How to Quit Drinking Alcohol - Rehab Guide

How to Quit Drinking Alcohol

How to Quit Drinking Alcohol

Rehab Guide

Quitting alcohol

Maybe you overdid it in lockdown or over the holidays? Perhaps you have been thinking about quitting alcohol for months or even years. Or you may have spiralled into addiction and be desperate to escape.

The best way to give up alcohol depends on the person, and it is important to choose the right plan for you. This makes success more likely both short and long term.

Why Stop Drinking Alcohol On Your Own?

There is a lot of help out there for people who want to stop drinking alcohol. You might want all, some or none of it. While we believe those struggling with addiction should get all the support they can, we understand there are many reasons for preferring to stop drinking on your own. Below are some reasons people choose to try quitting alcohol without help. Also, here are some suggestions on how to get the most out of the situation.

I don’t want anyone to know I’m quitting drinking.

There are a few reasons for keeping stopping drinking quiet. You might be thinking about how people will see you. Will they think you are an alcoholic? It is already challenging to give up alcohol without people judging you.

It is possible to seek help without letting anyone know about your choice. You can find private alcohol counseling online or in discreet places near you. You can also get a home detox from a private doctor if you prefer not to see your GP.

Going to rehab away from the area where you live can help with privacy. It is possible to take leave from work or holidays, so no one needs to know unless you want them to.

Everyone I know drinks.

If you are a regular drinker, you might find the people around you also drink too much. They might encourage you to drink and convince you not to give up alcohol. Changing your habits and doing things where alcohol isn’t involved can help you stay on track.

You can find many fitness and health recovery plans online. These kinds of activities are usually drink-free which means you’ll make non-drinking friends, and you can spend time with people without your sobriety being questioned.

I Can’t Afford Rehab Help.

Paying for private rehab, alcohol counselling, and home detox is a great idea unless you can’t afford it. There is an idea out there that rehab, psychological therapy and private prescriptions are extremely expensive. There is a cost involved, but it is a lot less than you might think. If you are on a budget, our team will tell you what help is affordable for you.

Action Plan

Having a list of ways to manage your alcohol withdrawal and recovery gives you motivation and something to refer to when things get tough.

  • Have goals. Thinking about the reasons why you want to stop drinking is vital. Do you want to get fit and healthy, spend more time with your family, feel less tired? Write these down to remind you later.
  • Alcohol-free zones. Rehab centers are completely abstinent spaces because they know it is hard to stay on track when temptation is everywhere. Replicate this at home by not having alcohol in the house and staying away from bars, restaurants and homes where there is alcohol around.
  • Keep busy. Boredom and habit are common reasons for drinking. Find new or previous hobbies and interests that are nothing to do with alcohol. You may even expand your social circle outside the pub.

Try to use an action plan for the goals you have set yourself and start to keep a drinking diary. Continue by learning from failures and reviewing your drinking diary every week. Plan your successes and plan how you will turn this week’s failures into next week’s successes.

Quitting Alcohol Forever

The alcohol withdrawal has passed. You are starting to enjoy life without sleep deprivation and endless hangovers, and you are ready to think long-term. This means making changes to your life and plans. You don’t have to make them all at once. Slow and steady is the best approach. Here are some tips to quit drinking permanently.

  • Quit lit. Books, journals, guides to quitting alcohol and drugs. There are many excellent books out there that help you help yourself through this challenging and amazing transition.
  • Rearrange and reorganise your life for sobriety. Once, alcohol was the centre of your life. Avoid leaving an empty space, or you will be tempted to fill it with drinking. Finding a new passion or lifestyle can make all the difference.
  • Make the most of your sobriety. You have achieved something amazing, don’t waste it. Check back on your reasons for quitting, and make sure you do all the things you felt you were missing out on because of your drinking.

Do You Need Group Therapy To Stop Drinking Alcohol?

Hundreds of thousands of people have been helped through dependence and addiction by groups such as the AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and SMART recovery. However, thousands have recovered without group therapy. Sharing with others in recovery isn’t for everyone. Below are some reasons people forgo support groups, and alternative self-help is available.

Social Anxiety

If the thought of sitting in front of a group of like-minded people fills you with dread rather than relief, then you may not find group therapy helpful. The idea of therapy is to make things better, not worse, so don’t go if you don’t get something out of it.

You might consider one-one therapy instead, or try talking to a supportive friend or family member. Maybe choose a friend you know doesn’t drink much to do sober activities with you. You might also find someone you know has a friend or relative who has been in recovery and will be happy to talk with you.

Meetings Are Too Formal

The idea of joining a formal group of recovering addicts might seem like a huge commitment. You could consider an online support forum or group instead. In some areas, you will also find recovery cafes that are drop-in and much more relaxed than organised groups.


It is all very well to attend an AA (alcoholics anonymous) meeting if you live in a huge city and can find one in another area. What if you live in a small town? Your friends, colleagues, customers might attend the same meeting.

While they will be understanding, and all meetings should require the anonymous part to be kept, in reality, people do break the rules. In time you may come to be proud of your recovery and tell everyone who will listen. Until then, online groups are a great option, and it is unlikely you will meet anyone you know if you don’t want to.

How To Help An Alcoholic Stop Drinking

If someone you love is struggling with alcohol addiction, you will want to help. While there are professional interventionists (we have several on our team if you decide you need help), you may prefer to convince them to stop drinking on your own. Here are some tips from our interventionists to make it easier and more successful.

  • Have a plan. What everyone involved can do to support them, how they will do it and why it needs to happen.
  • Choose a time when they will be sober and calm.
  • Find somewhere private and comfortable for the person with the addiction.
  • Focus on your concern and wish for them to get better and be happier.
  • Avoid blame, anger, and threats. A good intervention is persuasion, not forcing someone.
  • Don’t give in. Denial is more common in alcoholism than in other addictions. The addicted person may make excuses, sympathetically deal with them but don’t back down.

What Are My Options?

Given the challenges of stopping drinking on your own, some advice might be welcome. Our team can advise you on quitting alcohol and managing a loved one’s alcohol problem. We recommend support but know better than most how important it is to recover your way.

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