Why should I quit?
Quitting is the only way to stop the problems alcohol is causing in your life. It may not be easy to quit. But your efforts will be rewarded by better health, better relationships and a sense of accomplishment. As you think about quitting, you may want to make a list of your reasons to quit.
What do I need to know about alcohol abuse treatment and recovery?
The decision to stop using alcohol or other drugs is very important to your health. Talk with your doctor if you’ve decided to quit. He or she can guide your treatment, help you find support and monitor your condition as you recover.
How do I stop?
The first step is realizing that you control your own behavior. It's the only real control you have in your life. So use it. Here are the next steps:
- Commit to quitting. Once you decide to quit, you can make plans to be sure you succeed.
- Get help from your doctor. He or she can be your biggest ally. Alcoholism is a kind of disease, and it can be treated. Talking with your doctor or a counselor about your problems can be helpful too.
- Get support. Contact Alcoholics Anonymous, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence or the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Call for information about local treatment programs and to speak to someone about your alcohol problem. They will give you the tools and support you need to quit. Ask your family and friends for support too.
What does it feel like to quit drinking?
As you drink, your body tries to make up for the depressant effects of alcohol. This built-up tolerance to alcohol can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms when people who drink a lot quit.
Serious withdrawal symptoms include seeing things, seizures and delirium tremens (confusion, seeing vivid images, severe shakes, being very suspicious), and can even include death. This is why you need your doctor's care if you've been drinking heavily and are trying to quit.
Problem Drinking and Alcoholism: Diagnosis and Treatment by MA Enoch, M.D., M.R.C.G.P. and D Goldman, M.D. (American Family Physician February 01, 2002, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20020201/441.html)
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff