Alcoholism: How To Stop Drinking

Alcoholism can be one of the most damaging, frustrating things a person ever has to deal with.

Alcohol dependence includes four primary symptoms. The first is having cravings or a strong urge to drink, then the inability to control drinking, physical dependence leading to withdrawal if you stop drinking, and tolerance, meaning you need to drink more to get drunk.

When you become addicted to alcohol, you have a chronic, progressive disease with diagnosable symptoms, and ultimately it can affect every area of your life, from your relationships and career to your health and well-being.

Unfortunately with alcoholism, how to stop drinking is the big question, and it’s often one that goes unanswered for too many alcoholics.

Before looking at alcoholism and how to stop drinking, we’ll discuss general facts about alcohol abuse, and its symptoms.

Alcoholism: How To Stop Drinking
As was touched on above, alcoholism is considered a chronic disease, and as with other chronic diseases, it’s progressive in nature. This means that it follows defined patterns starting with early stage alcoholism and eventually moving to end-stage alcoholism. The symptoms of alcoholism include behavioral and physical signs, ranging from focusing your life around drinking, to having certain health problems such as fatty liver disease, and ultimately cirrhosis of the liver.

For adults, the “safe” level of drinking, at least in terms of the fact that it wouldn’t be considered alcoholism is one drink a day for women and a maximum of two drinks a day for men. One drink would be about four ounces of wine or a 12-ounce beer.

However, for some people, drinking shouldn’t be done at all. These groups include women who are pregnant, people who are going to drive or do other similar activities, people taking some prescription medicines, and recovering alcoholics.

Having an understanding of alcoholism can help people who want to learn how to stop drinking.

Most people don’t begin their lives hoping to become alcoholics, yet it’s a disease that affects so many people.

There are a few different reasons it’s believed some people can control their moderate drinking, while others spiral into alcoholism.

First, for many alcoholics, there is an underlying mental illness present, such as depression or anxiety. For these people who may suffer from debilitating symptoms, drinking becomes a way to self-medicate. Unfortunately, with alcoholism and mental illness, the excessive drinking often makes the original problem worse.

There is also evidence that alcoholism has genetic components. This doesn’t mean that there is a definable set of genes that guarantees someone will be an alcoholic, but some traits that can be passed down through generations are also linked to higher occurrences of alcoholism.

Also relevant to the discussion of alcoholism and how it happens is the environment. Regardless of whether or not someone has a genetic predisposition for alcoholism, their environment can play a significant role.

As with other chronic diseases, with alcoholism there is no cure, however, there are steps a person can take to stop drinking and enter a phase of recovery. The best options for most people are a combination of alcohol treatment programs with intensive counseling and therapy, along with medications which can help deal with symptoms of withdrawal and also stabilize the symptoms of underlying mental health disorders.

If you’re considering alcoholism and how to stop drinking, it’s important to realize that quitting cold turkey or trying to do it all on your own isn’t likely to be successful, and it’s important to find professional help for the best chances of successfully being in recovery.

There are some things you can do on your own if you’re looking at alcoholism and how to stop drinking.

The first is identify that you have a problem and then create a list of reasons you want to stop. Then, you should create a definitive plan for yourself, and share your plan with close friends or family so that you’re held accountable and can help you along the way.

As you’re working on how to stop drinking, you should also not just attend a program or a group like AA, but you should also try to keep yourself out of situations that could trigger you to drink.

With alcoholism, where to get help depends on many things. The severity of your drinking and whether or not you’ve tried to stop drinking can indicate if inpatient or outpatient rehab is more suitable. For long-term very heavy drinkers, a medically supervised detox is highly recommended, because the withdrawal process for alcoholism can be dangerous or deadly. An alcohol detox program can be done on an outpatient or inpatient basis, and there are medicines you can be given to help ease you through it safely.

Once you’ve completed rehab or a treatment program, you can continue to find local resources for alcoholism by participating in a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Often these groups build on concepts learned in rehab, and it’s an excellent way to avoid temptations, keep your dedication to recovery strong, and build a network of supportive people.

If you want to know with alcoholism where to get help, there are so many resources available to you, as long as you’re ready and willing to work on your addiction and take the necessary steps for recovery.

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