Professional Tips on How to Stop Drinking

Read on to learn more about how to stop drinking and help with symptoms of alcohol addiction or dependency.

What Is Alcohol Use Disorder?

Alcohol addiction touches the lives of millions of Americans each year. Alcoholism is often referred to as a family disease because the effects of addiction hurt not only the addict but also their family and friends. Addiction is a mental disorder that results in the overwhelming drive to use alcohol regardless of knowing there are harmful consequences. Alcohol addiction often leads to adverse personal and social complications, including lost or strained relationships, job loss, and many adverse medical effects.1

How to Stop Drinking


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How Alcohol Affects the Body

Alcohol use disorder is characterized by a physical and emotional need to drink. Once the disorder has developed, the physical cravings for alcohol are often intense and often debilitating, usually causing the person afflicted to drink almost constantly to alleviate the painful effects of withdrawal. When someone has an alcohol use disorder and then tries to stop drinking, withdrawal symptoms will set in. Often, alcohol withdrawal can be difficult and dangerous without medical and mental health support.2

Diagnosing Alcohol Addiction

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists eleven criteria providers use to accurately diagnose the presence and severity of an alcohol addiction. A person doesn’t need to present with all eleven to be diagnosed with a substance use disorder, as two or three criteria can indicate a mild alcohol use disorder. Four or five signs is considered moderate, and six or more are considered severe. Seeking treatment at an alcohol addiction rehab provides the safest way to complete alcohol detox and get sober.3

How Common is Alcohol Addiction?

According to data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), alcohol is one of America’s most widely abused substances. Each year, alcohol addiction and alcohol-related causes are responsible for one out of every twenty deaths worldwide. Estimates suggest that almost ninety thousand people in the United States lose their lives to alcohol-related causes annually. Of those, many die from the effects of alcohol poisoning.
The same report estimates that nearly 8% of American adults have an alcohol use disorder, yet fewer than 7% will ever seek or receive potentially life saving addiction treatment. Additionally, almost a million teenagers meet the diagnostic criteria for a substance use disorder.4

Alcohol Use Disorder Symptoms

Addiction treatment professionals diagnose an alcohol use disorder when one presents with two or more of the symptoms listed above from the DSM-5. Although most of the symptoms on the list may not seem problematic to someone who struggles with the harmful effects of alcohol, the presence of any may indicate a drinking problem.

Common Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder

The most common symptoms of an alcohol use disorder include:
  • An overwhelming and uncontrollable urge to drink
  • Inability to control how much one drinks
  • Drinking in risky situations that could lead to danger
  • Continuing to drink regardless of the problems it causes
  • Drinking instead of participating in things they enjoy
  • Negative thoughts or irritability when one isn’t drinking

if you or a loved one has experienced any of the above symptoms within the last year, it may be time to consider reaching out for help at a treatment center like Concise Recovery to learn more about the benefits of quitting alcohol and how individualized alcohol addiction treatment programs can help you quit drinking for good.5

The Effects of Alcohol Usage

Drinking alcohol produces both short- and long-term effects on the body and mind. With a few exceptions, the short-term effects of alcohol are felt soon after taking the first drink; however, they often resolve themselves within a few hours of the last drink. In many cases, alcohol helps people relax and feel calm, but as a result it can lower inhibitions and lead people to act in ways they would not without the influence of alcohol.
Alcohol can also lead to altered behaviors. In some cases, this can include risky behaviors or violent outbursts. Depending on how much one drinks, alcohol can also cause falls, accidents, hangovers, and, when too much alcohol is consumed, alcohol poisoning.

The Long-Term Effects of Alcohol

The long-term effects of alcohol on the body and mind last far beyond a night of drinking. The long-term impacts of alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction often help someone realize it may be time to stop drinking alcohol. Ongoing alcohol addiction can lead to increased legal problems, family problems, challenges within your social circles, and domestic and public violence issues.

Alcohol is also linked to thousands of deaths each year in road and other accidents. As many as twenty-eight people in the United States die each day due to drunk-driving crashes. In 2019, over ten thousand people died in alcohol-related crashes.6 Quitting alcohol can also lower the risk for cardiovascular disease. If it’s left untreated, ongoing alcohol abuse can lead to heart failure, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.7

Ways to Stop Drinking and the Benefits of Quitting for Good

The best way to stop drinking alcohol is to seek help at a treatment center to learn more about addiction and the tools you or a loved one can use in the future to avoid alcohol and relapse. During treatment, you will complete alcohol detox and learn more about the many reasons to quit drinking. As you progress through treatment, you will participate in peer support groups that are a source of friendship and support in many cases.
In addition to counseling at a treatment center, you may find these other tips to stop drinking alcohol helpful.
One of the easiest ways to stop drinking is to remove yourself from situations or people that may drive you or loved ones to drink. They are also events that can make it hard to avoid alcohol. This may mean changing friend groups or developing new habits that do not include alcohol. For some, this means removing access to alcohol entirely by ensuring it is not in the home, and by avoiding circumstances that make it difficult to quit drinking for good.

The Negative Impacts of Alcohol

While it may seem difficult to stop alcohol use, it is important to remember that the long-term effects of alcohol addiction can impact you or a loved one for the rest of your lives. While there may not be an easy way to stop drinking, it is crucial to seek help to take the first steps toward protecting your physical and emotional health.
Alcohol addiction leaves no part of the body untouched. Chronic alcohol abuse can lead to heart disease, decreased immune function, liver disease, pancreatic disease, stomach ulcers, an increased risk for several cancers, and structural and functional changes to the brain. Sadly, once many of these changes occur, it is difficult (and sometimes impossible) to reverse them.8
Negative Impacts of Alcohol

Benefits of Quitting Drinking for Good

There are multiple benefits of quitting drinking for good, including:
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Lower cancer risk with each sober year
  • Potential to heal damaged liver cells
  • Improvement of cognitive damage
  • Healthier body weight and improved energy
  • Reduced insulin resistance

Concise Recovery Can Help You With Achieving and Maintaining Sobriety

The best way to stop drinking is to seek help from the caring and compassionate team at Concise Recovery. Our team of medical and mental health professionals is here to help and support you through each stage of your recovery journey. Let us help you learn more about how to get and stay sober. Contact us today to learn more about our programs and tips to stop drinking.