How to Quit Drinking
It’s said that alcohol is the only drug that you have to explain not using. Since humans first began consuming alcohol many thousands of years ago, it has become soaked throughout nearly every element of our culture: from baby showers to weddings, tailgates, work events, and more. In that environment, it can be hard to determine if you have a problem with alcohol — and even harder to decide to quit. If you are wondering how to quit drinking — or if you even should — you don’t have to figure it out on your own.
Today, medical professionals do not use the terms “alcoholic” or “alcoholism” to describe people who have a problem with drinking. The technical term for disordered drinking is alcohol use disorder, and it can be categorized into mild, moderate, and severe forms of the disorder depending on your symptoms.
Although those symptoms may vary from person to person, it’s important to understand that alcohol is a brain disease. The nature of that disease is that it causes a compulsion to drink even when you don’t want to or know that the behavior is hurting you. So, it’s not a lack of willpower that causes you to fall back into problem drinking time and time again. It’s your disease, and that disease can be treated by medical professionals.
How to Quit Drinking on Your Own
Of course, it is possible to quit drinking on your own. If you are able to stop cold turkey and maintain sobriety, more power to you. Some people find support in this process by attending 12 Step fellowships like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or SMART Recovery. Others join online groups such as The Luckiest Club or Tempest. Still others just try to white knuckle it on their own.
But if you have tried to do it on your own before only to fall back into the same old habits, don’t beat yourself up over it: Lasting recovery is possible for anyone and there is help out there when you’re ready.
If you have tried to quit drinking on your own and failed, or don’t even know where to start, residential addiction treatment (aka “rehab”) could be an option. In residential addiction treatment, you have the opportunity to be treated by a comprehensive team of clinicians dedicated to uncovering and healing your underlying reasons for drinking, so you never have to pick up again.
A typical day at drug or alcohol rehab is filled with activities to help you get sober and stay that way: from individual counseling to group therapy, relapse prevention education, or even time with our therapy dog. Living at the treatment facility, you’ll have the time and 24/7 support you need to take your first steps on the path to recovery.
Do I Need Detox?
Detox should be another important factor in your decision. Although people don’t often think of alcohol as a “hard” or “dangerous” drug, it is extremely dangerous to detox from alcohol on your own. People who have been consuming large quantities of alcohol frequently for a long time often experience serious withdrawal symptoms as the body struggles to function without alcohol. Those side effects can include heart attack, coma, or even death. In a medical detox, like the one at Holland Pathways, you’ll be monitored and treated 24/7 by a team dedicated to making your detox as comfortable and safe as possible.
Ready to Get Help for Drinking?
Getting help for your drinking might start with getting your questions answered. Call our team and they will meet you where you’re at today — whether you just want to learn more about what addiction treatment looks like, or if you’re ready to verify your benefits and start the admissions process. Take the first step on the path to recovery and your whole life will change — for the better.