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Quitting Alcohol: How to stay on the path to sobriety

Quitting Alcohol: How to stay on the path to sobriety



Most commonly asked question to mental health professionals, How to quit alcohol? How to help your loved one quit alcohol? Understanding the pattern of use is important and that can be classified as social user, harmful user, dependent user and a person with alcohol dependence syndrome. Each individual who has quit will have a story of their own. It makes it easier with right professional help, we at Cadabams have been doing this for the last 3 decades. Do review the rest of this article for interesting insights on quitting alcohol.

Quitting Alcohol

Overcoming alcohol addiction and quitting it completely is a bumpy and long road. The drinking habit does not get transformed overnight and actually requires a massive amount of patience and determination. Healing is a gradual process when it comes to alcohol-related problems. Though overcoming alcohol addiction is not an easy task, there are ways to help you or your loved one out to quit drinking alcohol. Lately, advanced medical care and psychological counseling are available to assist people in overcoming their alcohol addiction.

When to Stop Drinking?

If you are wondering how to quit drinking alcohol or when to stop drinking, now is a good time as any. Making up your mind to quit alcohol is the first step and you can avail of medical and psychological counseling to move forward in the right direction. In India, it is estimated that about 14 million people are alcohol addicts and are in search of a necessary help. Deciding to quit drinking is good, but quite difficult to quit on your own. It does take time for a person to quit drinking, meanwhile, all that is most important is to be patient, determined, and have a never-give-up attitude. Being an addict makes you more vulnerable to fall into the drinking routine again and quite easily.  

What Happens When You Suddenly Stop Drinking?

If you quit alcohol cold-turkey, especially after being a chronic alcohol abuser for some time, there is a high probability that you will begin to experience mental and physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. These may range from mild to severe symptoms, depending on how much alcohol you have consumed and the period of consumption. 

Alcohol happens to have several negative impacts on the body including inflammatory effects on organs to potential damage to your DNA. Excessive drinking can also put a human body to certain risks like cancers of the head, neck, esophagus, liver, breast, colon, and rectum; diabetes; and liver disease. Along with serious illnesses, there are other secondary effects like lousy moods, intake of too much food, excess calories, poor sleep habits, crazy sugar cravings, dry skin, and foggy concentration, etc. Thus, Doctors, Nutritionists, and Dieticians all over the world recommend that alcohol should be consumed in moderation – up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.

If you have been an acute alcohol abuser and quit it all of a sudden, your body may kick into high gear to clear the alcohol from your bloodstream and your liver starts working rigorously. Your pancreas also starts producing extra insulin that will ultimately cause an intense desire to consume carbohydrates. The desire to consume excessive carbs may wane after a period of 12 hours, but it might still be there for a couple of days. Consuming fluids optimally at regular intervals will keep you dehydrated and somewhat reduce your carb intake desire.

The body takes approximately 48 hours after you quit to finish the first stage of detoxification. Depending on how much of an addict you were, symptoms like headaches, grogginess, and tiredness might linger for a prolonged period. Officially after 72 hours of quitting, the side effects of your hangover will be considerably less. This is the stage when you finally feel back to yourself, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

After a week without alcohol, you will start sleeping properly, which re-energizes your body, and mind. Your skin starts to look more youthful as the hydration process in the body restores. Skin conditions like eczema, dandruff, rosacea begin to improve.

Quitting alcohol all of a sudden can be a bad idea if you have been a heavy drinker for a long time. This may trigger alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) that can be really difficult and painful to manage and navigate through.

Effective Ways to Quit Drinking

Quitting alcohol or at least limiting its consumption could help you lead a healthy life and this has been strongly advocated by medical professionals and studies as well. Though most of us are aware of this fact, we are far behind taking it seriously. As per WHO statistics, around 3.3 million die from alcohol consumption and alcohol-related issues.

Here are some effective ways to reduce alcohol consumption:

  1. Add water to your drink: Quitting alcohol altogether might be challenging, so start by limiting the consumption to moderate amounts. By reducing the strength of the alcoholic substance or by watering it down, you could enjoy the drink in a healthier manner.
  2. 2. Be aware of your consumption: By being aware of how much you drink, you make mental note of your consumption. This will help you not to go overboard. Find ways of reminding you of your consumption level by noting down in your calendar how many times this week you consumed alcohol. You could even set alarms on your phone to do so. Set sound limits on your consumption and try to gradually tone it down.
  3. Pace and space: The pace at which you consume your alcohol and the space between consecutive drinks are important aspects when it comes to limiting your alcohol consumption. Try to keep a minimum of one hour gap between each drink; if you prefer you can get a non-alcoholic drink or some food meanwhile.
  4. Consume some food: While spacing out your drink you could even consume some food as that would stop you from making your next drink or ordering your drink. Eating food also helps to absorb alcohol into your system slowly. Drinking on an empty stomach should be avoided at all costs.
  5. Find other alternatives: Indulging in a new and creative activity may keep your mind off from alcohol. You could plan to meet a friend or even, join a class or enjoy a hobby. Use these opportunities to stay away from alcohol.
  6. Avoid triggers: Avoid those people or circumstances that encourage you to drink even when you don’t want to. This way you can control your urge to drink.
  7. Learn to say no: This applies both to you and your loved ones. There is a chance that you’ll be offered a drink and also meet people who would insist on it. As far as old habits go, you yourself might be tempted. However, it’s very important to stand your ground and politely yet affirmatively say NO to yourself and others around you.
  8. Seek professional help: When all your efforts are not yielding the desired result and you believe you cannot keep your alcohol consumption in check, do seek professional help. Our qualified mental health practitioners at Cadabams are more than equipped to help you with your drinking problem.

 Why Cadabams? 

Cadabams is one of the best alcohol rehab centres that offer evidence-based solutions and treatments. One of the leading Alcohol and Drug rehabilitation centres in Bangalore, Cadabams Anunitha is committed to producing successful recovery outcomes by personalizing drug and alcohol rehabilitation process for addicts with different struggles and unique challenges. 

 For a complete focus on recovery without stress or distractions, Anunitha’s inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation is the best choice. Anunitha’s inpatient alcohol rehab centre and drug rehab centre has personalized support from medical staff and round-the-clock care. 

Call us on our mental health helpline +91 96111 94949 for further details on getting alcohol treatment in India or Alcoholism related emergencies. 

Disclaimer – We strive to treat our patients with dignity and the utmost sensitivity. We understand that addiction is a disease and that it is not a sign of weakness. The term alcoholic or alcoholism or alcohol addiction is used not in a derogatory fashion but to remain relevant to user search trends and common usage. In case you or a loved are struggling with alcohol abuse and share a unique viewpoint on how we can improve this content for our readers, please reach out to us at info@cadabams.org