After one week without alcohol, your risk of seizures is much less. Also, your risk of developing cardiovascular disease will start to decrease. Alcohol can increase your blood pressure and make your heart work harder. In the coming weeks, your liver will also begin to repair itself. Be prepared to discuss any problems that alcohol may be causing. You may want to take a family member or friend along, if possible.

How to Stop Drinking

If you’re looking for the best programs to quit drinking, the method you choose will depend largely on your personal circumstances and the health benefits you seek. Options include self-help programs, online therapy, medication-assisted treatments, in-person therapy, counseling organizations, and support groups. “For psychologists, many of them are addiction-informed, and in their advertisements or on their websites they will mention that specifically,” Dr. Lembke said. To get started, try searching a directory like Psychology Today or Inclusive Therapists, both of which have filters you can use to look for specific support around substance use. When you first stop drinking, your body will begin to detoxify itself.

Identifying triggers

Drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea, so make sure you eat food when you drink. Make it clear that drinking will not be allowed in your home and that you may not be able to attend events where alcohol is being served. Did a night of excessive drinking leave cans or bottles littering your living room floor? Talking to an addiction counselor can help you better understand the situation and work through your feelings. Programs like Al-anon, Alateen and Families Anonymous offer opportunities for emotional support. Remember that changing deep habits is hard, takes time, and requires repeated efforts.

Doctors, nutritionists, and counselors can also help support people to stop drinking alcohol. Affirming intentions, knowing the reasons for quitting alcohol, and setting up the environment for success are important strategies. After the last drink, a person may experience mild or more severe symptoms. Noting down successes and patterns can help individuals reduce their drinking by using methods that help most and avoiding others that are not effective. Keeping a drinking diary can help make people aware of how much they consume and how it makes them feel.

Types of Professionals Involved in Care

“Try sober Mondays or sober Mondays through Wednesdays,” he says. Crystal Raypole has previously worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy. Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health. In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues. If you feel comfortable doing so, discuss your challenges with your primary healthcare professional. Finding a therapist can also be a great starting point if you’re uncomfortable opening up to your healthcare professional.

  • And for many people, the brief motivational intervention increases their motivation for change, their commitment, and confidence in their ability to stop drinking.
  • The one that’s right for you depends on your situation and your goals.
  • It’s always wise to check with your doctor — she should be able to help you decide whether it is best for you to cut back or to abstain.

Others are outpatient programs, where you live at home and go to the center for treatment. Alcohol causes changes in your brain that make it hard to quit. Trying to tough it out on your own can be like trying to cure appendicitis with cheerful thoughts. Alcohol use disorder How to Stop Drinking is what doctors call it when you can’t control how much you drink and have trouble with your emotions when you’re not drinking. Some people may think the only way to deal with it is with willpower, as if it’s a problem they have to work through all on their own.

Medications

Overall, gather as much information as you can about the program or provider before making a decision on treatment. If you know someone who has first-hand knowledge of the program, it may help to ask about his or her personal experience. It is important to remember that not all people will respond to medications, but for a subset of individuals, they can be an important tool in overcoming alcohol dependence. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three medications for treating alcohol dependence, and others are being tested to determine whether they are effective. Some are surprised to learn that there are medications on the market approved to treat alcohol dependence.

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Drugs used for other conditions — like smoking, pain, or epilepsy — also may help with alcohol use disorder. Talk to your doctor to see of one of those might be right for you. Alcoholism is a common and different term for alcohol use disorder. Milder cases — when people abuse alcohol but aren’t dependent on it — are as well. Research the kinds of treatment that are available and discuss these options with your friend or family member. When you drink, sip slowly and take a break of 30 minutes or one hour between drinks.

Starting With a Primary Care Doctor

I do not look back at my years of drug and alcohol use “with zero regrets”, as one influencer who had been 30 days sober mused. Here’s some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your health care provider or mental health provider. Late symptoms begin between two and four days after the last drink, and they usually include changes in heart rate, breathing and blood pressure. Serious symptoms caused by delirium tremens include hallucination and seizure. Expect to feel some discomfort, including anxiety, sweating or irritability.

How to Stop Drinking