How to Stop Drinking Alcohol

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Learning how to stop drinking alcohol, the most abused substance in the United States can be difficult. However, with the help of addiction treatment programs, the process can be handled by professionals.

Unfortunately, alcohol abuse remains a growing problem. 2020 data from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) shows that over 28 million U.S. adults meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder. Among those, fewer than 10% obtained addiction treatment.

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Alcohol use disorder (the clinical term for alcoholism) is an incurable and relapsing brain disorder. Most cases of alcohol use disorder, though, respond favorably to an evidence-based combination of medication-assisted treatment and behavioral interventions.

Even the moderate consumption of alcohol can bring about physically and mental impairments. Beyond this, the more alcohol you drink, the higher your risk of the following negative outcomes: 

Those who do not conform to moderate drinking guidelines may find that alcohol abuse triggers a variety of damaging outcomes. Sustained alcohol abuse can lead to the development of physical dependence and addiction. 

Learning how to stop drinking safely and implementing some positive changes will immediately lower your risk profile for a variety of physical and psychological health issues, both short-term and long-term (see end-stage alcoholism). 

How Can I Stop Drinking Alcohol?

You should start by examining why you drink alcohol. If you have been using alcohol to self-medicate the symptoms of a mental health condition, this is inadvisable. Self-medication provides fleeting relief but does nothing to address the issue. 

Another useful preparatory step if you are considering eliminating alcohol from your life is to record your consumption of alcoholic drinks in one week. This will give you an accurate idea of the extent of the drinking problem. You can also identify any damaging patterns of alcohol consumption like binge drinking

If you feel you need to remove alcohol from your life completely, here is a simple framework you can personalize: 

  1. Focus on self-care and make healthy lifestyle changes
  2. Confide in trusted friends or family members
  3. Change the way you view eliminating alcohol from your life
  4. Create and maintain a more structured routine
  5. Connect with inpatient or outpatient rehab for alcohol use disorder
An image of a man struggling with the question, "how can I stop drinking alcohol?"

1) Focus on self-care and make healthy lifestyle changes

To strengthen your chances of successfully quitting alcohol, you should recognize the importance of self-care, focusing in particular on the following elements: 

  • Limit your intake of processed foods and eat as many healthy whole foods as possible.
  • Eat plenty of foods rich in protein from good sources. Eat foods containing complex carbohydrates to remain energized throughout your day in recovery.
  • Drink water throughout the day to stay fully hydrated.
  • Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.
  • Aim to get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Consider these sleep hygiene tips from CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) if you are struggling to get enough sleep in your early recovery from alcoholism.
  • Reengage with neglected hobbies and interests.
  • Consider taking up a new hobby.
  • Try journaling as a method of processing your thoughts, feelings, frustrations, and concerns about alcohol use disorder and recovery.

2) Confide in trusted friends or family members

Whether you have concerns about the detox and recovery process or you are already engaged with treatment to stop drinking, you don’t need to make the journey to sobriety alone. 

Voicing your commitment to getting the treatment you need to loved ones can help you feel more accountable and more motivated. 

Your friends and family members may help you to find the right treatment program in California. They will also be relieved that you’re taking action and fighting back against alcoholism. 

3) Change the way you view eliminating alcohol from your life

Reframing the way you approach your decision to stop drinking can make a significant difference to your recovery. 

Viewing sobriety as a form of sacrifice is liable to introduce an extra pressure that could trigger relapse – after all, if you feel you are going without something positive, you are likely to buckle in the face of temptation. 

If you view your approaching sobriety through a different lens, though, you can ease some of that mental pressure. Instead of giving up or going without something you enjoy, you are choosing to eliminate a negative and highly problematic element from your life and the lives of your loved ones. This shift in attitude can help you stay focused on your recovery without being burdened by regrets.

4) Create and maintain a more positive and structured routine

Many people in the grips of alcohol addiction have unstructured and formless days. Try creating and maintaining a simple schedule. Get up and to go bed at the same time, take regular meals, and start incorporating exercise into your daily routine. While a regular routine can be beneficial in recovery from alcoholism, you should also inject some variety into your days. 

Ensure that there is no alcohol in your house. The early phase of recovery from alcohol use disorder is often characterized by intense cravings, so take steps to minimize temptation. 

Find a non-alcoholic drink you can use as your default option. 

Approach recovery from alcohol use disorder as a potentially non-linear process that is ongoing rather than a series of events like detox or rehab. Use this opportunity to create the life you want unencumbered by alcohol abuse. 

5) Connect with inpatient or outpatient rehab for alcohol use disorder

Studies show that the high relapse rates of alcohol use disorder mirror those of other chronic health conditions.  

An awareness of the relapsing nature of alcohol use disorder before you engage with treatment can help reduce frustration if relapse occurs. If you relapse, this does not mean treatment has been ineffective, but suggests that your treatment plan needs tweaking.

 Your optimum route to recovery and sustained sobriety will involve a supervised medical detox followed by either inpatient or outpatient treatment. Kickstart your recovery today here at California Detox.

beach view from california detox

Stop Drinking Alcohol at California Detox

At California Detox, we offer treatment programs for alcohol abuse and alcohol use disorder at all levels of intensity to suit your needs. Our most popular programs for those who want to stop drinking include: 

  • OP (traditional outpatient program)
  • IOP (intensive outpatient program)
  • Virtual IOP (remote rehab)
  • PHP (partial hospitalization program)
  • Inpatient rehab (residential rehab)

Before you pursue one of our of alcohol addiction treatment programs, you must first detox from alcohol. At our Laguna Beach treatment facility, you will benefit from continuous clinical and emotional care. Your treatment team may also administer medications to reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and to minimize cravings.

Once you transition into ongoing treatment for alcohol use disorder, you may find that medication-assisted treatment is beneficial beyond detox. At our luxury alcohol rehab in California, you can also access the following holistic and evidence-based treatments: 

  • Psychotherapy (CBT and DBT)
  • Family therapy
  • Group counseling
  • Individual counseling
  • Holistic therapies

When you complete your treatment program for alcohol use disorder at California Detox’s Laguna Beach rehab, you will either step down to a less intensive level of treatment or embrace sober living with a firm foundation in place for ongoing abstinence. 

If you’re worried a loved one like your husband is drinking too much or if you yourself want to learn how to stop drinking for good at California Detox. Call 844.427.6002 to make it happen today.


Every case of alcohol abuse or alcohol use disorder is different, meaning there is no universally effective approach to stopping drinking. Some people with mild alcohol use disorders find that a supervised home detox followed by outpatient treatment provides a sufficient foundation for ongoing recovery. Most people with moderate or severe alcohol use disorders, and those with co-occurring mental health disorders typically find that a supervised medical detox followed by residential rehab offers the smoothest and safest approach to withdrawal and recovery.
Change the way you view your recovery. You are not stopping anything. Instead, you are removing a negative and harmful element from your life. Motivate yourself by creating the most invigorating and stimulating life for yourself without alcohol in the equation.


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