How to Stop Drinking Alcohol When You Don't Want To

If you're concerned about your alcohol consumption, it's important to talk to a knowledgeable health professional before you stop drinking. There are several ways to quit drinking alcohol, and it's important to find the one that works best for you. Discussing it with someone you trust, distracting yourself with an alternative, healthy activity, challenging the thinking that drives the urge, and moving forward without giving up are all effective strategies. Additionally, you can abandon tempting situations quickly and elegantly, and there are other support groups such as SMART Recovery, LifeRing and Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) that can help.

Dry January (like its cousins Dry July and Sober October) has become a popular way to experiment with drinking less. Ria Health also offers its support to the Sinclair Method, a drug-based approach for moderate drinking or abstaining with a 78 percent success rate. The “How do I know if I can keep drinking” questionnaire can help determine if moderation is an option. If you tend to drink in front of the TV after work, try replacing that glass of wine with something else you like.

People who are dependent on alcohol or who have other medical or mental health problems should stop drinking completely. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate alcohol consumption consists of up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men. After a long period of heavy drinking, alcohol withdrawal can occur, with symptoms that last for days or weeks. This could mean stopping participating in the weekly bar quiz for a while, or if you tend to drink when you eat out, try going to restaurants that don't sell alcohol or simply volunteering to drive. If you find it difficult to control the amount you drink on social occasions, or if you have developed the habit of drinking too much some nights to control stress, it's best to control it as soon as possible. You can also learn about the withdrawal symptoms you might experience if you go from drinking too much to not drinking at all, and tips on where to get help.

My God, I suppose if you have to ask yourself if this is something you should research, this could mean that you already know that you have a drinking problem.

Sophia Streeby
Sophia Streeby

Addiction recovery expert from experience and training - I want to help others Quit drinking alcohol and find freedom from addiction daily.