Alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. If someone compulsively drinks and can’t control their alcohol intake, they likely have an alcohol use disorder. Binge drinking and heavy drinking is highly risky. In this post, we highlight ways that you can overcome alcohol addiction and kick a dangerous habit.
Get Your Loved Ones On Board
Tell your close friends and family that you want to cut down on your alcohol consumption. They can help create an optimal day-to-day environment to support your sobriety. This could mean removing or hiding alcohol or looking after your kids while you go to a support group. It could also mean going to family therapy with you.
Find Other Forms of Recreation
If alcohol plays a big part in your leisure time, you need to find alternative sources of fun. This could mean breaking away from friends who drink a lot and finding others who abstain or have a healthier relationship with alcohol.
Go out for coffee rather than for drinks. Instead of clubbing or partying, you could go to the theatre. Appreciate nature on the weekends and go hiking, surfing or picnicking. There are communities of recovering addicts who have replaced substances with sports.
Indulge your inner child at amusement parks. Buy some art materials and get creative. Why have a hair of the dog when you could be volunteering at an animal shelter?
There are so many better things to be doing than feeling hung-over.
Overcoming substance misuse relies in great part on exercising self-restraint and summoning every ounce of your willpower to resist your psychological dependence on drinking.
This means not giving in to temptation when it presents itself to you in social settings or when you’re stressed out and feel you ‘need’ alcohol. Identify your personal triggers and avoid them as much as possible.
You can only get to this point if you recognize the destruction alcohol has wrought on your life or the damage it could do if left unchecked. You have to want to stop more than anything else and behavioral change will follow.
Alcoholism and the physical dependence on alcohol is a disease. Thankfully, the FDA has approved three drugs to help treat it. When paired with counseling, medication can help you overcome alcohol addiction.
Disulfiram, also known by the brand name Antabuse, makes a person feel sick if they drink. This shifts your mindset around alcohol. Avoiding alcohol becomes like avoiding lactose due to an intolerance. Antabuse is also useful on occasions where a person may be exposed to triggers.
Naltrexone reduces the pleasure associated with drinking. This can move a heavy drinker to a low-risk status, or bring about abstinence.
And Acamprosate minimizes the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms.
These drugs are not intended for long-term use so consult with your doctor for further information.
Support group meetings have helped thousands of Americans get their lives back on track. Talking to people who have gone through the same thing can eliminate some of the shame and loneliness that comes with addiction.
Former addicts who are in long-term recovery are a good resource for advice. Having a sponsor or mentor helps with accountability and quick bounce-backs in the event of a relapse.
Make the most of technology and download an app to curb your alcohol consumption. There are apps for diarizing your intake and keeping track of your blood alcohol concentration. This way you know your level of impairment and can keep yourself and others safe.
If you’re abstinent, some apps allow you to connect with support when you’re traveling out of town. Others gamify the recovery process. For example, you can set sobriety goals and use treats to motivate you. Or you can play an in-app game when a craving strikes.
Dashboards monitor how much money you’ve saved by not buying alcohol. You can also get insights into how your health is improving as time passes.
Get Treatment for Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol is arguably one of the most dangerous drugs in the world. It can compromise a person’s health, relationships and job and can lead to crime and imprisonment. But recovery is possible. If you suffer with an addiction to alcohol, we strongly recommend seeking treatment.
Treatment programs provide a safe space to detox. You can work through the root causes of substance misuse with qualified therapists. Therapy teaches you coping mechanisms to deal with triggers. Treatment can also link you to places where you can acquire skills to become more financially stable.
Contact Recovering Champions today to discuss the best options for you. It’s the first step towards a sober, happier and more productive life.
- Nichols, H. (2017). Best apps to stop drinking alcohol. Retrieved 18 February 2020
- Orrange, S. (2018). Which Medications Work Best to Help Me Stop Drinking?. Retrieved 18 February 2020
- Drinking too much alcohol can harm your health. Learn the facts | CDC. (2019). Retrieved 18 February 2020