help. We offer addiction treatment and supportive care at our inpatient facilities to help you quit drinking for good. We also provide group counseling and outpatient services to help curb the cravings for alcohol. Call our helpline 24/7 at (855) 430-9439 to get started.
There are many negative consequences to drinking excessively, including the inability to stop drinking without life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. If you’re looking for ways to stop drinking, or you’re thinking about quitting, it’s best first to determine if you have an alcohol use disorder or if you are a moderate drinker.
Do You Have an Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol addiction, also known as alcohol use disorder (AUD), is marked by an inability to stop drinking despite negative consequences or health effects. According to a 2019 National Survey of Drug Use and Health, more than 14.5 million people aged 12 or older were diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder, which is expected to grow. Alcohol use disorder is a brain disorder that is divided into three categories: mild, moderate, and severe. People with severe AUD may suffer from mental health issues and serious health conditions like liver cirrhosis (late-stage alcoholic liver disease).
Alcohol is a part of many traditional celebrations like birthdays, holidays, and sports events. Having a drink or two during a celebration is perfectly acceptable, but if you notice any of the following, there might be an addiction at hand:
- You’ve had times where you drank more than expected.
- You’ve tried to stop drinking alcohol and couldn’t.
- You’ve obsessively thought about drinking and couldn’t stop until you got a drink.
- You’ve continued to drink despite family and friends raising concerns about it.
- You drank so much alcohol that it interfered with your daily routine and activities.
- You’ve engaged in risky behavior under the influence of alcohol.
- You’ve had difficulty remembering certain events (blackouts) because you were drinking.
- You’ve had uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when you tried to stop.
If you’ve noticed one or more of these signs, you may need assistance to stop drinking alcohol.
A rehabilitation center like Zinnia Healing can help. We offer inpatient and outpatient support to help you detox safely and get your life back on track. Our facilities are fully accredited and staffed with caring professionals that will treat you with the dignity you deserve. If you’re ready to stop drinking or are going through withdrawal, contact Zinnia Healing at (855) 430-9439.
Is It Safe to Stop Drinking Alcohol on Your Own?
Some people can stop drinking without assistance, but others require intervention. People who have alcohol addiction run the risk of dangerous withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop on their own. If you’re thinking of quitting but you’re regularly drinking, seek help from a healthcare professional and do not attempt to quit drinking on your own. Not only is alcohol withdrawal dangerous for some, but it can be deadly. This is why it’s best to work with a health professional or a support group to stop drinking alcohol safely. If you’re experiencing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, contact your medical provider. If you know someone with an alcohol addiction and need assistance, call our 24/7 Zinnia Healing helpline at (855) 430-9439. Our intake staff is happy to answer any questions about AUD or alcohol addiction and treatment.
Be Aware of Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
People who have an alcohol addiction might notice troubling symptoms when trying to quit. The central nervous system (CNS) in a person who drinks too much becomes used to the continual presence of alcohol. Since alcohol has a depressive effect on the body, the CNS adjusts by dulling communication with the brain and nerve cells. When blood-alcohol level decreases, the CNS is stimulated, causing the brain to enter a hyperexcited state, triggering withdrawal symptoms. The severity of these symptoms depends on the individual’s current state of health and AUD category.
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:
- Trembling or tremors
- Brain fog
- Rapid heart rate
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
Severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:
- Dementia (older adults are at a greater risk for dementia)
- Miscarriage or stillbirth
- High blood pressure
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are noticeable as early as 8 hours after quitting. This often leads a person to continue drinking to reduce the symptoms. This behavior may lead to binge drinking. Binge drinking is defined as consuming more than four alcoholic drinks in a single session for women and five for men. Binge drinking or heavy drinking (defined as having more than eight drinks per week for women and 15 for men) can lead to serious consequences that include:
- Risky sexual behavior
- Weakened immune system
- Domestic violence
- Alcohol poisoning
- Violent crime
Tips to Help Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption
Knowing the dangers, it isn’t advisable to suddenly quit alcohol altogether, especially if you’re a heavy drinker. But there are safe ways to begin the process.
- Make a commitment in writing. List all the reasons to stop drinking. That could include making yourself and your family proud or improving your health.
- Set a goal to limit your drinking. Begin by reducing your drinking to the standard guidelines of no more than two drinks per day (for men) or one per day (for women).
- Keep a journal to track your drinking habits. Keep a journal for at least three to four weeks to track what you drank, how much you drank, and where you drank. This will help you keep track of the goals you set for yourself.
- Get rid of the alcohol you have at home. If you have any alcoholic beverages at home, dispose of them. You’re less likely to binge drink if the alcohol isn’t at your reach.
- Stay away from people who pressure you into drinking.
- Keep yourself occupied. Some people drink out of boredom. Reduce this risk by participating in your favorite hobbies.
- Avoid places that tempt you into drinking.
Get Help to Stop Drinking Alcohol
If you’ve tried quitting on your own or with the help of family members, and you’re still excessively drinking, you can benefit from outside support. Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) can help. Here, you can speak to others about your struggles with alcohol addiction and receive supportive advice to help you stick to your goals. Centers like Zinnia Healing facilitate these programs and others to help you achieve sober living.
Entering a Detoxification Center
For some, the first step to sobriety is detox. During a detox, you won’t consume alcohol or products that contain it like mouthwash or cough syrup. Detox is a medically supervised program, so you will be monitored and possibly given medication to lessen the effects of alcohol withdrawal.
Detoxification usually takes place at an inpatient rehab facility staffed by medical professionals. Here, you’ll receive both medical and mental health support.
Zinnia Healing offers inpatient detox programs at different facilities across the country. We provide group counseling, one-on-one support, alternative treatments like yoga and meditation, and aftercare services to ensure you have a successful sober life after leaving. If you’re ready to begin your journey and reclaim your happiness, call us at (855) 430-9439. We’re here to help you on your path to an alcohol-free life.