Alcoholism is a disease millions of people struggle with. It ruins countless lives every year and can, at its worst, be lethal. Overcoming alcoholism often only happens after someone hits rock bottom. It tears families apart, ruins careers, and destroys friendships in its wake.
Alcoholism is particularly harmful because, in addition to the psychological addiction to alcohol, the body builds a dependency that often requires medical intervention. Every day, someone tries to quit alcohol by themself cold-turkey and their body reacts so strongly it makes them sick. The physical reaction to quitting alcohol can be so strong it drives people back to drinking.
If you or someone you love is struggling with alcoholism, there are things you can do to help them overcome addiction. Here are six tips to overcome alcohol addiction and leave the disease behind.
Tip 1 – Avoid Toxic Environments
Too often, we place too little influence on the places we spend our time and the people we hang out with. Our friendships and the type of places we spend our time have a massive impact on our behavior and the things we do.
If you’re hanging out in bars, for example, it’s going to make overcoming any form of alcohol addiction much, much harder. Even if you want to cut down on the amount of drinking you do socially, how will you react the next time a good friend passes you a drink? If you’re always around people drinking and places where there is a lot of alcohol, things get much harder.
Instead, spend time doing things where drinking isn’t emphasized. Start new hobbies, spend more time outdoors, and create new relationships with people who aren’t so focused on drinking. This doesn’t mean you leave all your friends, just make new ones you can spend time with.
Tip 2 – Join a Support Group
Alcohol addiction is so widespread that, no matter where you live, there is likely a support group near you. You can join these for free and attend meetings and other social gatherings where people who are dealing with alcoholism can gather and lend each other some support. Some groups will assign you a sponsor who will check in on you from time to time and who you can turn to when you’re having a hard time or are tempted to start drinking.
Tip 3 – Practice What You’re Going to Say
These days, you can’t put yourself in a vacuum. Drinks are going to be at every after-hours work event, bbq, and sporting event that you attend. You can put some controls around the environments you are in, but eventually, someone is going to offer you a drink. It might be easy to refuse, but other times it’s going to be hard to say no. One of the best things you can do to prepare yourself is to practice what you’re going to say. It can be a big challenge to say no to a drink when your friends are so used to drinking with you. After your first, “no”, they’ll probably start pressuring you even more. You need to practice your responses to make them easier to say at the moment. This is something you can do with your sponsor or a close friend or relative who is supporting you in not drinking.
Tip 4 – Throw Out Your Alcohol
If you’ve got drinks at home, throw them out! You need to build an environment that’s conducive to your efforts to stop drinking. Hopefully, the people who you live with will support the effort and won’t drink while you’re around. This is an easy step and is similar to throwing out all of the cookies if you’re starting a new diet. If you can’t stand the thought of throwing everything away, find someone you can give it to who will drink it responsibly.
Tip 5 – Peptides and Alcohol Addiction
Researchers have known for years that harmful substances like alcohol can suppress NAD+ in humans. If your NAD+ levels are low, it’s easier to experience things like nutritional deficits according to peptide sciences.
Tip 6 – Build New Hobbies
It seems like normal adult behavior can be to grab a beer and watch a show after a long day at work. When we are with our friends, we eat and drink. To overcome an alcohol addiction, you need to create a new reality that’s separate from your old hobbies. Start playing new sports, build things in the backyard, and get into cars. Whatever it is, find something new that you can fill your time with and take your mind off of drinking by yourself or in your social circle.
Overcoming alcoholism takes a lot of work and support from people close to you. The important thing is to keep at it despite the inevitable hiccups that will come your way. Ask for help when you need it and track your progress. Celebrate victories no matter how small and keep yourself accountable to the goal and the people that you love. Overcoming addiction can happen, and a happy, more fulfilling life is waiting for you around the corner.