There are many reasons for why people might decide to give up alcohol. It doesn’t have to mean that the person is an alcoholic or even that they have any problems from drinking. It is becoming common for people to come to this decision as a lifestyle choice. These individuals just decide that the disadvantages associated with this drug outweigh any possible benefits. Giving up alcohol can be a good choice even for those who do not really need to. Those who are already addicted will of course gain the most benefit from such a decision.
There has been mention in the media of some potential health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. Three evidence to suggest that the occasional drink may reduce the risk of heart disease in older men. There is also some research that suggests moderate alcohol consumption can make it less likely that people develop diabetes and dementia. While these benefits are attractive, it is not suggested that anyone should take up drinking alcohol in order to enjoy them. This is because the risks of alcohol abuse far outweigh any potential benefits. These are some of the most prominent risks:
* A small amount of alcohol benefits the heart but excessive drinking causes a great deal of damage. In fact it is estimated that 2 percent of all coronary heart disease is due to alcohol. It increases blood pressure and can lead to alcoholic cardiomyopathy.
* The body organ most associated with alcohol abuse is the liver. It is not necessary for the individual to become a hardened alcoholic in order to develop cirrhosis. It is suggested that 90 percent of all heavy drinkers will develop fatty liver. This is the first stage of alcoholic liver disease.
* Heavy drinking increases the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.
* The individual can develop complications due to alcoholic lung disease.
As well as causing a great deal of physical damage to the body, excessive drinking can lead to mental health problems. Alcohol is a type of drug known as a depressant. This means that it dampens down the central nervous system which in turn can affect mood. This is why people who abuse alcohol can begin to suffer from depression and other types of mental illness. Alcohol consumption is also strongly linked with suicide. Most people who take their own lives are under the influence when they do it. Drinking too much leads to impulsivity and bad decision making.
These are some of the reasons people are giving up drinking alcohol:
* Drinking alcohol is becoming less fashionable than in the past among some groups. The dangers associated with this habit are now better understood. It may be that within a few decades drinking alcohol will be as socially frowned upon as smoking cigarettes is now.
* Some people just do not enjoy the feeling of being out of control that can occur when they drink.
* Those people who who like to meditate may decide to give up alcohol in order to gain more from this practice. Regular indulgence in alcohol clouds the brain and interferes with concentration. Those how hope to obtain high levels of concentration in meditation will find it easier to do so if they cut out alcohol.
* Most spiritual and religious paths discourage excessive alcohol use or completely forbid it. Those who wish to develop their spiritual practice may feel that giving up drinking is a key element of this.
A common reason for why people drink alcohol is that it encourages them to be more sociable. It is certainly true that drinking lowers inhibitions, but there is also a darker side to this effect. There are several social reasons for giving up alcohol, including the following:
* If people drink too much, it can not only make them talkative but also argumentative. This may mean that they say things they later deeply regret. If people find that they have a tendency to say hurtful or silly things when under the influence, then it may be a good idea to avoid alcohol in the future.
* Going to the bar regularly suits some people, but it can also be boring for others. There are plenty of social events that do not involve alcohol. Some people decided to stop drinking because they have become bored with bars.
* Alcohol fueled conversations can seem deep and meaningful at the time but once the participants sober up they can be hard to remember or not worth remembering. Those people who enjoy have deep communications with other humans may decide that this is more likely to happen without alcohol.
If people abuse alcohol they run the risk of becoming an alcoholic. This means that they are now both physically and psychologically dependent on the drug. Once people are addicted to this drug, it can completely destroy their life. The longer they stay addicted to alcohol they more they will lose. Some people never manage to escape the downward spiral created by this level of abuse and their drinking takes them onto insanity and death. It is not only they only who suffer. Usually their family and friends get damaged in the process.
Some people are able to drink sensibly; it is something they enjoy occasionally. There is no real harm in this and there are even some potential health benefits. It is only when people have tried to moderate and repeatedly failed that it becomes more essential for them to quit completely. There are also people who just choose to quit even though they probably could moderate easily if they wanted to. Some individuals just decided that the dangers associated with drinking are not worth the risk.
It has now become common wisdom that alcoholics need to hit rock bottom before they are able to give up their addiction. While there may be some truth in this claim it often gets understood to mean that the person abusing alcohol needs to lose everything before they can get better. This is not what is meant at all. In fact, such thinking can be highly dangerous. Some alcoholics manage to give up their addiction after losing relatively little in life. They have just had enough. So rock bottom is a completely subjective term that refers to the occasion when the individual decides that they have had enough. There is absolutely no benefit in losing more what the alcoholic has already lost. It will not make their recovery stronger later.
Some people will find that giving up alcohol is simply a matter of making the decision. For other people the transition into sober living can be more turbulent. These are some things that such individuals can do to increase the likelihood of quitting successfully:
* Those addicted to alcohol are likely to suffer withdrawal symptoms when they quit. These are usually mild, but delirium tremens (a particularly severe form of withdrawals) can develop in cases where the individual has been drinking hard for many years. It is recommended that any at risk withdrawal seek medical advice before giving up alcohol abruptly.
* If people are concerned about giving up alone they may be best advised to enter rehab. Staying in an inpatient program will not only provide the right environment for coming off alcohol, but it will also allow the individual to develop the skills and knowledge they will need in recovery.
* In order to increase the likelihood of successfully escaping alcohol abuse it is best if people make use of available resources – there is plenty to choose from. Groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous can offer lots of practical advice and emotional support for people who are trying to escape an alcohol addiction. These days there are also plenty of online communities and resources that can be of benefit to people who want to quit drinking.
* One of the key elements of giving up alcohol is to have something to replace this with. This is particularly important for those individuals who previously spent a great deal of time in bars. If people stop drinking but feel bored they will be unlikely to keep their resolve. It is therefore crucial that the individual begins to look for replacement activities as soon as they quit.
* Techniques such as mindfulness meditation can be wonderful tools for anyone who wants to quit drinking. It can be particularly useful for people who are battling with mild cravings. This meditation practice allows the individual to observe their thinking mind and the real motives behind what arises there.