How to Stop Drinking? Ways to Quit Drinking Gradually
Why You Should Ditch Drinking?
Vodka shots, mojitos, sangrias, caprioskas, and an ever-expanding array of exotic cocktails and alcoholic beverages are considered by some to be essential to any festival celebration, weekend partying, or vacation time.
Harms Mental Health
Alcohol is a potential health risk due to its 7 Kcal per gram (or 1ml) caloric content and ease of overconsumption. Once within the body, it first impacts the brain's frontal lobe, which houses the judgment center. In turn, impaired judgment prevents inhibition and control of more alcohol consumption, which ultimately results in excessive consumption.
Risk of developing cancer
Alcohol works as a lipid (fat) solvent, making it hazardous even in small concentrations. Regular alcohol intake, even in small amounts (one drink for women and two for men daily), dissolves the lipids in cell membranes, allows the alcohol to enter the cells, and then destroys both the target cells and any nearby cell structures. This leads to the risk of developing cancer. It can even estrange you from your family and friends.
Cause memory issue
Additionally, the body cannot store alcohol. Since the body must work harder to metabolize it, significant nutrient deficits result from the body using up a large portion of its vitamin and mineral reserves in the process.
Lack of the B complex vitamins and folate can cause various issues, including anxiety, depression, and cardiac and neurological issues. Weakness, exhaustion, and a loss of appetite are potassium and magnesium deficiency symptoms.
Alcohol is almost immediately digested in the stomach, and 20% of it is absorbed directly through the stomach's walls when it is empty, arriving in the brain within a minute of consumption.
The alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme subsequently starts to digest the alcohol in the stomach. The liver can only metabolize up to 15ml, or half an ounce, of alcohol each hour once it has passed through the small intestines. Women absorb around one-third more alcohol than males of comparable stature and are less tolerant of it because they produce less of the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase than men do.
Estrange you from your family and friends
Nearly 55% of American adults drink alcohol every month, making it one of the most widely used substances in the country. As a result, it's critical to understand how alcohol addiction affects the body and brain.
Alcohol addiction is often linked to a higher rate of divorces. Not to forget that your social value diminishes when you are labelled as a heavy drinker. It is advised to quit drinking so that you do not estrange yourself from family and friends.
How to stop drinking?
Everyone is aware of drinking's social benefits and ability to serve as a stress reliever. The possibility exists that it could be used to treat anxiety or insomnia. However, the long-term effects of drinking rarely help reduce these concerns. A few significant disadvantages are also present. You may therefore decide whether a break is required. Furthermore, you are not alone.
With the #SoberCurious movement and month-long sobriety challenges, more and more individuals are examining the part alcohol plays in their lives. These suggestions can assist you in coming up with a strategy that works for you, whether you want to make cuts or take a long sabbatical.
Here are some of the ways that will help you achieve this endeavor by stopping drinking:
Drink in moderation
You might be aware of your desire to stop drinking completely. However, you might be unsure of quitting entirely and unwilling to attach yourself to that objective. That's totally OK. Use a moderation management strategy, one of many alternatives to complete sobriety. Under this strategy, you reduce drinking time, i.e., drop every day to 3-4 times a week and then maybe once or twice a week.
It emphasizes finding the best strategy for your situation, not someone else's, to minimize alcohol use and the associated consequences that come along with it.
Of course, achieving total sobriety isn't a bad objective, but it doesn't have to be the only one. Still trying to figure out your end goal? That's also okay. Just be aware of your alternatives.
Do not be hard on yourself for relapses; it happens often
After treatment, alcohol drinkers might feel assured that they have successfully beaten the drinking problem. However, relapses will most likely happen in the first year following treatment. To avoid relapsing during this time, you must be vigilant about your recovery plan.
Numerous factors can lead to relapse. What might set off a relapse for one individual might not do so for another. Understanding triggers, however, can aid individuals in coping with or averting them. It's important to remember that anyone can relapse, regardless of how long they have been sober (20 years or one day). Although it can be successfully kept in remission, addiction is a formidable illness that constantly tries to relapse.
Relapse can be strongly triggered by emotional and physical distress, such as worry, melancholy, tiredness, or even regular stress. The recovering individual may be very sensitive, especially in the beginning stages of sobriety. Another important aspect of people's relapse is isolation and a lack of a supportive environment.
You might discover that your loved ones cannot offer you the proper support. If so, you must ensure you have another place to turn to if you need assistance. This might be an AA fellowship, for instance. A supportive setting can aid in preventing relapse.
It is probably a good idea to remove all alcohol from the home if a person has just returned from an alcoholic treatment program. After treatment, many people also change employment because they realize that their previous position either directly or indirectly contributed to their addiction.
The person's social circle is still another variable. The ideal location to begin a life of recovery is probably not hanging out with former drinking companions.
Knowing why you're doing something is a crucial first step in giving it up. Determine how much you consume. Even if you don't think you are specifically dependent on alcohol, you could nevertheless worry that you might be.
Say that you don't get any cravings to drink when you don't drink. But a quick drink frequently develops into three or four. When you're having fun, it's difficult to stop, especially when you're around pals who are also enjoying themselves.
Your worries may be more about why you drink than how much. Many people use alcohol to improve their emotions or cope with difficult situations. Drinking to ease tension before a challenging conversation or a first date is typical.
But suppose you find it difficult to deal with problems without alcohol. In that case, you might want to consider whether drinking prevents you from developing more effective coping mechanisms for your emotions.
Some typical alcohol triggers are stress in relationships, social gatherings, and working problems and insomnia
You can make plans to help manage the impulse to drink by becoming more aware of your alcohol triggers and motivations. Consider your drinking habits and your triggers for drinking alcohol. For example, if it is a social event, then telling everyone that you are quitting will help; if it is because of work stress, you should do something else to distract yourself from drinking, like work out or at least try video games.
Find a support group and tell them you need help
Sharing your decision to stop drinking with others may inspire you to continue your resolution. Include your family. When you stop drinking, your family and friends can encourage and support you. Sharing your experiences with alcohol could inspire others to examine their drinking patterns.
Perhaps your spouse, sibling, or roommate is also contemplating a change. By quitting drinking, you can support each other while increasing your drive and accountability. Creating new relationships with people who don't drink could be quite beneficial.
Benefits of quitting drinking:
You may believe drinking a regular glass of red wine or another alcoholic beverage benefits your heart. However, it might not be true, or it might be true exclusively for light drinkers (less than one drink a day). Cutting back or stopping if you use more than that may lower your blood pressure, fat levels called triglycerides, and risk of heart failure.
Your liver filters toxins. And drinking alcohol damages your cells. A fatty liver, cirrhosis, and other issues can develop due to heavy drinking, defined as eight or more drinks for women and at least 15 drinks for men each week. The good news is that your liver can heal and even regenerate. Therefore, cutting back or stopping is always worthwhile.
A serving of wine has about 120 calories, whereas a glass of ordinary beer has about 150. Alcohol increases your hunger in addition to those primarily empty calories. You become less able to resist the fries and other temptations on the menu and become more impulsive. As a result, the number on your scale may start to decrease if you refrain from drinking.
Social drinking in moderation can improve your mood and strengthen relationships with others. However, drinking alone or in large quantities daily runs the risk of becoming a bad habit. Alcohol use disorder is a condition that can develop if you can't regulate your consumption. You might be able to concentrate on your relationships, job, and health if you stop drinking. Additionally, it might lower your anxiety and despair while boosting your self-esteem.
It is evident that alcohol, and heavy drinking, can increase your risk of developing various cancers, including those of the mouth, throat, and breast. Less certain is whether or how quickly giving up alcohol will reduce your risk of developing cancer. Scientists are unsure, although some research point to potential advantages.
Here are a few concepts:
Why not invite a different co-worker to check out the brand-new bakery down the street instead of putting your resolve to the test by going to the normal happy hour with your colleagues?
Think about developing relationships with people who don't view alcohol consumption as a high priority in their lives.
To locate others interested in activities without alcohol, look through applications like Meetup.
The advantages of giving up alcohol, especially binge drinking, go beyond the ones stated above. While certain injuries could be irreparable, everybody is unique and has some capacity for self-healing. The fundamental objective of not drinking alcohol is to stop further harm.
Stopping drinking is a hard and long process. But the effort your put in will be well worth it. If it doesn't initially stick, be kind to yourself. You're still doing your brain and body a lot of good, whether your eventual aim is total abstinence or just drinking more deliberately.