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Alcoholism: When can suddenly stopping drinking be a bad idea?

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You went out last night. Did you had a drink. You feel like you’ve been drinking too much and you want to stop so you stop. Most people feel like that after a lot of occasional drinking. However, social or occasional infrequent drinking is not alcoholism.

Suddenly stopping drinking can be a bad idea. If you drink heavily on a regular basis or have been a heavy drinker for many years. Suddenly stopping drinking can cause alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) which can be really difficult and painful to go through. For you to have AWS, you will most likely have to have been drinking

  • For a significant amount of months or years
  • Been drinking heavily (4-7 standard drinks per day)
  • Or have had withdrawal symptoms previously
  • Or have an alcohol addiction which means you have been drinking enough for it to cause significant interference with your social and occupational life and your mood heavily depends on the presence or absence of alcohol or that people have asked you to cut down but you are not able to.

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What is a standard drink?

To know what heavy drinking is, it is important to know what a standard drink is. A standard drink is measured by:

  • 44 ml of liquor (like whiskey, rum, or tequila)
  • 147 ml of wine
  • 355 ml of beer

What really happens then when you suddenly stop drinking?

Anyone who has suffered from alcoholism has had a family member or a friend tell them to cut off from alcohol completely and change their lifestyles and has tried to help them avoid drinking at all. But what happens when you have been a regular heavy drinker and stop drinking suddenly?

Symptoms of AWS can range in severity depending on the amount of regular alcohol consumption. If you suddenly stop drinking, you might show symptoms of anxiety, nausea, vomiting, headaches, sweating, and disturbed sleep. However, if you have been a regularly heavy drinker for a long time, suddenly stopping drinking can cause hallucinations or seizures and in the worst cases, delirium tremens which cause vivid hallucinations and delusions and disorientation.

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How do you deal with AWS?

If you think that suddenly stopping drinking would be a bad idea for you, it is highly important to reach out to a doctor and seek the necessary medication to help prevent withdrawal symptoms. As alcohol addiction can get difficult to control and as there is usually little. You can do to handle full-blown addiction even though in our society. Today alcoholism is still not recognized as a psychiatric addiction but as a choice. It is important to consult doctors about it so that they can guide you through a recovery process with necessary medication to keep you body in good health. Alcoholism cannot stop in one day, it needs to be weaned off so it is important to go through the whole process. Instead of suddenly stopping drinking as the brain has heavily adapted to the use of alcohol and requires alcohol to perform certain functions.

So it is okay to suddenly stop social/occasional drinking. Or other infrequent uses of alcohol but if there is a possibility of addiction. It is recommended that you consult a doctor instead of suddenly stop the alcohol intake. It is okay to ask for help. Rather it is necessary to ask for help. Sometimes you may have to accept that people around you may not understand alcoholism entirely and so it is okay to reach out to your friends and family and let them help you out in this situation and accompany you to the doctor so you can understand and deal with this problem together.

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