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How To Stop Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction is a very real and harmful disease. Read on to learn more about what alcohol addiction is and how to address it

Understanding Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction is a chronic disease in which a person has strong cravings for alcohol and an inability to control their drinking. If left untreated, it can potentially also lead to mental health issues, physical health issues, and problems with jobs and relationships. Alcohol addiction is not uncommon, and in America, about one-third of the population drinks, and 10% of that population also has an alcohol use disorder.1

Potential Causes of Alcohol Addiction

When thinking about the potential causes of alcohol addiction, it’s important to remember that substance use disorders often form as a result of multiple intersecting issues. For example, someone with a family history of addiction may be more inclined to struggle with addiction themselves, and social factors like hanging around others with substance use disorders may push that person to develop an alcohol addiction. Any combination of social, economic, and genetic factors may increase a person’s risk for alcohol addiction. The bottom line is that alcohol addiction happens because alcohol is an addictive substance. Over time, alcohol abuse changes the brain’s chemistry, making an individual crave alcohol, and the body eventually becomes dependent on the drug to function.

What are the Signs of Alcohol Dependence?

Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell the difference between someone who drinks heavily and someone who is exhibiting signs of alcoholism. If you feel like you have a problem controlling the amount of alcohol you consume, or if you find that your thoughts revolve around drinking, it may be time to seek help. Other signs of alcoholism include:
  • Drinking in increasing amounts or more frequent intervals
  • Developing a high tolerance for alcohol
  • Drinking at inappropriate times, like at work or as soon as you wake up in the morning
  • Having a dependence on alcohol to function in your everyday life
  • Avoiding contact with loved ones
  • Hiding your alcohol, hiding the amount of alcohol you drink, or isolating yourself when you drink to hide the amount you consume

How to Stop Alcohol Addiction

If you are looking to stop drinking yourself or to help a loved one stop drinking, there are a few important stages to be aware of and some additional advice to stop drinking alcohol. These will be detailed below.


In an intervention, the person with an alcohol addiction must come to terms with the fact that they have a real problem. Sometimes interventions involve family members who express their sadness, anger, and concerns for the individual’s health or wellbeing, and sometimes interventions can be a person simply taking a long, hard look at themselves and realizing they need to make a change. A successful intervention is key to ending alcohol addiction, as a person is likely to relapse if they can’t acknowledge they have alcohol addiction problems in the first place.

Physical Withdrawal

This stage can be very challenging, as many people face difficult alcohol withdrawal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, shakiness, anxiety, insomnia, sweating, and possibly fever. These symptoms can last anywhere from one to three days, depending on the severity of the addiction.2 However, getting through the withdrawal stage is an important way to prove to yourself and your loved ones that you are committed to ending an addiction to alcohol. Sometimes physical withdrawal is best done in a medical facility or detox center, where medical professionals can ensure the individual’s safety and prevent severe withdrawal symptoms.

Long-Term Rehab

Alcohol addiction recovery is not always easy to do on your own. Long-term inpatient rehab for alcohol addiction is a good option for anyone seeking intensive care and personalized treatment from therapists and medical professionals. Alcohol addiction statistics show that most people who seek treatment and remain vigilant in follow-up care are able to stop using substances.3

Higher Risk for Alcoholism

It is important to familiarize yourself with risk factors that make alcoholism more likely. This can aid in the continuous prevention of alcohol abuse and addiction.

Risk Factors for Experiencing Alcoholism

These risk factors include:
  • Genetics: If you have a family history of addiction, you may be more likely to struggle with addiction.
  • Underage drinking: Beginning drinking at an early age can increase the odds of alcohol abuse.
  • Frequent drinking: If you are someone who drinks often, it may be more likely for you to develop a drinking addiction.
  • Mental health conditions: Mental health conditions like depression and anxiety can increase your risk of developing alcohol use disorder.
  • Trauma history: If you have experienced trauma, including adverse childhood events, you may be more likely to have a drinking addiction.
  • Social factors: Being around others who have substance use disorders may make it more likely for you to have similar issues.

Why Can’t You Stop Drinking on Your Own?

When you or a loved one suddenly quit drinking alcohol after dealing with an alcohol substance abuse disorder, you will start to experience withdrawal symptoms within a few hours to a few days. If your alcohol abuse was not severe, your withdrawal symptoms may be manageable. However, if you were a long-term or heavy drinker, it is likely that your withdrawal symptoms will be more difficult to deal with.

Importance of Medical Intervention

In these cases, medically supervised alcohol detox, whether at home with a visiting medical professional, or at an alcohol rehabilitation center, is useful. Instead of trying to resist intense cravings and deal with pain, nausea, and other symptoms on your own, you can feel more comfortable knowing a medical professional is monitoring your symptoms and sometimes lessening your symptoms with medications. This can make it a bit easier to go through withdrawal and to continue resisting drinking while giving you a head start on recovery.

Benefits of Quitting Alcohol

Although drinking can take its toll on the mind and body, research shows that once you quit, the consequences of alcohol use on the brain, liver, cardiovascular system, and gut will begin to heal. After getting through the withdrawal period, you will begin to feel much better and may notice improved sleep, increased energy, improved skin complexion, and weight loss. You may also find that your relationships with your loved ones significantly improve once you’re in recovery. Because you’re no longer fixated on alcohol, you’re able to invest time and energy into the people you love, increasing your quality of life.

What is the Outlook For Addiction?

Alcohol recovery and addiction recovery are lifelong processes. For many people, it requires consistent maintenance and treatment to stay away from substances. However, keep in mind that nearly 75% of people who experience addiction eventually recover, so despite the effort it takes to quit drinking, it is very possible to recover.4

Get the Help with Alcohol Addiction at San Diego Detox

If you’re looking to start your alcohol addiction recovery, you may want to consider an alcohol rehabilitation center or an alcohol addiction program. At San Diego Detox, you can receive specialized care to support you from detox to recovery. Early recovery from alcoholism is more successful than waiting. Don’t hesitate to get alcohol addiction help today.