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All You Need to Know About Quitting Alcohol

All You Need to Know About Quitting Alcohol

“ Never again. Never, ever again.”


We all have had those moments, during a horrible hangover, or after a bad day of drinking where we have vowed not to ever drink again. But, if we look back at how effectively we followed up on these promises, a lot of us would be embarrassed. 


Drinking is all fun and games until it starts affecting your life. Alcohol is a substance that can cause dependence. People can become physically, emotionally, and psychologically dependent on the substance. Alcohol Dependence is a mental health disorder that can damage your liver, heart, brain, and so much more. 


How do you prevent this? Well, you limit your drinking. What if it is already affecting your body, and you can feel these effects? Well, then you stop drinking. Easier said than done actually. Quitting alcohol is difficult, but with some help, you can do it. 


So, let’s go through a few things to keep in mind before you say Buh-bye to the bottle:


When do you feel like having alcohol: Identifying the triggers.


“Liverpool lost the match, Let’s go have a drink, Bro.”

“She dumped me, Let’s go have a drink, Bro.”

“He is so immature, I am frustrated. Let’s go have a drink, Bro.”


When you want to quit drinking the first step is to identify what makes you drink. These could be happy feelings or sad feelings. These could come from within, or because of something that happened around you. Identify these triggers and curb your instinct when you feel like drinking in these situations. 


“ One Orange Juice for Me”: Avoiding high-risk situations


There are situations where you would have easy access to alcohol. Try to avoid them. The legendary “hang out” with friends, an acquaintance’s “gathering”, or a straight-up party. Just stay away from them for some time. You will thank yourself down the line.  Also, try to maintain a respectable distance from the people who guide you to drink. This is a form of social distancing that will save you quite a bit of effort as time progresses. 


It will not be all smooth sailing: Brace yourself for Withdrawal symptoms


If you have been dependent on alcohol for quite some time, then there will be withdrawal symptoms when you suddenly stop drinking. That is why it is advisable to quit drinking under the supervision of a mental health professional, and to not quit suddenly ( cold turkey). 


Withdrawal symptoms could include, feeling skittish or nervous, trembling, frequent anxiety episodes, irritability, getting excited easily, and rapid mood swings.

It’s okay to ask for help: Seeking treatment for Alcohol Dependence


Sometimes, these measures might fail to work and you might still have a problem with alcohol. At that point, there’s absolutely no shame in asking for help. We all need help at some point in our lives. So, where and how can you find help with alcohol dependence?


As it is with a lot of things in life, the first step is to understand that you have a problem. That can prove to be very difficult with alcohol. Once you and your loved ones have come to terms with that, the next step is to seek mental health assistance. This could be through a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist. Post this, there are multiple options you can choose from to battle alcohol dependence.


Computer Ji, Lock Kiya Jaye? – Choosing the right treatment option.


Choosing the right option to treat your dependence on alcohol is quite important. It includes taking into account multiple factors in your life and then making a decision. The factors to consider include your lifestyle, academics, or professional life, and your finances as well. There are multiple options but the best one for you will be suggested by a mental health professional:

    • Outpatient Programs – These are designed to help you recover from alcoholism while you continue your normal daily routine. The sessions can be scheduled in a way so that they can accommodate your work or academic schedule. 
    • Partial Hospitalization/ In-Patient Treatment – This is usually for individuals who need regular medical monitoring for a short while. You can avail of these for 3-5 days a week or for a few hours each day. 
  • Residential Treatment – This is when you need intensive treatment. Residential treatment helps a person recover without worrying about the pressures of daily life. 


Medication for Alcohol Dependence


Medication for alcohol dependence is not a definitive cure. It isn’t like you consume a pill and poof, no more dependence. Then, what is the role of medication in treating alcohol dependence?


Medication is used to make drinking less fun. It’s like having a movie disclaimer about the ill effects of alcohol every single time you drink. Some of the common medications prescribed while treating alcohol abuse include:


  • Naltrexone – It blocks the high that you get after drinking
  • Acamprosate – It combats with the cravings
  • Disulfiram – It will make you sick if you drink


Don’t judge a book by its cover – Rehabilitation for Alcohol Dependence


Don’t judge a book by its cover, and don’t judge a word by its associations. Rehabilitation is thought to be a scary term and seems to be difficult to digest. Popular culture portrayals of rehab centers have done that. But, rehab, in reality, is a necessity for many disorders. It helps you recover.  Rehabilitation for Alcohol Dependence has shown to be immensely useful. It helps you take some time off and focus only on their recovery. It helps you avail multiple streams of therapy in a single place, and it helps those therapeutic options to be far more effective as well. Rehabilitation is important, and in many cases, it can save your life as well. 


On some days giving up alcohol can seem very difficult. But, it’s important to understand that there is a life beyond alcohol. It’s possible to have “good times” without the bottle. But, as with a lot of things in life, this is a choice. And quitting alcohol is a choice that is easier when you make the decision than when the decision is made for you because of your physical or mental health.