I met with a patient who, after decades of everyday drinking, made the decision to quit drinking. His decision to stop drinking alcohol was not easy.
He associated drinking beer with many aspects of his life: getting through the pandemic, watching the sports game on Sunday afternoons, playing pool with his buddies, at the weekend barbecue, de-stressing after work. The list went on.
The Most Common Questions About Quitting Drinking
At a consult, one of the questions we ask is their history of negative consequences from drinking alcohol.
This important question helps us diagnose alcohol dependence because it helps them face the fact that they are continuing to drink even while experiencing negative consequences.
Though I’ve noticed that this question can keep people in denial.
“Not me.” they say, “I’ve never been pulled over, or lost my job, and never felt withdrawal when I stop. It’s just light beer.”
5 Lost Opportunities When Drinking Alcohol
In those conversations, it may be more helpful to ask about opportunities they lost out on instead of negative consequences.
1. Would you have called your mom back if you hadn’t been drinking a beer?
2. Would you have taken out your dog if you hadn’t had that first beer?
3. Have you ever forgotten a conversation with your child or wife because you had too many beers?
4. Would you have had a different tone to your voice with your spouse if you hadn’t been drinking?
5. Have you not kept your health commitments because when you’re drinking it gets pushed to the back burner?
You can find more questions to ask yourself in our series Alcoholic or Just A Bad Habit? Part 1.
Help to Quit Drinking
After associating alcohol with so many different parts of your life, it is an emotional, psychological, and physical challenge to start thinking about who you would be without drinking alcohol.
But people do it every day. It can be accomplished.
Once a decision has been made to stop drinking alcohol, there are resources to help you quit for good.
At The Coleman NEtwork for Addiction Medicine, an integral part of treatment, whether someone is seeking help to stop drinking alcohol, benzo addiction, or opioid addiction, is to arm our patients with recovery resources. We are big advocates of using a 12 Step Program; many people find the nonjudgmental social support and the spiritual component to help them recover.
One of the 12 step programs is SMART Recovery. This is an approach to help change people’s habits with specific exercises based on the current stage of a person they are currently in.
Over venues consist of intensive outpatient or in-patient programs, and counseling with specialists who are trained in addiction.
Suggested Read: Coleman Method for Outpatient Detox off Opioids and Alcohol
If you or a loved one are wanting to stop drinking alcohol, using opiates or benzos, or are interested to learn more about our medically assisted detox programs, please give us a call at 804-294-2212.
Joan R. Shepherd, NP
More like this: How Do I Know It’s Safe to Stop Drinking Alcohol?