If you've made the decision to stop drinking alcohol completely, for health reasons or otherwise, read on for practical tips and advice.
Practical tips on giving up alcohol
Potential alcohol withdrawal symptoms
There are lots of reasons why you might want to stop drinking alcohol. Some people need to stop drinking as a result of developing an alcohol related medical condition such as liver disease, or because they start taking medication which reacts badly with alcohol. Others choose to do so for religious reasons, or simply as stop drinking habits towards a healthier lifestyle.If you’re thinking about removing alcohol from your life, you should know that you’re not alone. 15% of adults in Britain abstain from alcohol1, with 43% of those who abstain saying they used to drink alcohol but have given up2.
Whatever your reasons, this page gives lots of tips on how to stop drinking alcohol, details of the potential benefits of not drinking, as well as information on the potential alcohol withdrawal symptoms you could experience if you move from drinking heavily, to drinking no alcohol at all.Practical tips on giving up alcoholFirstly, if you think you have a serious drinking problem and are experiencing any of the associated symptoms, you should consult your doctor or another medical professional about it as soon as possible. There are also a number of national alcohol support services who you can go to for advice. Giving up completely may not be easy – especially if you’ve been a heavy drinker in the past. The following tips and techniques can make it that little bit easier.Make your intentions known
Tell your family and friends that you’re trying to stop drinking alcohol and explain why. This way, you can share your successes with them, and they’ll understand why you’ve started turning down drinks or trips to the pub. Frequently reminding yourself and the people close to you why you want to stop drinking can help keep you on track, and may even encourage someone else to give up or cut down with you.Avoid temptation
In the early stages, it’s a good idea to avoid situations where you may be tempted to drink. This could mean opting out of the weekly pub quiz for a while, or if you tend to drink when eating out, try going to restaurants that don’t sell alcohol, or simply volunteering to drive. Similarly, try to identify the times when you would usually drink and fill the gap with something else. So if y