How to Stop Drinking

Medically Reviewed By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited : August 23, 
| 4 Sources

Many people want to know how to stop drinking. They want a cure for alcoholism. Unfortunately, there is no cure for alcoholism. It is considered a life long disease. There is, however, treatment. Alcoholics can stop drinking, and they are said to be in recovery. They can be “in recovery” for life, but they are always considered to be recovering alcoholics, never fully recovered.

Alcoholics are often advised to attend a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous. This is an excellent step on the path to sobriety. It is a 12-Step program, and the first step is admitting you are powerless over alcohol and that your life has become unmanageable. Once you admit you have a problem, you can begin searching for solutions.

Again, there is no cure for alcoholism, so you won’t find that, but you will find ways to live without alcohol.

Alcoholics may need more help to stop drinking than just a self-help group. They may require professional help as well.

There is no shame in seeking help for a drinking problem. Instead, it should be viewed as a sign of strength to recognize that you have a problem and are willing to do the work necessary to get the problem under control.

Professional help may involve weekly counseling sessions, intensive outpatient treatment consisting of several hours several days per week, or inpatient care. The level of treatment needed should be determined by an assessment with a qualified drug and alcohol counselor.

The Recovery Process

Alcoholics should understand that it can take a long time to learn how to stop drinking. Recovery is a process, not a single event. There is no “quick fix.”

At Alcoholics Anonymous, members are taught to live one day at a time. They are advised to focus on remaining sober for each day, not worrying about the next. This is an excellent way of how to stop drinking, because it breaks what may seem like a monumental process down into manageable goals.

Relapse is common and is something the alcoholic should be prepared for. Treatment programs teach relapse prevention techniques in order to combat this. Regular attendance at groups like AA can also help. Support from others is crucial during the recovery process.

It is important to understand that, despite the fact that relapse is common, treatment for alcoholism can be successful and alcoholics can stop drinking. It is also important to understand that, despite all this talk about recovery, there is still no cure for the disease of alcoholism.

Why is There No Cure for Alcoholism?

It’s natural to wonder why there is no cure for alcoholism. A hallmark of the disease is the inability to stop drinking once you start. An alcoholic should never take another drink once they stop drinking. One drink will likely lead to another and then to another.

Many alcoholics say they never completely lose the craving for alcohol. They have learned to use alcohol as a coping tool during tough times, and during treatment they must learn other coping skills.

Still, when times are tough, they may long for a drink. They will need to remain vigilant and practice the new skills they have learned in order to prevent relapse.

Successful treatment programs offer an “aftercare” component, which provides follow up care. Program participants are strongly encouraged to participate in this treatment component because it helps to prevent relapse.

Following discharge from the aftercare program, alcoholics can follow up with support group meetings such as AA. Many alcoholics attend AA meetings for many years after they stop drinking. This is the best way of how to stop drinking.

More than how to stop drinking on our alcoholism cure page

Alcoholism home page

Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl

Licensed Medical Health Professional 

I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LPC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More