How to Give Up Alcohol

As socially acceptable as alcohol is, it is also a very dangerous habit. It can cause negative consequences rather quickly. Our country embraces a drinking culture, which makes it difficult to decipher a period of excess or actual alcohol addiction. As such, it is important to pay attention to whether or not you have the ability to give up alcohol, because this inability is a hallmark of addiction. Luckily, there are ways you can learn how to give up alcohol for good in your life.

Set Your Intentions

Why do you want to quit drinking? Write down your intentions and put them somewhere that is visible to you every day. A constant reminder of why you want to quit drinking can help keep you on track and help you celebrate your successes. Some of these intentions can include:

  • Feeling healthier. If you are sick of feeling hungover and want to improve your health, write that down. Detail how hangovers impact your life and how badly they make you feel. If you are having trouble sleeping due to drinking, note that as well. Write down what you would do with your time if you weren’t hungover and how a healthier lifestyle will benefit your life.
  • Improved relationships. Has your drinking negatively impacted your marriage, your relationship with your children, or driven away dear friends? If so, write down the relationships you want to fix and how your drinking has impacted them.
  • Financial or legal issues. Drinking can lead to financial and legal issues that you may want to fix. Think about how much money your drinking has cost you — this includes nights out at the bar, liquor store runs, frivolous spending while intoxicated, and legal fees.

Keep Busy

Chances are, most of your evenings and weekends have been spent drinking, or have revolved around drinking. A great way to learn how to give up alcohol is by finding new ways to keep busy. However, it is important to find a good balance here. A relapse can occur from being too bored and from being too busy, so finding a happy medium is important. Some ways to keep busy include:

  • Learn a new language
  • Volunteer
  • Find a new exercise routine
  • Look at meet-up websites for activities or hobbies that interest you
  • Find new recipes to cook throughout the week
  • Re-organize or declutter your home
  • Gardening
  • Find a job or academic program that you’ve been putting off
  • Join an adult recreational sports team
  • Explore nature and go hiking or biking
  • Have a spa day or self-care day
  • Create something, such as painting or knitting

Don’t Do It Alone

Alcohol can be very difficult to give up alone. It is in every restaurant, street corner liquor store, and in almost every home. Temptation can be too overwhelming for many people to deal with by themselves. In addition, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be very dangerous to deal with alone. It is one of the only substances that has fatal withdrawal symptoms. Realizing that you may not be able to learn how to give up alcohol by yourself can be difficult to come to terms with. Luckily, there are many options and ways to do this.

Reach Out

Asking someone for help sounds easy, but often the most simple thing to do can be the most difficult. However, it is a decision that could potentially save your life. If there is someone in your life you can trust and open up to, reach out to them. You can talk to them and explain that your drinking is beyond your control, or you could write it down in a text, email or letter. However you choose to do it, this first step is the most important.

Make the Call

If you are not comfortable with reaching out to someone in your life about your drinking habits, Cliffside Malibu offers an admissions staff who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The conversation can be kept confidential if you desire. Most importantly, they can help you with various logistics such as insurance coverage, cost, your rights for time off work, and more.

Find Ongoing Support

It is very important to have people in your life who have also given up alcohol. That way, you can have a group of people to lean on during hard times, celebrate successes with during good times, spend time with, and trade advice with. This type of ongoing sober support is crucial for long-term sobriety and can end up being some of the most special relationships you have in your life.

About Cliffside Malibu

Learning how to give up alcohol is very difficult to do alone, and can also be very dangerous. If you or a loved one are looking for more information on how to give up alcohol, give us a call.

Since no two addictions are the same, Cliffside Malibu offers an individualized treatment plan for every client. We are committed to providing evidence-based treatment through a continuum of care model including medically supervised detox, residential treatment, day treatment, and outpatient services. Our program also includes family therapy and holistic therapy, as well. Whether an individual is suffering from substance abuse and/or alcohol addiction, our programs are structured to create a supportive environment where healing can begin.

In addition to world-class treatment, Cliffside Malibu offers luxury accommodations, a serene environment, five-star dining, and plentiful amenities. We understand that addiction treatment is a rigorous process. Therefore, we provide for your comfort and relaxation at every turn, allowing you to rejuvenate, and meet the demands of treatment with your greatest energy and attention.

For more information on Cliffside Malibu, visit