Giving Up Alcohol

How do I give up alcohol? This is a very common question asked by many people who are quitting to make a change for the better in their lives. One of the things that often stops them in their tracks is not knowing where to go for help. Here are just a few things you can do to get you started on improving your health…

When looking at how to give up alcohol, it is important to start small and set achievable goals. There is little point starting by saying you will never drink again. This leaving you facing a huge task that will soon seem insurmountable. Depending on the type of drinker you are, you might want to start by setting a goal only to drink when you are socialising. Another goal might be to not drinking for a week.

Once you have achieved your first goal, set yourself a new target and reward yourself for achieving that target. It could be something as simple as investing the money you have saved in something else you enjoy doing, or even buying something you couldn’t afford before.

Setting no-drinking goals is only half the battle. You also need help in reaching these goals and overcoming the obstacles in your way. Support comes in many forms, from work colleagues agreeing to do something other than going to the pub at your next get together to meeting others who feel the same and are exploring how to stop drinking themselves. Having friends and being sober is way more fun than you may think! Don’t forget to talk to your GP if addiction has been mentioned so you can plan your recovery goals safely.

How To Tell Those Closest To You

Drinking is so ingrained in society that when someone chooses, of their own free will, to discontinue drinking, it just doesn’t compute in the minds of others. Suddenly you become a stranger to them, someone who is going against social conventions, stepping outside of the norm. However, true friends will understand your decision to quit drinking and will support you. But it is important to explain it to them in the right way and at the right time. It is a good idea to tell those closest to you as soon as you can, preferably on their own and away from the pub. Explain your reasons; whether you are doing it for your health, the love of the challenge, or to better your relationship with your loved ones. Listen to their concerns, and have answers ready to questions like, when will we see you, will you still come out, what are you going to do instead? The more prepared you are about how to stop drinking, the more seriously your decision will be taken. And remember, you can always suggest alternatives to the Friday night at the pub. Actions speak louder than words, so show your group that alcohol-free fun is a reality.

Deciding There Is Nothing To Give Up

The best way to quit alcohol really is to realise that there is nothing to give up. It sounds counterintuitive to most of the advice that is out there, but it is true. Once you get your head around this, you will enjoy an alcohol-free time in no time at all.

When you give things up, you are, in essence, making a sacrifice. Whether this is not buying the latest CD in order to pay the phone bill, or giving up your time to help others, these are sacrifices, swapping something you want for a better cause. When you quit drinking, it is in itself the better cause, and it is you who reaps all of the rewards for no longer having alcohol in your life. Of course, other people benefit too, but they have been the ones who, up till this point, have been sacrificing things to your drinking. You too have been sacrificing your health and wellbeing to the drink. By turning the idea on its head and looking at it from this perspective of how to stop drinking, then you are turning a negative into a positive, and not the other way round. This is why stopping is about building new healthier habits, rather than about willpower.

If you’re still not sure, then give it a try. Try stopping, or even cutting down, for a short space of time and make a note of the benefits you feel. You will be hard pushed to see not drinking as giving something up once you have experienced the many physical, mental and emotional benefits.


Hi! I'm Chaz. I'm the Founder of The Green Button Project, I run my own mental health blog, and I'm also a mental health volunteer with Time to Change and I also love dogs.

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