An addiction to alcohol occurs because of the way that it affects the gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain. Each time that someone has a drink, GABA stimulates the opioid receptors. This ultimately causes the body to start to have strong cravings for alcohol because of the feelings of relaxation and warmth that it induces.
Unfortunately, long-term consumption of alcohol has devastating effects on a person’s mental and physical health. It can also lead to physical dependency, which can cause serious withdrawal symptoms. Because of this, it is important to learn the following five ways to stop alcohol abuse:
1. Recognize Your Need To Stop Drinking
The first step in recovering from an addiction so you can learn how to stop alcohol abuse is to admit that you have developed a substance abuse problem. Since this isn’t easy, it often occurs only after friends and family members have come forward as part of an intervention process.
If stubborn pride is part of the problem, which is an issue that can happen to everyone from time to time, it is best to remember that you don’t have to admit to others that this kind of change is needed in your life. You can do this later on if you want to. But you do need to be able to admit it to yourself.
2. Cut Back Slowly On Drinking
Practicing moderation is the key to getting your drinking under control and learning how to stop binge drinking. It may be necessary to avoid people or places that trigger you to drink excessively.
Not everyone can rapidly cut back their alcohol consumption though, especially if they are used to binge drinking several nights a week. They may experience dangerous withdrawal symptoms, such as alcohol hallucinosis, seizures, and delirium tremens.
Delirium tremens is the most dangerous because it can affect the blood flow to the brain, which can lead to confusion, irrational beliefs and behaviors, and loss of consciousness.
The reason that this happens is because one of the ways that the brain handles high doses of alcohol is by increasing the amount of norepinephrine that it produces. When a person tries to quit drinking alcohol“cold turkey,” it feels like they have hit a wall because the same amount of norepinephrine is no longer being produced. If this is the case, it is best to get treatment for alcohol abuse at an alcohol rehab center where the detox process can be handled more safely.
3. Change Your Habits And Form New Hobbies
Sometimes, people drink excessively because it is part of their daily routine. One way to stop binge drinking is to replace this habit with a healthy hobby or some other new routine that doesn’t involve alcohol.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), treatments offered in rehab programs for alcohol abuse, can both help with learning the process of how to stop alcohol abuse.
Both of these methods focus on teaching ways to reduce self-harm behaviors that may be contributing to a person’s struggle with alcohol abuse. Trying to attempt this process alone may make it more likely that someone will revert back to their old habits.
4. Track Your Drinking
If you’re looking for other ways on how to stop alcohol abuse, start tracking all of the alcoholic beverages that you have in a journal. The time of day, type of alcoholic beverage that was drunk, and how you felt when you decided to drink should all be included. This information will help you to get a better picture of the patterns behind excessive drinking.
Keeping this type of journal is also helpful for learning how to stop alcohol abuse because it makes you accountable for your actions, especially if you are honest in what you record.
5. Seek Help At An Alcohol Rehab Center
One of the most important ways to stop abusing alcohol is to seek help for your addiction at an alcohol rehab center that can help you get through the detoxification process safely. Treatment at an alcohol rehab center is often needed when all the other ways to stop abusing alcohol have failed to work.
Professional treatment is especially important for those who have become physically dependent on alcohol and other substances that could cause serious withdrawal symptoms, such as hallucinations, delirium, suicidal thoughts and actions, tachycardia, and confusion.
If someone attempts to go through this process alone, the symptoms may become so uncomfortable that they start drinking again just so they can feel better. Unfortunately, this only reduces their chances of recovery.
At a rehab center, a person can receive individual and group therapy sessions that give them a chance to work through the emotions they are experiencing during this difficult time. Their physical state of health will also be monitored.
If any complications should arise, medications and other treatments can be given to them right away. Anyone who needs more information on how to find an alcohol rehab center in their area should be sure to contact one of our representatives today.
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- Harvard University — Alcohol Withdrawal