- 0.1 Is it better to cut down on alcohol before quitting?
- 0.2 Is it possible to stop drinking on your own?
- 1 Will I be OK if I stop drinking?
- 2 Do you feel sad when you stop drinking?
- 3 How much better will I feel if I stop drinking?
Is it better to cut down on alcohol before quitting?
Things to think about before you start – Have a think about the goal you want to achieve. Quitting alcohol completely can seem like a big step, but it could be the change of direction you need. Cutting down your drinking is also a positive goal, and it can even be the first step to quitting entirely.
Speak to your doctor about your worries, and your plan to address your drinking. They’ll be able to give you advice and useful information.Tell your family and friends. If they know that you’re trying to change your drinking habits, they can encourage and support you.Find your nearest alcohol service. You can search for your nearest Change Grow Live alcohol service and look at treatment options further down the page.Join a peer support group like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
If you are drinking alcohol every day and notice unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when you are not drinking, please do not stop drinking suddenly. This can cause extremely harmful withdrawal symptoms. It’s important you make contact with your local treatment service to arrange a safe, medically supervised detox.
Is it possible to stop drinking on your own?
Keep a journal – Maybe you’ve never been interested in logging your innermost thoughts, but journaling can be a great tool to track your feelings as you work on quitting alcohol. Exploring, in writing, what you find difficult and when you most want to drink can help you notice patterns that offer more insight into your alcohol use.
Comparing the emotions that come up when you have a drink with the feelings you experience when abstaining also helps you recognize when drinking doesn’t fix the problems you’re trying to manage. At the end of the day, one of the most important tools you have at your disposal is self-compassion, Instead of criticizing yourself for having a hard time or slipping up and having a drink, remember that no one’s perfect.
What matters most is your ability to maintain an open, curious outlook as you learn what does and doesn’t work for you. You might run into obstacles along the way that tempt you to drink. Keep in mind the reasons you chose to cut back on or quit alcohol.
Consider writing them down and keeping notes on hand, so you have a physical reminder to look at when you need it to help motivate you to stay the course. Quitting alcohol alone is harder for some than others, but there’s no need to go it alone. If you’re having difficulty sticking to your goal or just want some extra guidance, consider reaching out for professional support.
If you feel comfortable doing so, discuss your challenges with your primary healthcare professional. Finding a therapist can also be a great starting point if you’re uncomfortable opening up to your healthcare professional. It might also be worth checking out a 12-step program in your area, like Alcoholics Anonymous or SMART Recovery, to see if it feels like something that might be useful for you.
You may also consider joining an online support group to help you feel less alone. Quitting drinking can take time. Treat yourself kindly if it doesn’t stick at first. Whether your end goal involves complete sobriety or more mindful drinking, you’re still doing your brain and body a big favor. Crystal Raypole has previously worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy.
Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health. In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues.
Will I be OK if I stop drinking?
Physical symptoms – Most people don’t experience any physical symptoms from stopping drinking. But if you are a heavy drinker or alcohol dependent, going ‘cold turkey’ (suddenly drinking no alcohol at all, if you are used to drinking heavily) can cause serious alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
These physical withdrawal symptoms can include trembling hands, sweating, headache, nausea, vomiting, palpitations, and lack of appetite. In severe cases, symptoms can include convulsions, fever and even hallucinations.4 That’s why – for people who are alcohol dependent – it’s important to talk to a knowledgeable health professional before stopping drinking.
Your doctor may be able to prescribe medication that can help, or you can usually refer yourself to a specialist alcohol team for support. Your GP may be able to arrange or signpost you to counselling and psychological support, and you could access local support groups to help you stay on track.
Do you feel sad when you stop drinking?
What Causes Depression in Recovery? – Even an optimist might find themselves feeling depressed once they have attained sobriety. There are several reasons why depression hits people in recovery. These might include:
Not used to feeling real emotions. After numbing unpleasant feelings with alcohol as they bubbled up, it isn’t easy to stare these emotions in the face. Self-medicating with alcohol only acts as a Band-Aid, and once sober, that Band-Aid gets ripped off. It just takes time to learn how to better cope with and manage negative emotions. Relationship challenges. In recovery, you are doing a lot of rebuilding, and that includes your primary relationships. For instance, there may be some leftover anger and resentment that needs healing. Mostly, you are a different person in recovery and it takes time to fit that version into existing relationships. Facing the fallout. Alcoholism exacts a heavy toll on all areas of someone’s life. While drinking, it is easy to ignore things, like paying bills on time and showing up to important appointments. In sobriety, the fallout from alcoholism comes into sharp focus, which can be pretty depressing. Boredom and loneliness. When just starting out in recovery you may struggle with feelings of loneliness and boredom. Drinking took up such a huge chunk of real estate in your life, so without it life looks quite different. You now have fewer friends, as you had to walk away from toxic people. Also, without drinking to numb reality, you may find yourself bored and restless. Brain chemistry rebooted. causes the brain pathways to become altered. The brain became dependent on the dopamine released by the daily drinking. Once sober, brain chemistry will adjust, but it takes time. In the meantime, symptoms of depression can be very common.
If you or a loved one recently quit drinking or completed a rehab treatment program and are now depressed, it is important to discuss dual diagnosis treatment options before you relapse and start drinking again. Dual diagnosis is when you suffer from addiction and mental health co-occurring.
How much better will I feel if I stop drinking?
When you stop drinking, you have the opportunity to: Improve your mood, anxiety, and stress levels. Get better sleep and feel more rested. Focus on having better relationships with your friends and family.
How do you know if you need a break from alcohol?
2. You feel less energetic than you used to – Alcohol can place additional stress on your body, and contribute to an overall sense of malaise. If you’ve noticed a decrease in your energy levels, and you drink often, alcohol may be the culprit.
How long does it take to stop being drink?
How Long Does It Take to Sober Up? This is another question that I found from looking at common google search terms, and I find it fascinating. I imagine that most people are asking how long it takes to come down from the immediate effects of alcohol. I can also imagine that some minority of people might be asking about getting sober more generally, and what time that takes.
I also have to think that some people out there who are wanting to sober up in the short term might also benefit from some information on becoming sober permanently. If you are currently drunk, or you know someone who is currently drunk, “how long does it take to sober up” is a pretty straightforward question.
Depending on sex and body weight, we can generally say that you will lower your blood alcohol level by 0.01 to 0.02 for every hour or two that you do not drink. So, if your current blood alcohol level is 0.16 and you feel very inebriated, you can expect to feel sober in 8-12 hours, but you might not feel great in the meantime.
- Another set of questions that often goes along with “how long does it take to sober up” is different ways that a person can get rid of a hangover.
- I only feel comfortable with one overarching hangover cure, and that is hydration.
- Hydrating your body while you are still drunk, if you can remember to do it, will help with this, and hydrating once you are feeling the effects of a hangover will help more than anything else.
Drink 3 to 5 glasses of water and see how you feel in an hour or two is my advice, as a non-doctor and non-expert. I have also heard that caffeine and fatty foods can help, so maybe try coffee and bacon along with the water. If you or a loved one is interested in getting sober permanently, I am even more interested in this question for that reason.
- Becoming a sober person on a permanent basis is usually called recovery, but the first step in getting to recovery is looking into substance use disorder treatment.
- Substance use disorder is the name for things that we generally referred to as alcoholism or drug addiction in the past.
- I have no problem with the terms alcoholism or drug addiction, but substance use disorder encompasses both very nicely, and can also refer to people that have become physically dependent on a drug and need medical intervention, but do not consider themselves addicts.
I believe it is up to each person what they want to call the problems that they are facing and how they refer to themselves. In the past, the recovery community has become attached to calling people addicts and alcoholics for the rest of their lives if they dealt with those issues in the past.
- I know that this has some benefits when it comes to people relapsing, and calling yourself an “addict” might come in handy when you need to remember that you have to stay away from drugs for the rest of your life.
- On the other hand, labeling people “addicts” because they had a problem at one time seems incredibly unfair once we consider the fact that society at large has terribly misguided and wrong opinions on what being an addict means.
Until society understands that addiction is just another disease, I, myself, will be uncomfortable with labeling others, and in general, I believe that substance use disorder is a very good term for all of the problems people face with drugs and alcohol.
I am writing for the blog of a place called Florida Springs, in Panama City, Florida. If you or a loved one needs more information on treatment options, please look at the programs page on this website. Whether you are asking, “how long does it take to sober up” because you want to stop being drunk in the moment or forever, all of us know someone who has been touched by addiction diseases, and there is information and help out there if people that are reading this need it.
Thanks so much for reading. By T.A. Cannon (Contact me at [email protected]) : How Long Does It Take to Sober Up?