The bizarre tale of a man chaining himself to quit drinking or the guy who built a metal cage around his head to stop smoking are few intriguing stories of people desperate to go sober. The task of attaining sobriety is not easy. While chronic alcoholics and drug addicts need medical assistance to detox, others who are on the fringes can quit with self-discipline and grit. Here we look at a few ways to quit alcohol and stay sober:
A word of caution at the outset: Before embarking on a self-detox path, one should always consult an expert to take stock of the condition. In severe cases of alcoholism, it can get extremely difficult and at times and even fatal to handle withdrawal symptoms.
When To Start
For many, taking the decision to quit comes instantly, but finalizing the date lingers on from weeks to months and even stretches to years. This weakness has to go away. These are some steps that an addict can take up for recovery.
- Commit Yourself to Quit Drinking: Somebody rightly said, "Every recovery from alcoholism began with one sober hour." It is tough to take the first step. Recovery from alcoholism is a gradual process and one has to assiduously work towards gaining control. So, once the person decides to quit, the inertia will get dislodged and he will tend to move in the right direction. He should motivate himself by counting all chips and scales, think about the benefits of not drinking and the new person he would become after gaining sobriety.
- Set Pragmatic Goals and Prepare for Change: The next step would be to set realistic goals which are achievable. It is better to take one step at a time. Achieving every small goal will further boost confidence and invariably help in the process of quitting alcohol.
- Be on the Safer Side: One should be aware of the withdrawal symptoms as one progresses on the detox path. Look for symptoms like headache, sweating, shaking, anxiety and restlessness, nausea or vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea, trouble in sleeping or concentrating, elevated heart rate and blood pressure, etc. One can call an alcohol abuse helpline in case of overwhelming discomfort.
- Devise a Plan to Handle Triggers and Cravings: A contingency plan to handle triggers and arrest cravings will help even in most tempting environments and to thwart any. It pays to say 'no' to alcohol at social events. One should always confide in a close aide or a family member to keep a check and prevent oneself from going astray.
- Explore New Avenues and a New Meaning for Life: In the long run, it is easier to become sober when compared to maintaining it. To keep away from alcohol, it is imperative to build a new meaningful life with no place for alcohol. One should cultivate positive habits, take up hobbies, indulge in creative work and explore meaningful avenues in life. After a point, going back to alcohol will seem drab.
- Get Support From All Possible Quarters: Support is core to alcohol detoxification, irrespective of whether one goes to a rehab, take a self-directed treatment approach or receive therapy. Recovery from alcohol becomes seamless when there is support around. Be it a friend, a family member or a support group, while working towards eradicating alcoholism, a support system will act as a prop in weak moments. So, follow these simple and effective methods to quit alcohol and stay sober for the rest of the life.