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Originally Posted On: https://idealmagazine.co.uk/5-tips-on-how-to-give-up-alcohol-in-2020/
…IDEAL for making a fresh start this year.
Dry January is but dust in the rearview mirror, and gradually, the country’s collective willpower, to stay on the booze-free boat rather than jumping off and getting wet, is waning. This needn’t be a cause for concern; the odd glass or two certainly isn’t problematic. But if this compulsive urge to drink is symptomatic of a wider issue, of negative behaviour or addiction, then embracing the excuse for a new and complete start might be the best move you’ve ever made for yourself. Abstinence is the watchword here, and it’s the year to make it count, with these; our 5 tips on how to give up alcohol in 2020, IDEAL for making a fresh start this year.
ACCEPT YOU HAVE AN ADDICTION
As a wise person never said but probably should have; ‘to get clean, you first have to come clean’. And it’s pretty much considered gospel in the school of psychotherapy and addiction, as well as being a key tenet of Alcoholics Anonymous, that you have to admit you’re powerless in the fight against alcohol and that things have become unmanageable before you can truly believe in treatment.
The signs of a serious problem vary from person to person, but first and foremost, physical dependance certainly shouldn’t be ignored; needing a drink in the morning to get going is an early sign of serious addiction. Drinking alone or in secrecy also points to a wider problem, as does peers or family members voicing concern, regular blackouts or being unable to stop once you start drinking, and feelings of guilt regarding alcohol. Have a good look inwards and check yourself; if things have become problematic, the best thing you can do is admit to it, openly.
IDENTIFY TRIGGERS & AVOID TEMPTATION
It’s crucial to identify situations and emotions which particularly inform your desire to drink, so you can do your utmost avoid them. Most crucially, that involves removing all alcohol from the house and, at least at the start of the giving up process, avoiding trips to the pub and restaurants to swerve drink in its most appealing setting.
Also hone in on those triggers; prevention is better than cure, after all. If stress makes you reach for the bottle, go hard on reducing the causes of that stress – through exercise, meditation, whatever works for you – instead of booze. Should a certain Group Chat bring about an urge to drink heavily, then for the time being, you should hit that exit button. Once you’ve got those triggers under control, you’ll find the temptation to drink is lessened.
THE POWER OF TECHNOLOGY
There are plenty of apps out there to help you monitor, moderate or completely cut out your alcohol intake. Some take the form of daily motivational messages, hypnotherapy and mindfulness advice. Others help you track how much you’ve been consuming, and how much it’s cost you, in both pounds and calories; a real wake up call which can shock you into change. Many also offer the chance to engage with a community of like-minded people, which for some can be really helpful. You really are spoilt for choice with the amount of help out there in app form, so dive in. Most are free, too.
The most popular is probably the NHS Drink Free Days app, which prompts you to record every dry day you’ve achieved. It should be said that this app is better for cutting down rather than an abstinence based recovery. For community based support, from those who have gone through a similar thing; Living Sober is a worldwide support system, One Year No Beer requires membership but offers diverse community based encouragement, and the Reddit community /r/stopdrinking is perhaps the most populated online support group in the world. Check them out!
FOCUS ON WHY AS MUCH AS HOW
Sometimes, it’s just as crucial to focus on the ‘why?’ as much as the ‘how’ in terms of slowing down or giving up entirely on your drinking. There are just so many reasons why your life will be greatly, immeasurably improved without days wasted to hangovers, huge money spent on binges, drunken impairment affecting your daily tasks, and more. We’ll save us both some time here, and direct you to another article of ours; these 5 IDEAL reasons to quit drinking alcohol today. Check it out!
NO STIGMA IN SEEKING HELP
Various methods of treating alcoholism exist, and there’s no shame in seeking the help of professionals if other methods of giving up have so far failed. Remember that your history does not decide your future, and particularly in the case of physical dependency, such a step may be safer than simply stopping drinking with support.
To get started on the journey towards recovery from alcoholism, most people search for the words alcohol detox, alcohol detox near me online. This is an ideal way to find a facility with dedicated treatment specialists. The experts who treat alcoholism have years of experience dealing with alcohol addicts of any social status, age and with all kinds of risk factors. These experts can listen to your story and know the best way to treat you. Alcohol detox is accompanied by other treatment methods, including, but not limited to:
- Rehabilitation where the participants learn new behaviours and coping skills for triggers and unwanted emotions.
- Counselling, which involves addressing the emotional problems that encourage the habit.
- Joining support groups.
- Medication to assist in control alcohol consumption such as Naltrexone, which is taken after one has detoxed. It blocks specific receptors in the brain associated with alcoholism, and it is combined with counseling. Disulfiram is the other medication used to treat alcoholism. It brings about physical discomfort such as vomiting and headache to the user once he or she drinks alcohol.
This isn’t the end. Rather, it’s just the beginning of a new journey for you, one full of possibility and potential. Good luck!