Alcoholism can be a chronic disease with relapses and remissions, but it is possible to stop drinking alcohol. However, you cannot simply “stop” immediately without the alternative of going through withdrawal. Withdrawal can also be fatal and should not be done without medical supervision. This article will cover how to stop drinking alcohol after a relapse and before withdrawal symptoms set in. Here is how to teach yourself to stop drinking alcohol.
- Pharmacological Extinction. This is the gradual reduction of consuming alcohol until you have been without alcohol for some time. You can achieve pharmacological extinction by using medications in conjunction with behavioral therapy, but it is possible to do without chemical aids too. However, you need to ensure you are ready for this journey. If you are not committed, there is no point in trying to quit because you will most likely relapse along the way. Whether you decide to use medications or not, if you want to stop drinking alcohol, you need to be ready for the possibility of withdrawal symptoms and how they can affect your everyday life.
- Avoid Triggers. It is also essential that you do not put yourself in any “triggers” while trying to stop drinking alcohol. Triggers can be anything from a particular time of the day to someone offering you a drink. It is also advised that you do not stop drinking alcohol cold turkey. If you have a partner or a group of friends who can support you during this process, it will be easier for you to avoid triggers and keep going without alcohol. If you are not sure if you are ready to quit drinking alcohol, ask yourself questions like;
- Have you ever felt bad or guilty about how much or often you drink?
- Do you want to stop drinking alcohol?
If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, it is advised that you seek professional help. If you are unsure if you are ready to stop drinking, it is also recommended that you seek help before making any major life decisions. You need to remember that even if you do not drink at all, there is no medical reason why you cannot start again should the urge arise. This means that if you have stopped drinking temporarily, there should be no problem in starting again when you are ready.
- Plan. If you decide that it is time to stop drinking alcohol, the next step is to plan out your strategy. If you do not pick a plan beforehand, there will be an increased chance of relapse. You can mitigate the chances of relapse if you choose cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in conjunction with pharmacological extinction or working with a Stop Drinking expert. To make a plan, you need to be honest with yourself and think about what has contributed to your drinking. If you have tried quitting before and failed, do not give up. The only way you will truly succeed at this is if you stay committed and do not stop trying.
It is also advised that if you are trying to stop drinking alcohol, you should not attempt any other habits at the same time. If you are an alcoholic, you need to get sober before anything else. It is also crucial that if you do decide to use medications alongside pharmacological extinction, make sure they are legal and prescribed by a doctor.