Although millions of people across the globe either resolve to quit drinking alcohol or at least cut back on their consumption, every year, only a handful of them succeed. A recent study published in the journal Addiction stated that simply making a resolution to quit alcohol might not be enough. The researchers examined 3000 high-risk drinkers and found that nearly 20 percent of them had resolved to cut back on the quantity of alcohol they consumed. Still, six months later, every one lacked the motivation to stick to the resolution. Though all the participants were drinking lesser, on the contrary, those who wanted to cut back did not show any concrete changes in their drinking patterns.
When people think of cutting back, they quickly get back to their normal pattern of drinking, said Frank de Vocht, lead researcher of the study. Linda Richter, a policy researcher and analyst at the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse shared that motivation is not enough to stick to the resolution because social, environmental and physiological cues strongly support drinking behaviors. She said that a solid plan of practical action is needed to stick to the resolution.
Based on her statement, one must try the following 10 practical steps that would help in cutting back on alcohol:
1. Limiting the time spent in bars: One should try to spend less time at bars by meeting a date, business associates or friends at places like bistro style bars, bowling alley, sushi bars, etc. There are many places, which can be explored for meeting someone without being in the vicinity of alcohol.
2. Watching sports events at home: Planning a screening of one’s favorite sports event or movie at home. Popping some corns and making some ice tea for friends who might visit the screening would help. Visiting a sports bar would invariably lead to consumption of excessive amount of alcohol, hence, it is best to avoid such places.
3. Never drinking alone: When one is alone it is easy to get bored and reach for a glass of wine as solace. However, one must abandon this practice. One should vow not to drink alone but always with a company so that one can keep a tab on the quantity of alcohol consumed.
4. Drinking water: Alcohol can cause severe dehydration, therefore, one must drink several glasses of water throughout the day. One should never replace a glass of water with a tumbler of alcohol.
5. Creating a list of rules: One must create certain rules for drinking like drinking only during weekends, having only a single glass, never drinking at home, etc. Writing these rules on a post-it and pasting it on the drinking cabinet helps.
6. Never drinking on an empty stomach: One should never drink on an empty stomach. An empty stomach initiates faster absorption of alcohol in the body. One must eat while drinking and have a healthy breakfast the next morning.
7. Maintaining a drinking diary: Keeping a track of alcohol consumption can help one reflect on his or her consumption and consequently, taper the quantity.
8. Creating a list of reasons for quitting alcohol: Creating a list of reasons stating one wants to quit drinking and posting this list at all important places, at home and work is a good idea. This will act as a constant reminder and will help one veer away from alcohol.
9. Keeping an alcohol money log: Keeping a money log for the amount of money spent on buying alcohol can be a very good revelation. Moreover, the amount spend could also act as deterrent.
10. Setting accountability: One must declare his or her plans to a set of close friends to whom the person should then be accountable on a regular basis. The friends will help one track his or her progress and act as a constant source of encouragement.
Alcoholism needs to be treated
Drinking even small quantities of alcohol may lead to dependence and consequently addiction. It is therefore important to keep a close check on the amount that one consumes. If the above mentioned practical strategies do not help, one must immediately seek professional support to combat the addiction.
If you or a loved one is addicted to alcohol, contact the Alcohol Addiction Helpline of California to find the best alcohol rehab centers in California. Call at our 24/7 alcohol helpline 855-980-1715 or chat online with one of our representatives to connect with the best inpatient alcohol rehab centers equipped with evidence-based treatment programs to treat alcoholism and help a person walk the path of sobriety.Continue reading