However, for many people with alcohol use disorder, tapering off alcohol is a far better experience than quitting abruptly. As little as five minutes of advice from a GP can reduce alcohol consumption by 30%, especially for people who are in the mild to moderate dependence category. So it’s worth chatting to your doctor if you need a little help getting started. If you are not dependent but are trying to reduce your alcohol intake for health or other reasons, these can be a good option. By replacing some or all of your usual alcoholic drinks with zero-alcohol drinks, you can still enjoy the social aspects of drinking without the health risks of alcohol.
If you’re interested in medication-assisted treatment, medication to curb cravings can be a helpful tool for reducing your consumption. This is why it’s always best to find some form of long-term support in sobriety. Support groups, from Alcoholics Anonymous to SMART Recovery, are one free way to find a community of people on the same journey.
Max began his career in the addiction field working as a group facilitator and teacher, developing and delivering a successful faith-based curriculum in a long-term residential treatment setting. Throughout that process, he learned the importance of helping others and living by spiritual principles. Throughout his recovery, James has used his personal story to help make a difference in the lives of others.
There is now a huge variety of options for spirits, beer and wine. People who drink more frequently are much more likely to have symptoms of dependence and might find it more difficult. With these things in mind, you need to weigh the pros and cons of tapering your alcohol use—ideally with someone you trust—to make a fully informed decision.
When a person is detoxing from alcohol, the symptoms may begin anywhere from 6 hours to a few days after their last drink. For those trying to detox from alcohol, it is vital to do so under the supervision of a doctor, as the withdrawal symptoms may be severe. The final step of tapering off alcohol is to define your alcohol-free days.
Lean on close friends and family – Having the support of friends and family members is an invaluable asset in recovery. If you’re reluctant to turn to your loved ones because you’ve let them down before, consider going to couples counseling or family therapy. It’s much easier to avoid drinking if you don’t keep temptations around. Make a table like the one below, weighing the costs and benefits of drinking to the costs and benefits of quitting. When you have the urge to drink, take the time to focus on the emotions that are also coming up. The goal is to allow the urge to pass over you similarly to a wave instead of trying to fight them.
Tell family members and friends you want to get healthier.
Daily drinking can have serious consequences for a person’s health, both in the short- and long-term. Many of the effects of drinking every day can be reversed through early intervention. Millions of readers rely on HelpGuide.org for free, evidence-based resources sober house to understand and navigate mental health challenges. Build a sober social network – If your previous social life revolved around alcohol, you may need to make some new connections. It’s important to have sober friends who will support your recovery.
- During this process, you will need someone to stay with you and keep an eye on you.
- Good alcohol treatment prepares you for these challenges, helping you develop new coping skills to deal with stressful situations, alcohol cravings, and social pressure to drink.
- A resident of Gaithersburg, Michael has planted roots and established a network in the local recovery community.
It might also be worth checking out a 12-step program in your area, like Alcoholics Anonymous or SMART Recovery, to see if it feels like something that might be useful for you. At the end of the day, one of the most important tools you have at your disposal is self-compassion. Instead of criticizing yourself for having a hard time or slipping up and having a drink, remember that no one’s perfect.
Typically, alcohol withdrawal symptoms happen for heavier drinkers. Alcohol withdrawal can begin within hours of ending a drinking session. Stopping alcohol use is the first step of the recovery journey, but staying sober for longer and longer periods is the goal. Getting professional treatment and long-term support are two of the most valuable strategies for avoiding relapse. For some drinkers, cutting down on the amount of alcohol they drink simply does not work.
Should I stop drinking or just cut back?
Quitting is strongly advised if you: Have tried cutting down but cannot stay within the limits you set. Have had alcohol use disorder (AUD) or now have any symptoms. Have a physical or mental health condition that is caused or being worsened by drinking.