You are having a problem with booze and now you are trying to figure out how to quit drinking alcohol. Alcoholism is a treatable disease and is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV). The DSM defines alcohol abuse as the repeated use of alcohol despite negative consequences; alcohol dependence includes alcohol abuse combined with tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. Not all problem drinkers are alcoholics but the methods on how to quit drinking alcohol apply to all those with a desire to quit.
To understand how to quit drinking alcohol you will need to know:
- Alcoholism is a treatable disease; it is both a physical and emotional condition.
- An assessment should be made to determine the extent of the problem.
- Treatment methods and plans vary depending on individual circumstances.
- Quitting On Your Own – Going cold turkey alone is the least successful method to quit drinking alcohol in the long term. Although some people have success most people that have a drinking problem will relapse without a support group.
- Medical Assessment – First be honest with your doctor or medical professional. A qualified health care provider can make the proper assessment and develop a treatment plan. The plan may include detoxification, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient counseling, and attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or a combination of these methods.
- Detoxification – Detoxification may be required for those that have advanced alcoholism. Detoxification is done in a hospital setting where the patient is weaned off of alcohol in a medically supervised environment. People with advanced alcoholism can suffer seizures or die from alcoholic withdrawal; it takes about four days to detoxify alcohol from the body.
- Inpatient Rehabilitation – There are many Alcoholic Rehabilitation Centers and many health care plans cover treatment. The medical staff usually includes doctors, nurses and addictions counselors; treatment plans are developed for each patient. Many rehabs run a twenty-eight day treatment course with a structured program. Education on alcoholism, group therapy, individual counseling and AA meetings will be part of the rehabilitation experience.
- Outpatient Counseling – Outpatient counseling tries to duplicate many of the methods of inpatient treatment. Outpatient facilities will offer group therapy, individual counseling and recommend attendance at AA meetings.
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) – Alcoholics Anonymous is a self help group that has been in existence since 1935. Many people go directly to AA bypassing the other treatment methods. AA is free of charge and they have meetings in every community in the United States; AA is also a worldwide organization. Overwhelmingly both inpatient and outpatient treatment centers will recommend ongoing attendance at AA meetings in order to sustain long term sobriety.
Most problem drinkers can not quit by themselves or sustain long term sobriety without a support group. Alcoholics Anonymous is the best long term method of getting and staying sober. The folks at AA know how to quit drinking alcohol and stay sober; since 1935 they have amassed over a million success stories. Keep in mind you are not giving up something but getting rid of something you don’t need. There is hope, there is help and you can do it.