How to Quit Drinking

Do you ever think to yourself that perhaps it’s time to quit drinking? Maybe you’ve managed to skate by unnoticed at work, and for the most part, been able to keep up with appearances. Maybe your family member has expressed concerns about your patterns, but you never wanted to believe them.  But how can you stop drinking because, in essence, it is much easier to overindulge and grow addicted to alcohol than it is to quit drinking, right? Quitting would mean owning up to that thing you said, or that thing you did. It would mean making apologies, trying new things, and changing your way of life. You may hear all of the difficulty and the challenge written in those words, and it is true, that will come, but also contained within those words, within a life of pursuing sobriety, is hope.

Alcohol Use and Alcohol Dependence

Understanding the dangers as well as the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse and its impact on overall life and society at large can help you make healthier choices and eventually quit drinking. Alcohol dependence affects people from all walks of life and has profound negative effects, especially on the brain, as well as the heart, pancreas, liver, and immune system.    Despite its negative impact, alcohol continues to be one of the causes of preventable death, followed closely by tobacco, a poor diet, and living a sedentary lifestyle.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 15 million people struggle with an alcohol use disorder, and at least 88,000 people die each year from alcohol-related deaths.    Do you suspect that you might be struggling with an alcohol use disorder?  Here are the warning signs to look out for:
  • Sub-par or worse performance at work or school
  • Engaging in risky behaviors: drunk driving, sexual promiscuity, and the resulting legal problems
  • Experiencing temporary blackouts or memory loss after drinking
  • Continuing to drink despite health issues like liver or heart disease including diabetes that is made worse by alcohol
  • Failed interventions from family members and friends who are worried about your drinking
  • Making excuses for drinking like to help deal with stress, to relax or feel normal
  • Choosing to drink instead of following through with responsibilities 
  • Distancing yourself from people which may result to drinking in secrecy
  If you exhibit any of the abovementioned warning signs that detect potential alcohol abuse, don’t stop alcohol use abruptly because depending on the severity you may put your life at risk. You may need to attend a detox facility or call in a professional to safely detox from the comfort of your own home   Alcohol abuse can begin to impact a person’s life negatively and tends to spiral out of control quickly if left unaddressed. Of course, signing up for a treatment program is an excellent place to start, as they can assist you with all of the following, but until then, here are a few tips to help you quit drinking:
  1.     Before you can successfully kick alcohol to the curb, you must first take the time to discover why you no longer need it in your life anymore
  2.     Accept that you have a problem and realize you have control over what enters your body. By so doing, you empower yourself, not your addiction
  3.     Recognize and admit your weaknesses when it comes to alcohol and enact change. For example, you may want to avoid going to bars, or being around any alcoholic beverage, and cleaning out your home of all temptations. Remember, you’re only weak if you give weakness a foothold.
  4.     When you catch yourself in the throes of “a happy drinking memory,” stop for a moment and play that memory all the way through and remember how it felt when you woke up the next day.  Use that feeling to fuel your determination to quit drinking
  5.     Reaffirm the benefits you will notice in your life from quitting drinking
  6.     Seek help from family and counseling support groups for a judgment-free, supportive environment
  7.     Contact us today to get started on your treatment journey!

What is Drinking in Moderation?

Have you ever sat back and taken a hard look at your relationship with alcohol? Better yet, have you done a deep dive into understanding your own motivations for drinking or even attempted to discover your limits regarding how many drinks are too many in your opinion?  It is well known that people use alcohol to cope, to fit in, to socialize; however, factors such as genetics, personality, or environment can also play a significant role when determining the type of drinker one is. For example; social drinking is associated with moderate alcohol use. However, there are people in this category who will drink out of peer pressure or fit in because drinking to them is mainly a social pastime.   There are some active drinkers whose sole purpose is to drink in order to feel drunk, while others may not necessarily drink heavily, but will do so as a way of ‘fitting in.’ People who use drinking as a coping mechanism are more likely to be men and women who tend to consume large amounts in response to emotional triggers and progress to more dangerous levels of drinking behaviors.

Drinking in Moderation

A decision to drink less and stay within moderate limits is meant to avoid any health, personal, family, social, job-related, financial or legal problems. Similar to Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step groups, there is Moderation Management (MM) who seeks to understand and delineate the lifestyle of a moderate drinker as someone who considers an occasional drink to be a small, although enjoyable part of life, and has interests, hobbies and other ways to enjoy life that do not involve alcohol. They describe someone who has a healthy relationship with alcohol engaging in their own limit-setting in terms of time and rate, as well as involved with others who have similar views, always comfortable and never secretive about their use.    In terms of amount, what is considered moderate drinking is consuming up to one drink per day for healthy women and two drinks per day for men. Moderate drinking may also be defined as maintaining a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of below 0.55 and in most cases, limiting the speed at which you drink to ensure that your BAC remains at a safe level. One’s BAC can also be influenced by other factors other than the type of drink and the speed of consumption, for example:
  • Gender-wise, men’s tolerance is higher, therefore they can consume larger amounts of alcohol than women because of their physicality as well as the higher concentration of water in their bodies
  • Certain medical conditions and their over-the-counter treatments
In addition, those with a family history of alcoholism are at greater risk for developing alcohol dependence and should consider their family history before consuming even moderate amounts of alcohol. Especially for those who have a history of addiction themselves, there truly is no amount of “drinking in moderation” that is considered “safe”, especially when in active addiction, alcohol use was paired with other dangerous drugs.  True, there are lots of reasons why people should avoid drinking under all circumstances or consume alcohol moderately. Regardless of your reasons, it is important to keep a watch on your patterns when it comes to drinking behavior and the possibilities that present a risk for developing an addiction. 

Choosing Sobriety Over Alcohol

It is so easy to tell yourself “I’ll be good”, or “I’ll only have one drink” just to later find yourself in a turn of events, where the room is spinning, and you can’t even muster up the strength to feel the regret you know will inevitably hit you first thing in the morning. Many of us have experimented with alcohol, some more than others.  We may have the hope that there is the possibility of managing to drink in moderation or limited amounts, but if you know that you are the type of person that doesn’t have an off switch, this lifestyle can become unrewarding and dissatisfying very quickly, to say the least. When it comes to individuals who use other primary drugs of choice, similar to those with a drinking problem, once the high is gone they reach out for the next thing to carry them on to the next high. This is how addiction is born, and why in most cases, especially for those who have engaged in addictive patterns in the past, the choice of abstinence and sobriety is the more practical route. In this case, you won’t have to worry about the temptations of falling into the trap of “accidentally” having more than the one drink you promised yourself and save yourself from the misery of the gut-wrenching hangover and all the consequences and missed opportunities that go along with it.

Self Esteem

When you choose sobriety, you choose a world of clarity and functionality. For starters, you begin by creating a goal: to refrain from partaking in alcohol or any other substances that alter your mind state. In doing this, you will feel better about yourself not only because of the physical changes you will notice, but you will also feel mentally better because you have proven to yourself that you have the willpower that it takes to stay abstinent. This is how self-esteem is born, when you prove to yourself that you can make changes that impact your life.

Healthy Body, Healthy Brain

Drugs and alcohol take such a physical and mental toll on us, especially once you have become addicted. Substance abuse can not only make a person look 10-20 years older than they actually are, but there are copious amounts of damage done to the inside of your body that cannot be seen. A lot of people use drugs and alcohol as a way to increase their dopamine and serotonin, the neurotransmitters in your brain that comprise important aspects of your brain’s reward system, that make you happy. Over time, your body becomes dependent on these drugs for those “happy chemicals”, making it so that when you are not high or drunk, you inherently become depressed, yet rewarded when you seek out your substance of choice. However, when you choose sobriety, your brain’s chemicals remain healthy and balanced. It takes a while for a recovering addict’s natural levels of dopamine and serotonin, and their happiness will eventually return without the need for outside substances.

A Better Tomorrow

Choosing to be sober is also a great way to save money and allow yourself more time to do things that will enrich your life. If you could take the amount of money spent on alcohol alone over a lifetime, you would probably find yourself with a pretty decent savings account, a way to take that vacation you always dream of, or a way to cross something off of your bucket list. You can wake up each day feeling good about yourself, ready to start the day with a clear and grateful mind rather than feeling like you want to stay in bed until the next day comes. When we decide to abandon the things that hold us back from living the life we dream of, we become so much greater. Choosing sobriety is not an easy task, and you may need a team of people on your side to help you get on the right path and continue walking it. Request a callback today to learn about how we can become a part of your recovery journey.

Alcohol Treatment Los Angeles

Alcoholism isn’t a disease that discriminates. It can affect anyone –and more than ever, alcoholism is affecting young adults. Peer pressure, stress, a culture that glorifies substance abuse and alcohol consumption – these are all reasons that more young adults than ever are struggling with serious alcohol addictions. Alcohol affects young adults from all walks of life – no one is immune. Just as there is no one “face” of alcoholism – there is no one treatment option that will work for every alcoholic. The best way to find freedom from alcoholism is to first admit that you need help, then search for sober living treatment options that will provide you with the best chance of success and long-term sobriety.

Alcoholic Treatment Options: High-End Sober Living Facility

Before you enter treatment, it’s good to become familiar with rehab and sober living treatment options. There are many different types of treatments available: outpatient treatment, inpatient drug rehabilitation, dual diagnosis treatment, detoxification and high-end sober living facility options. There are residential treatment centers that have a more “high end” sober living facility feel and focus on helping addicts find a lasting path to sobriety. These high-end sober living facility options provide a “family-style” living situation, where residents feel safe, secure and comfortable. There are even pet- friendly sober living options available. When looking at alcohol or drug treatment facilities, you should ask the facility staff which types of treatments they use and what style programming and living situations they offer. If you enter into a rehab center that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsettled, you won’t be able to effectively focus on your recovery – and you’ll put your sobriety in jeopardy.

Alcohol Treatment and Therapy Los Angeles

Ready to find the best alcohol treatment and therapy? Los Angeles has a lot of options – and it can seem overwhelming when trying to decide on the best “fit” for you. After you’ve looked at alcohol rehabilitation centers and decided on one you feel will be a good fit, you will likely be anxious. Whether it is you or someone you love who will be entering rehab, the thought of the unknown can cause a lot of uncertainty. If you have an understanding of what to expect at drug and alcohol rehab, you’ll enter treatment with greater confidence and less fear. Most alcoholic treatment centers will begin with a medically-guided detoxification process, in which the body is gently cleansed of all toxins so treatment can begin on a “clean slate”. After detoxification, you will likely undergo gentle, yet effective, therapeutic sessions in which a team of addiction specialists help you get to the root cause of your addiction and work with you to find ways to break the cycle of addiction. It is common for many alcohol rehab centers to have group therapy sessions, as well as daily meetings and affirmations to help every patient keep their sobriety goals in mind.

Sober Living and Treatment

The final step is a focus on long-term sober living, in which you will develop the skills needed to find success and happiness in life – completely substance free. Riviera Recovery’s alcohol and drug recovery center in Malibu, California gives addicts the skills, tools and healthy mental outlook they need to confidently approach their new sober life. To learn more about beating your addiction to alcohol and experiencing beachside sober living in Malibu. Call to speak with our Admissions Specialist at 866-478-8799