Before you go any further in this blog you need to know something…
Quitting alcohol on your own, without medical supervision or a plan/program in place can literally kill you. You’ve been warned.
That being said, we decided to publish these 6 steps for anyone who wants to stop drinking alcohol. These 6 steps are the essential building blocks you need to take.
Obviously the 6 steps don’t cover absolutely everything that you need to consider but they do provide a solid foundation.
Quitting alcohol takes considerable effort and dedication. However, it is obviously a road we feel pretty dang passionate about.
The truth is…
You don’t need traditional rehab.
In fact, relapse rates are incredibly high for rehab.
The costs for traditional rehab are shockingly bad.
Plus, the time commitments are pretty much impossible for most people to be able to work.
Here are 6 fundamental steps you can take right now to stop drinking alcohol without going to rehab:
(oh and before you start any of these steps: DO NOT QUIT COLD TURKEY – IT’S DANGEROUS!)
Step 1 – Start by Tapering Down
The first thing you can do, even if you can’t do some of these other steps for a few months, is to begin tapering down. Figure out how much you are drinking every day and make a log.
After a week or so you should have a good idea of just how much alcohol you are consuming regularly.
Reduce that amount gradually.
Bill drinks 15-20 beers a day/night. Over the next few weeks, Bill commits to reducing that by 1 every other day or so.
The goal is to get to around 1-2 drinks a day before moving on to the next step.
Step 2 – Create some distance
By now you should be down to 1-2 drinks a day.
Our next step is to get you to only drink 6 days out of 7. You can do this by picking a specific day of the week you don’t drink.
It’s going to take a couple of weeks to get to this point (hey – perhaps even longer but don’t get discouraged).
Once you can do this consistently then you can consider adding in an extra day making it 2 days in a row.
Step 3 – Set a quit date 30 days
You’re now drinking (hopefully) considerably less than you were before and potentially having a day or two a week of sobriety.
What you need to do now is set a quit date 30 days from now.
Over the next 30 days be focused on going 1-2 days per week without drinking and only consuming 1-2 drinks a night.
30 days, with reduced alcohol intake, is enough time to get your body back to a somewhat normal baseline.
If you experience any kind of body shakes, headaches or physical symptoms still at this point then you need a little more time to get your body to baseline.
Keep working on step 2 if you fall into this category.
Step 4 – Make yourself accountable
Find someone you can tell in your life who is important (think a trusted family member for instance) about your quit date.
Studies have shown that making yourself and your recovery accountable by telling someone improves rates of recovery.
It’s something we teach in all our courses too.
Step 5 – Prepare for triggers
This could probably be an entire blog post in itself!
Essentially you need to be thinking about what it is in your life that triggers you to drink in the first place.
Triggers are the “things” that make us want to drink.
Sometimes it’s music.
Other times it’s a location.
Heck, it can even be the people you love the most.
What you need to do is prepare to take your mind off of them;
- Go for a walk
- Take a shower
- Listen to music
- Watch a comforting TV show
- Cook food
The important thing to do is find a quick way to get the triggering feeling away.
That trigger is you and that is something you’re going to have to learn to work through.
Step 6 – Stop drinking alcohol on the day
Make the day count, stop drinking and celebrate each day as it comes.
We’d encourage you to post your success to the sobriety and recovery communities online if you can.
Each and every day you are sober is a win and worth celebrating.
In our platform Sobriety Success we have a specific area for the community to come together and share their progress.
If you aren’t a member though there are plenty of ways to share your success.
You can always post a photo to Instagram with the hashtag #sobrietysuccess and join in!
At the end of the day there is a lot more to consider with regards to your ongoing sobriety and recovery.
We didn’t even touch on nutrition, exercise, mental health and the social aspects in these steps.
They are important.
These 6 steps are a guide to help you understand the basic fundamentals needed to stop drinking alcohol.
We cover a lot more in our alcohol recovery course so we’d encourage you to check out Sobriety Success if you need more help.
One last time – don’t quit alcohol cold turkey.