"I have failed over and over again in my life, which is why I have succeeded." Michael Jordan
Are you tired of those hangovers that make you lose days? Are you always bored by the same drinking plan when you go out with people? Are you determined to change your lifestyle and try new things without the need for alcohol?
If you are reading this page it means that you want to stop drinking alcohol. This is good news, but the not-so-good news is that quitting is hard. Alcohol is one of the most addictive substances along with cocaine and tobacco, so overcoming an addiction to this substance usually requires great effort and great willpower.
The problem with alcohol is that it is a very common legal drug in society. Who has not been offered an alcoholic drink during a celebration or a meeting. When we toast or celebrate something, it is usually always done with alcohol, so when we make the decision to leave it, many difficulties arise, since it is available to anyone. In addition to this, it is very common that friends or family tend to offer us this type of drink, so abandoning this habit implies having a strong self-control to know how to say no.
According to the World Health Organization, around 40 and 60% of deaths from injuries in Europe are related to alcohol consumption. Young people who drink are 7.5 times more likely to use other illegal drugs and fifty times more likely to use cocaine than those who never drink. In Europe, alcohol contributes to almost one in ten cases of illness and premature death each year. According to this study, more than 23 million people are alcoholics in the European Union.
How does alcohol affect your body?
Alcohol acts on all brain structures, such as the reticular formation, the spinal cord, the cerebral cortex and the cerebellum, affecting many neurotransmitters. It depresses the central nervous system, slows down brain functions, and affects self-control, so it can be mistaken for a stimulant.
Ingested alcohol is absorbed in the digestive system, from where it passes into the bloodstream. Minutes after drinking, a series of effects may appear whose manifestation varies depending on the amount that has been drunk and the characteristics of the person. It affects men and women differently depending on the level of body fat.
Initially it produces feelings of relaxation and joy, however later consumption can lead to blurred vision and coordination problems.
Shortly after, it affects the nervous system, causing a loss in the ability to coordinate movements, causing imbalance and sometimes falls. It also manifests itself in language causing difficulty in pronouncing certain sounds because it acts in the language area located in the brain. There is a decrease in the level of consciousness and muscle tone.
7 real tips to quit alcohol for good
If you are addicted to alcohol and suddenly stop drinking, you can have what is known as withdrawal syndrome.
The withdrawal syndrome is the set of all those physical and psychological symptoms caused by not consuming the substance to which we are addicted.
Among the most common withdrawal symptoms we can find:
- Anxiety, agitation
- Irritability and impulsiveness.
- Tactile disturbances
- Extreme sweating and cold skin
- Delirium tremens
- Elevated vital signs
- Incrise of cardiac frecuency.
- Visual disturbances
- Auditory disturbances
- Nausea and vomiting
- Decreased sensations
- Consumption need
Here are a series of steps to quit alcohol for good.
1. Away with temptations
Eliminate all bottles, cans and everything related to alcohol. Avoid unnecessary dangers and don't worry if you have a visitor at home, you can always choose to serve other types of healthier drinks such as coffee, tea or soft drinks.
2. Consult your doctor
You don't have to stop drinking by yourself. This is a difficult process with a heavy load, but do not forget that there are many people to help you, specifically professionals who specialize in these treatments. You should be aware that alcohol withdrawal can be especially dangerous, so if you begin to experience severe withdrawal symptoms (panic attacks, intense anxiety, tremors, rapid heartbeat), you should seek immediate medical assistance.
3. Do not get carried away by others
It is very typical that friends or colleagues encourage you to drink, in fact they are likely to try to invite you. You may need to stop seeing some of your old binge and bar buddies even temporarily until you feel strong to deal with these types of situations. Don't feel bad for saying no. Remember that the first thing is to take care of yourself.
4. Don't give up
It is possible that you may have a relapse but nothing happens. The important thing is to get up and continue. It is never too late to try again and it is solely up to you.
5. Substitution technique
When you think about drinking or have the urge to have a drink, immediately switch to action. Having a busy mind is essential to reach your goal, go for a run, read, paint, clean the house, tidy up closets, do a sudoku puzzle, whatever keeps you distracted. Taking other actions refocuses your thoughts and helps you perseverance.
Make a list of the reasons that led you to make the decision to quit alcohol. If you decided it was because you needed a change in your life. Be true to yourself and always have this list handy for when you need to remind yourself of your goal. Sometimes we need to take a look at the past to know how to act in the present.
7. Get inspired
Look at people you admire for their effort and willpower. Watch motivational videos that encourage you to achieve your purpose. Nobody said it was easy.