HOW TO QUIT DRINKING: 4 STARTER STEPS

When considering how to quit drinking, it’s important to recognize that often, it’s not just a drinking habit that we are trying to kick, nor is the antidote a one stop shop. Everyone’s relationship with substances can vary and signs of addiction can appear different for each person.

No matter where you are in your journey to recovery, Quest is here for you. Quest Center’s Finding and Sustaining Recovery (FSR) program is an integrated behavioral health treatment program designed to help people build sober and healthy lifestyles. FSR is an abstinence-based outpatient program for people living with addiction. But we work with community members at all stages of the recovery process.

We believe recovery begins with a conversation. In FSR, our counselors talk with you to co-create a recovery plan that works for you. It’s helpful to recognize where you are in your journey and that the initial path to curbing a substance habit can start with a lot of questions. Although the murky path ahead can feel overwhelming, it’s helpful to remember that there are many people out there feeling the same way. Many of us find ourselves in front of the computer screen googling how to break an addiction, how to repair your brain after drug use, how to quit drinking, or even wanting to know just how long does it take to detox from alcohol? After some initial research, it’s not uncommon to find oneself in a rabbit hole of new and often overwhelming questions about assessments, treatment programs or addiction treatment centers. And if then there’s the terminology that one comes across online: what does outpatient mean, what does inpatient mean? Although we will not go into the specifics of treatment programs or addiction treatment centers in this article, you can click here to read more in depth about what programs can offer.

Keep in mind that if you find yourself needing to know how long does it take to detox from alcohol, it is likely best to contact a professional so that a trained addiction counselor can work with and assess your specific needs, and body.

You can call Quest Center to receive services for help with addiction. The services we provide in our Finding and Sustaining Recovery (FSR) program include:

  • Group therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Chinese medicine
  • Acupuncture
  • Peer support
  • Wellness movement
  • Housing
  • Telehealth

All of these services are provided to aid our clients in their journey to recovery. There are also four tools that can be used when one is at the beginning stages of wondering how to break an addiction or how to quit drinking. These four tools are:

1. Tally it up

Awareness is a good first step when considering how to break an addiction habit. When considering signs of addiction, it’s wise to take some time to count how much you are actually consuming. Even if you don’t feel dependent or do not experience physical cravings, knowing the consumption number is a good place to start. It can be common to think you will only have one or two drinks at the start, and then get caught up in the momentum of an altered state which leads to a higher number than planned.

2. Reflect

When considering how to break an addiction, it’s important to reflect on why one is consuming drugs or alcohol in the first place. Whether it begins as a social lubricant or a way to ease tension, addiction habits can form when we start to use substances without managing underlying emotions that may need some extra attention, whether that be done through counseling, healthy practices and coping habits, or a total change in our environment and triggers. Writing down or verbalizing what we are feeling when we reach for a substance can help us recognize what emotions we need to befriend. When we know what we need support with, it is easier to recognize the next actionable steps we need to take.

3. Find Support

Talking to a friend or family member that you trust will be in your corner is a great step when you are seeking a change. This practice is not only good for accountability but for encouragement. Finding a more focused community is also an integral step in changing your habits. Whether this happens by finding others who do not use substances or deciding that joining a treatment program, addiction treatment center, finding a supportive community who are going through a similar process not only helps us feel less alone, but assists with building a toolbox, and receiving guidance for the health of our physical and mental well-being, depending where we are at in our journey. Keep in mind that professional guidance (such as an addiction counselor) may be necessary and very beneficial depending on your relationship with substances.

4. Change things Up

When substances become part of a daily routine, consuming may become more of an automatic habit rather than a conscious decision. Varying your routine can help in changing patterns of consumptions. If you tend to consume at certain times or days, block your time with a different activity or atmosphere that doesn’t offer temptation to reach for the substance of your choice. If the craving co-exists with a mood or emotion, write down some substitutes you can reach for instead: exercise, meditation, calling a friend, watching a comedy. These changes are also easier when there are no substances in your house. Keep alternate beverages or snacks to reach for instead. If you are unable to abstain or keep alcohol out of the house, this may fall under signs of addiction talking points that can be helpful to discuss with a trusted friend or professional substance abuse counselor to make a more supportive plan.

Although these four tools are not cure-alls for addiction, they can be helpful to ignite change and recognize where you stand in your journey to curbing a habit or recovery. If you have questions about whether you would benefit from addiction treatment centers or if you'd like to learn more about how to break an addiction, please call Quest Center at 503-238-5203 or visit our FSR page.