Alcohol is one of the commonest substances that cause dependence that is in use in vast geographical regions of the world. Apart from its intoxicating and dependence causing effects, alcohol is directly responsible for adverse events related to health, marital discord, social interactions, crime, road safety, and longevity
- Alcohol is responsible for nearly 6% of all deaths. Of them, about one fourth deaths are reported in individuals in their twenties and thirties, an age which is the most productive and active period of one’s life
- The adverse impact of alcohol is evident with most chronic lifestyle diseases, liver disease, certain cancers, cardiovascular, mental, behavioral diseases and infections with tuberculosis, pneumonia, and HIV/AIDS
- Alcohol causes financial strain wrecking individuals and families and undermines overall performance of respective communities and nations.
Therefore, use of alcohol is a public health problem of global dimensions.
How to quit alcohol?
First of all, congratulations on deciding to read up to this point!
You have already taken the first step to join an elite group of individuals who have conquered the tough but achievable task. You deserve to be applauded for that!
Please remember that a considerable proportion of drinkers have succeeded in quitting alcohol in the past and now are contributing to the mainstream communities. Here is a suggested strategy to quit alcohol use forever. There can be a number of variations of this strategy but it is up to an individual to customize the broad recommendations.
- Commit to yourself that you are going to quit alcohol and choose a few reasons as to why do you want to do this. The main reasons could be related to health improvement, better relationships, and greater financial freedom. You must owe these reasons and be clear that it is a voluntary decision.
- Choose a quit date, preferably within the next few days or a couple of weeks coinciding with an important date in the family calendar. No other time except now is the best time for quitting alcohol.
- Remove the triggers that increase the urge for alcohol consumption. These could be a particular set of conditions (being angry or remorseful are few examples) and even objects like bar-stools, barware, and stored bottles of alcohol from your environment.
- Announce your decision to practically everyone who is a stakeholder. You will be surprised at the number of people ready to help you in succeeding in your mission. Believe me your well wishers are waiting for this opportunity to help you.
- Distance yourself from the company of those who induce you to consume alcohol. Take plenty of water and shift your meals time in such a way that the urge to drink loses its charm.
- Talk to your healthcare provider to address any concerns and to chart out a plan to tide over cravings.
- Understand that alcohol withdrawal symptoms start fading in about five days and be strong to withstand that period courageously.
- Develop a support group and seek their help as often as needed.
- Engage yourself in physical activity, exercise, hobbies, and recreational activities that keep you busy and energetic.
- Remind yourself time and again of the vow and visualize a situation in which you stand as a benefactor because of your decision to quit alcohol.
- Join a group of persons who have already quit alcohol successfully and draw your inspiration and support from such individuals.
- Take pride in your achievements and celebrate early successes in the company of those who form your support group and family members.
- Take Vitamin B supplements during early phase of no-alcohol period
- Notice how the attitudes of the loved ones towards you have changed after you decided and practiced to quit alcohol and cherish the feelings
- Be a mentor for someone who is planning to quit alcohol.
Wishing you a great success at your decision to quit alcohol, a decision that you will never repent!
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Dr Vinay Kumar
Senior Consultant Dermatologist
+91-93 199 299 00
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