If you find that you drink too much alcohol and reducing or quitting smoking is not as easy as you think, you may want to know what other measures you can take to control your alcohol consumption. Many people, including some medical professionals, believe that abstinence is the only way. But medical research shows that the cold turkey method may not be the best method for everyone.
How to gain control
Different methods are suitable for different people and various types of addictions. Some people may be able to quit smoking and never drink a drop of alcohol for the rest of their lives. For them, even drinking a glass of wine from time to time can trigger heavy drinking. If you think you are the kind of alcoholic, it is important to stay away from alcohol as much as possible.
For some people, moderate drinking can effectively suppress alcohol addictive behavior.Research tells us that controlled drinking is not only possible for many people, but also common among people who have ever drunk heavily.
Many people reduce their alcohol intake without medical or therapeutic help, but it is recommended to discuss your alcohol intake with your family doctor before attempting to change your alcohol intake. It is also helpful to talk to counselors who have been trained to help people with substance abuse and addiction problems to get their advice and support.
If you are considering change, RethinkingDrinking is an important resource provided by the National Institutes of Health.
How to cut
If you feel that avoiding alcohol altogether is not suitable for you, there are other options. Some people can control their drinking and drink safer alcohol without having to quit smoking altogether. If you plan to try to control your drinking, you should take a few steps to help you complete this process.
Establish your drinking goals
Although it is a good idea to consider reducing your alcohol intake, please check whether you are suitable for controlling your drinking. Some people shouldn’t drink alcohol at all, especially if you have a history of addiction problems or close relatives with addiction or mental health problems.
Your drinking goals should be based on what is best for your long-term health, and what is practical for you, your family and friends, and other aspects of your lifestyle.
If you realize that you should quit smoking altogether, please consult your doctor or addiction counselor for help in quitting alcohol and staying awake.Depending on your recent alcohol consumption, it may even be unsafe or unrealistic to quit cold turkey, and your doctor can prescribe medication or refer you to a treatment plan.
There is no shame in this.Remember, those who struggle with alcohol use disorder think Can reduce or reduce their alcohol intake, but despite their best efforts, this is not always controllable.
Control drinking goals
If you are a good candidate to control drinking, consider your goals and write them down. Some possible goals include:
- I just want to drink on the weekend.
- I want to reduce my total intake to a healthy amount.
- I hope to be able to drink at parties and other events without getting drunk.
Assess your current alcohol intake
Keep a drinking diary for a week.The most direct drinking diary just records how much you drink every day, but the more you record, the better you will understand your drinking habits and be able to control them. For example, every night (or the next morning, if you forget), write down how much alcohol you drank, where you were, and who you were with.
Also write down any negative effects or situations you wish to avoid in the future. For example, “After drinking the third beer, I had a fight with Ben.” This will give you a clear understanding of when, where, and people your drinking tends to become excessive or problematic.
Your safe alcohol limit is based on your blood alcohol concentration, which is the amount of alcohol you can drink during a single drink. You will need professional help to determine what this security restriction means to you.
When you have calculated how much alcohol you can drink, write it down and the drinking time.
Buy alcohol in small quantities
Hoarding wine, beer, and liquor is the fastest way to disrupt your responsible drinking plan. When drinking at home, follow these tips:
- Avoid strong alcohol. Switching to lower-strength beverages, such as beer or wine instead of vodka, is one way to reduce alcohol intake.
- Limit your purchases. On the day you plan to drink, only buy alcoholic beverages that meet your safe alcohol limit. If necessary, buy individual cans or single or half-bottled wines.
- Only drink after a big meal. This will dilute the effects of drinking, thereby reducing the motivation for excessive drinking.
- Stick to your schedule. Drink only the amount you noted down and drink at the specified rate. If you want to drink more water in between, please drink water, or non-alcoholic or low-alcoholic beverages.
- Try the alcohol-free or low-alcohol options. If you know that you want more drinks, but don’t want to drink more, please buy the same amount of non-alcoholic or low-alcohol wine or beer.
Pay attention to peer pressure
Look at your drinking diary. If someone encourages you to drink too much, try to avoid them for the first month or so after you get used to the new drinking style. If you are often surrounded by peer pressure, start looking for new friends or family members who don’t drink much.
Plan your trip home
Even if your alcohol consumption is reasonable, you should not drive. Arrange to go home with a sober driver, or book a taxi or carpool service. If this is too expensive, plan your journey home by public transportation so you know when to leave while the bus or train is still running. Leave your car at home so you are not tempted to use it. Participate in your event by car or by bus or train.
Discover healthy alternatives
If drinking has already taken up a large part of your social life, you might also want to explore other activities and hobbies that do not involve alcohol and focus on self-care. Here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Go for a walk.
- Practice yoga, Tai Chi or meditation.
- Snuggle up with your loved one and watch a movie.
- Start or join a book club.
- Engaged in painting or photography.
- Try a new type of exercise program.
Ask for help
Discuss with your family doctor or addiction counselor whether the method of moderation or abstinence is right for you.If you decide together that moderation is the right goal, then there may be a plan or support group to provide support for your new lifestyle. There are also drugs that can help people who want to reduce alcohol consumption.
Seek referrals from your doctor or consultant and/or jointly develop strategies to responsibly control your alcohol consumption and drinking or quit smoking together.