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You can take steps today to stop
drinking. Your first step might be to see your doctor, contact a support group,
or set a date in the near future to stop. While some people can stop drinking
on their own, others need medical help to manage the physical process of
If you think you have an addiction to alcohol, talk
to your doctor about whether you need to withdraw from alcohol under medical
supervision. Your doctor can give you medicine that will help you safely
withdraw from alcohol. Other medicines might be prescribed later to help you
stay sober. With a doctor's help, withdrawal from alcohol is safer.
Stopping alcohol use can:
You need education and emotional support
when you stop drinking, especially if you
abuse alcohol or are
alcohol-dependent. Some resources that can help you
stop drinking include:
You can contact these organizations and health
professionals by phone or by accessing their websites online.
If you want to stop drinking, you can seek help with
any of the following: Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), your family doctor or
counselor, a local hospital or alcohol treatment facility, or a local or
national alcohol treatment hotline, which you can find in your local phone
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) organizes meetings
all over the world to help those who have a desire to stop drinking. You can
also receive education, information, and support to help you stop drinking by
asking your doctor, calling an alcohol treatment hotline, or asking your local
hospital or alcohol treatment facility.
Continue to Why?
Stopping your use of
alcohol can improve your general health and quality of life. It can also
increase the quality of life of the people you live with and those who care
about you. You decrease your chances of developing serious health problems
associated with alcohol abuse or dependence. You reduce your chances of
injuring yourself or others in alcohol-related accidents. You might also
improve relationships with your parents, children, and spouse or other close
loved ones. Not drinking also is a good way for you to model responsible
behavior for younger people, particularly children and teens.
can take steps today to stop drinking. Your first step might be to contact a
support group, see your doctor, or set a date in the near future to stop. While
some people can stop drinking on their own, others need medical help to manage
the physical process of withdrawal.
If you think you have an
addiction to alcohol, talk to your doctor about whether you need to withdraw
from alcohol under medical supervision. Your doctor can give you medicine that
will help you safely withdraw from alcohol. Other medicines might be prescribed
later to help you stay sober. With a doctor's help, withdrawal from alcohol is
If you think you have a problem with alcohol abuse or
dependence, you should stop drinking.
Continuing to drink alcohol, even if you do not
frequently do so, can lead to problems with your relationships, job
performance, and health and to possible legal consequences (such as being
arrested for drinking and driving). If alcohol has interfered with your ability
to do daily tasks or with daily function, even if you only drink
occasionally, you might need to stop drinking.
Continuing to drink when alcohol use has caused
even minor problems in your relationships or job performance or has caused
legal problems (such as being arrested for drinking and driving) usually leads
to additional and possibly more severe problems in your life. By stopping
drinking altogether, you should significantly improve the quality of your life
and the lives of those who care about you.
Continue to How?
Follow these steps to stop
The following are other
ideas that can help in your plan to stop using alcohol:
To stop drinking alcohol, you need to:
Identifying your reasons for stopping is the
first step. You might want to improve your health, relationships, or job
performance. You might want to stop because you have risk factors for alcohol
abuse or dependency.
Making a plan is the second step in stopping.
Decide when you are going to stop drinking. Set a time to evaluate your plan to
see whether it is working and whether you are able to stop drinking on your
own. Help from organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or individual
therapy is often needed to help you reach your goal.
It is very important to schedule a time period
to evaluate your plan. At frequent intervals, evaluate how well your plan is
working and whether your goals need adjusting. Participating in structured
group counseling or individual therapy often helps you reach your goal of
Continue to Where?
If you have questions
about this information, take it with you when you visit your doctor or other
health professional. You might want to mark areas or make notes where you have
If you try this plan to stop using alcohol and are not
successful, talk with your doctor about other ways to get help.
More information about alcohol problems can be found in
Alcohol Abuse and Dependence,
Alcohol and Drug Problems, and
Teen Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
Return to topic:
Alcohol Abuse and Dependence
January 18, 2012
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Peter Monti, PhD - Alcohol and Addiction
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