If you or a family member struggle with alcohol or other substance abuse and need to quit, the following steps will be helpful to change the...

How To Quit Drinking Alcohol

If you or a family member struggle with alcohol or other substance abuse and need to quit, the following steps will be helpful to change the bad habits into good one. 

Talk to your doctor. 

If you choose to start the path to recovery alone, bear in mind that alcohol withdrawal can potentially be deadly. If you start experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms (panic attacks, severe anxiety, the shakes, rapid heartbeat) you should seek immediate medical assistance. The condition could potentially deteriorate to delirium tremens, which is deadly, if left untreated.

Change your attitude about quitting.

Remember, you're not being forced to give up a good friend who has treated you well. Instead, you are finally ridding yourself of an enemy. Adjust your attitude so that quitting is made easier. Your better half wants you to quit; your selfish half wants you to stay the same.

Try to pick some significant date to quit. 

Be ambitious, but reasonable. If you are very heavy drinker you must first slow down to avoid withdrawal symptoms (in this case it is best to have your doctor help you plan your quitting date).

Get rid of all bottles, cans, etc. 

Don't feel that just because you are having guests over you need to offer them a beer, wine, or cocktail. It is perfectly fine to offer people tea, lemonade, coke, or the like.

Feel your feelings. 

Cry when you need to. Laugh when you can. Eat when you are hungry. Sleep when you are tired. This is going to be really weird at first but embrace it. You haven't felt your feelings for a long time. You will have a learning curve.

Don't put yourself with people or in situations where you're likely to drink.

There's an old saying about "Playgrounds and Playmates" — look at yours. You may need to leave some of your old drinking buddies and watering holes behind. That being said, it can be quite a revelation to find out that the friends you used to drink with were drinking with you only occasionally and we're having two beers or two glasses of wine to your five.

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