Overcoming Alcohol Addiction: How to Stop Drinking

Last Updated: April 9, 2020

Authored by Nena Messina, Ph.D.

Giving up alcohol is not easy, especially for someone who is a heavy drinker. The first step in the recovery from alcoholism is recognizing that there is a problem. The next step is figuring out how to overcome the dependence on alcoholic drinks. What is the best way to quit drinking? Many people with a drinking problem are not comfortable going to a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Not everyone can afford professional help at an expensive rehab clinic. But there are alternative ways of giving up alcohol. It is possible to quit drinking alcohol, quietly, in the dignity of home. Some simple strategies can help a recovering alcoholic beat the bottle without spending a lot of money.

10 Ways To Cut Down Drinking

Heavy drinkers and long-term alcoholics usually require inpatient or outpatient alcohol rehab to quit drinking. However, moderate drinkers who feel their alcohol intake is out of control can make some simple lifestyle changes to cut down drinking. Besides, there are self-help strategies to stop drinking alcohol. Here are ten tips for quitting drinking that are easy to implement:

  1. Socialize Without Alcohol. Alcohol is an integral part of many social activities. This makes it easy to overdo and difficult to cut down. However, socializing sober is not impossible. For example, instead of Friday night drinks with colleagues, sign up for a team sport. Attend a group exercise class. Go to the movies. This will not only make it easier to quit alcohol, but also improve overall health, develop genuine connections, and find new hobbies. Best of all, there’s no hangover the next morning.
  2. Don’t Stock Alcohol at Home. One of the best ways to stop drinking is to stop keeping any alcohol in the home. A 6-pack in the fridge makes it all too easy to reach for one at the end of a long day. On the other hand, if it’s not in the house, cutting back on alcohol becomes a lot easier. When friends bring bottles of wine to dinner, send the leftovers back with them. This way there’s no obligation to finish the bottle the next day (why waste good booze?).
  3. Drink Slowly. How to cut back on drinking when socializing? Pacing out drinks is an easy way to reduce alcohol intake. Sip drinks slowly. Alternate each alcoholic beverage with juice, soda, or water. Avoid drinking on an empty stomach. These simple measures can drastically bring down the number of drinks consumed on a single night on the town.
  4. Learn to Deal with Stress. For many people, alcohol is a temporary escape from reality and the stressors of daily life. The best way to stop drinking emotionally is to learn healthy relaxation techniques. Turn to yoga, meditation, or psychotherapy to cope with sadness, stress, and negative emotions without putting oneself at risk of becoming an alcoholic.
  5. Ditch the Heavy Drinkers. Moderate drinkers who socialize with heavy alcohol consumers are under pressure to keep up. Peer pressure can make cutting back on drinking very challenging. Learn to say no firmly but politely. Stick to a predetermined limit. Don’t drink just because others are. Stay away from friends who encourage drinking more and more.
  6. State the Intent to Quit Drinking Alcohol. For people who are actively trying alcohol reduction, stating this intent to family and friends is a good idea. Ask for support. Encourage them to give reminders about this resolution. This way, there’s a team effort towards giving up alcohol.
  7. Keep a Diary. One of the most important steps to quit drinking is to keep track of the alcohol consumed. Set a goal based on the recommended guidelines of 1-2 standard drinks per day for adult women and men. Try to stay within these limits. Remember, these are recommendations for healthy adults. Talk to a doctor about what is a reasonable amount of alcohol for people with specific medical conditions.
  8. Take a Break from Booze. Heard of Sober October or No Drinks November? Decide not to drink for a month. Try to cope emotionally and physically without alcohol. If a whole month without booze feels overwhelming, start with 1 or 2 days a week. This small step will go a long way in helping with cutting out alcohol in the long run.
  9. Handle Urges. Many people drink out of habit. Alcohol is addictive and can cause some pretty strong urges. Be aware of the times of day when the tendency to drink is high and keep busy at that time. Get involved in a healthy activity that distracts from mindless alcohol consumption. The easiest and best way to quit drinking is to stop drinking for drinking sake.
  10. Don’t Give Up. It can take more than one attempt to stop drinking. Don’t be discouraged if efforts don’t yield immediate results. Be persistent. Keep the long-term goal in mind. Take setbacks in stride. An ongoing effort will undoubtedly lead to success.

These tips to stop drinking are the first steps in reducing alcohol intake or quitting completely. They do not require spending any money or seeking professional help. They can be very effective in preventing moderate drinkers from progressing to full-blown alcoholism.

Social Drinking versus Alcoholism: How to Tell the Difference

group of people raising glasses with wineAccording to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association, there are nearly 140 million people in the United States who consume alcoholic beverages. Of these, about 17 million are heavy drinkers and have a problem with abuse. Excessive intake of alcoholic drinks is associated with a number of serious medical problems, including liver and brain damage, heart disease, and complications with the fetus in pregnant women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that there are approximately 88,000 alcohol-related deaths in America each year. Binge drinkers, underage drinkers, and heavy drinkers are at highest risk.
People who drink often do not know whether they are social drinkers or there is a need for alcohol cessation. Some of the warning signs of dependence on alcoholic drinks are when a person:

  • begins to skip exercising
  • neglects to eat a healthy diet
  • drinks more than anyone in their family or social circle
  • cannot have fun without alcohol
  • needs a progressively greater number of drinks to feel high
  • misses important deadlines at school or work
  • does not meet social obligations
  • feels uncomfortable at the thought of not having access to alcohol
  • often ends up drinking more than intended
  • starts drinking in the morning
  • starts drinking alone
  • relies on alcohol as a form of stress relief
  • needs more drinks to feel high
  • has escalated the number of drinks since first starting to drink
  • suffers blackouts after drinking sessions

Admitting the Problem: The First Step in Alcoholism Recovery

The hardest part of getting sober is not the actual quitting, or even the withdrawal symptoms during rehab, it’s admitting there is a problem and making an attempt to do something about it. For many people who are struggling with alcohol abuse, denial is a substantial part of the addiction. Breaking out of this self-deception is the key to recovery. Some people hit rock bottom and get into financial and legal difficulties before they accept they have a problem. Others are lucky enough to realize they have an addiction before they reach a low point.
Is it simply social drinking or is it a dependency on alcoholic beverages? If someone drinks one light beer every day, is it alcoholism? Or is someone who binge drinks a few times a year at greater risk of dependency? Unfortunately, there is no black and white answer to this question. There is a large gray area between being a full-blown alcoholic and being well on the way to becoming one. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends limiting alcohol use to 7-14 drinks per week in men and women, respectively. Some of the signs that there is a serious problem with the abuse of alcoholic drinks include:

  • Constantly thinking about alcoholism and wondering if there is a problem
  • Сomparing one’s drinking patterns to others
  • Taking online tests to find out whether there is a dependency

The one important question everyone must ask themselves is: Can I imagine life without alcohol? If the answer is no, it signals a problem.

How to Quit Alcohol: Simple Habits to Stop Drinking

Multiracial group during aerobics classQuitting alcohol does not have to involve an inpatient stay at a private clinic or endless sessions with a support group. For the majority of moderate drinkers, some simple changes in habits and lifestyle can help cut down the use of alcoholic beverages.

  • Do not make alcohol a major part of social life
  • Tell family and friends of the intent to reduce or quit drinking
  • Avoid going to places where it is habitual to drink (for example, bars, restaurants)
  • Socialize without alcohol, such as at group exercise classes or team sports
  • Avoid hanging out with friends or colleagues who are heavy drinkers
  • Identify triggers for alcohol use and develop strategies to cope
  • Learn relaxation techniques to deal with stress
  • Stop stocking alcoholic drinks at home
  • Talk to a trusted friend or family member when there is an urge to drink

Simple Techniques to Quit Drinking Without AA

Alcoholism is a disease and overcoming it takes a steadfast determination. Heavy drinkers develop a chemical dependence on alcoholic drinks which have an effect on the neurotransmitters in the brain. When there is excessive use of alcoholic beverages, over time, the brain is falsely lead to believe that it is not possible to survive without alcohol.
There is no one best way to stop drinking. Different strategies work for different people. However, some simple techniques can help people to quit drinking without AA or professional help. The four-step technique described below is an easy way to stop drinking.

  • Committing to abstinence: Once a person understands that alcohol is not needed to survive, they need to make a commitment to quit for good. It is not unusual to feel angry, depressed, panicky, or uneasy when this decision is first made. For the first few days of abstinence, rest and sleep may be difficult to come by. In habitual drinkers, the brain develops a chemical dependency and must be rewired to operate without alcohol. Repeating the words “I will not drink again” and “I do not need alcoholic drinks to survive” can be helpful.
  • Objectifying the cravings: When there is a craving, instead of pouring out a drink, the person attempting recovery should objectify the feeling. This can be achieved by repeating the words “my booze brain wants a drink but my body doesn’t need it.” The neurons in the brain become used to receiving the buzz from alcoholic beverages. It takes some time for them to calm down and return to a normal state. During this timeframe, it is important for the recovering alcoholic to divert the mind when there is the urge to reach for a beer or a glass of wine.
  • Responding to urges: When someone is trying to quit drinking without Alcoholics Anonymous or other help, it is critical to respond to urges with a firm no. The key is to gain control of the brain instead of giving in. When friends offer a drink, respond with “No thanks, I’ve stopped drinking.” Over time, the number of urges reduce as the brain stops seeking drinks. It is a good idea for the recovering alcoholic to stay away from heavy drinkers in the social circle during this time.
  • Enjoying recovery from dependence: For a person trying to overcome alcoholism, learning to enjoy life without the chemical buzz can be a challenge. It is vital not to sit at home and focus on how to quit drinking alcohol. The human brain needs to remain occupied. It is a good idea to rediscover forgotten hobbies, reignite lost friendships, and reinvest in getting healthier.

How to Stop Drinking Alcohol Safely

adult daughter supports elderly motherWhen a person quits cold turkey, the first 72 hours of abstinence from alcohol are the toughest. This is the most difficult part of recovery as the body tries to reestablish a chemical balance. This period of acute withdrawal can be unpleasant. Some people, especially heavy drinkers and people who have been drinking for a long time, require professional help to get through this phase of rehab.
It is not unusual to feel anxious, restless, excited, or shaky when quitting. For severe symptoms, such as high blood pressure, tremors, seizures, and signs suggestive of delirium tremens, it is imperative to seek medical attention. To safely detox at home, it is a good idea to enlist the support of family and friends and consider taking some time off work. It is also important at this time to focus on a balanced healthy diet and stay well hydrated.

Page Sources

  1. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/moderate-binge-drinking

Published on: March 9th, 2018

Updated on: April 9th, 2020

About Author

Nena Messina, Ph.D.

Nena Messina is a specialist in drug-related domestic violence. She devoted her life to the study of the connection between crime, mental health, and substance abuse. Apart from her work as management at addiction center, Nena regularly takes part in the educational program as a lecturer.


Leave a comment

  • Dee
    I’m 48, a female going through menopause and my body is changing and freaking me out. I’m also an alcoholic since my teen years. I lost my brother tragically 6 years ago and his alcoholism contributed to his death. I didn’t handle it well and ended up hospitalized for the 3rd time in my life. I have battled addiction and depression and severe anxiety since my teenage years. AA hasn’t worked for me due to my social anxiety and PTSD due to being raped at 16 and then an 11 year relationship with an abusive boyfriend. I’m so scared. My dad is 80 and mom turning 77 tomorrow and I lost my older brother so I will soon be alone with no money or credit or healthcare. I’m religious, the only thing that keeps me from tapping outbut im scared to death of ending up homeless and alone. I promised God I would never kill myself or try to again, I’ve been grooming dogs for 30 years now, I still love it, I love my dogs but it’s getting so hard with sciatica in my back plus arthritis and arthritis in my scissoring hand and carpal tunnel also in my right hand. I struggle to continue the job I love, it’s the one area of my life I can do with confidence and I see it slipping away. Now I drink to stop both my physical and mental pain and don’t know how to stop and wonder if I can even handle getting better. I also have hep c, I’m so scared. I’m a good person, very loving and giving. I probably gave too much in my life just to the wrong people. I need some hope. My precious dog Jelly Bean was diagnosed with bone cancer last year and given 4 to 6 months, I had her blessed at my church and she’s still here, I believe God is helping her and me but I know I will lose her in the near future which also scares me. Damn, I’m sorry, I don’t want to complain after so many blessings, I just want someone to tell me I can get over my disease of addiction without Aa or being comitted as that’s not an option and it didn’t cure me the last 4 times anyways!?
    • Chrissie
      Hi Dee, I read your message tonight and I hope you’re ok. I’m praying for you and for your situation.
    • Randy Yocom
      Hang in there I know the feeling I had to quit my job April 10th and I just don’t seem to be able to find work and I’ve got osteoarthritis fibromyalgia I’ve got severe panic attacks anxiety insomnia and I’ve already had two Social Security denials
    • Doug Sheffield
      HI Dee. I just read your message while seeking some insight for my own addiction issues. I can understand how scared you are and that your message is a cry for help. So, for what its worth, here is what I know is true for me. Everyone has their issues and no one is perfect and the most important thing in overcoming emotional and physical issues in our lives is to be able to truly love ourselves. Referring to your statement “I’m a good person, very loving and giving. I probably gave too much in my life just to the wrong people.” Learn how to give that love to yourself which is easy to say but requires work, part of which is forgiveness of yourself and others. Nobody beats ourselves up better than us. And a good place to start is with Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your life. it is about the mind/body connection and how our thoughts impact on our bodies. It is a book that has really helped me. Be well.
    • Emma
      I just pray for you that no matter what you choose the right choice in the end no matter how hard it is! I pray that you find a way out of this hard time and make ends meet! God is here for you and anything is possible! Make this next half of your life the best and give yourself a great and happy life you deserve!
    • Michael
      You can will and are being healed. Please keep in mind f.e.a.r. is a venom. The words false evidence appearing real are in that word. Be thankful and know f.a.i.th. is the anti venom, full assurance in the heart. Surround yourself with gentle and pure people and this will protect your soft, big, heart as well. I am praying fervently for you my Sister!
    • Manny
      Wonderful post. I admire your sincerity which tells me that you have gone past denial and you are on your path to recovery and all you need is some guidance from people who have had your experience and found a sure path to recovery. Reading your post very carefully, you alluded to your emotions and how at some point you experienced depression and anxiety. I want you to capitalize on those low moments and how you build up your strength to climb out of those moments. To help you, think of the people who seek to manipulate you pushing you into the most vulnerable state where it is easy for them to take advantage of you in any way. Identify such people and stay away from them. Avoid them without giving them any excuses. They may be blood relatives, close friends, people of your place of worship and even people who are jealouse of you and want you to feel that you are worthless. They are robbing you of your self esteem and you seem to find a hiding in your drug of choice which may be cheap alcohol. Change your zones of influence, pray to God who sent you here for a purpose and ask him to heighten your sense of discernment so that you may use your spiritual eyes much more. Have at least a healthy lunch, be constructively busy every day and if you do not have a job, volunteer any where you may keep your skills and gifts sharpened, alive and well rehearsed and improved. Also read some good books and I will be praying for you. Your solution is right there in front of your eyes. You can quit drinking with the same strength that motivated you to post what I read. You are a miracle in the making. God loves you and do not throw your precious life away by too much drinking and slow suicidal tendencies. You are a child of God. God bless you.
  • Mandy
    I have tried many times to give up drinking.,even though over the years it has got me in some difficult situations.I am 63 years old and my drinking began after my parents split up.I was brought up by my dad bless him but he was not sure what to do with a rebellious teenage daughter.Luckily I never got into any sort of trouble but drinking has affected my life.I think nothing of it to drink a bottle of wine a night.I desperately want to stop but I do not feel comfortable going to AA as I live in a very small town.I have decided today’s the day to stop.Has anyone got any tips on how to succeed.Thankyou
    • mantra
      all you need is love, its all in the MANTRA.
    • Mike
      I’m 63 as well and since my divorce 6 years ago I’ve become addicted to alcohol. I’m quitting today. While my kids are grown, what better day to quit. Think of alcohol as a poison, because it is. I quit smoking 25 years ago and tobacco is considered more addictive than alcohol. I was motivated to quit smoking for health reasons. Think about alcohol the same way. When I first divorced i quit for 2 months and never felt better. Just understand that you feel stress and anxiety but that’s a normal part of how your body tells you something is wrong and alcohol just hides that feeling temporarily but it doesn’t solve anything. Just go one week and see how good it feels!
  • Deborah
    AA has a lot to offer when it comes to having steps and structure to stop. Does that mean you have to go? No but read the big book and try putting the steps into your life that fits you. It’s scary but the alternative is worst. I know. I was in AA for years and started drinking again. Not that AA doesn’t work, it does. Just isn’t what I want. My body is done but the brain isn’t. I chose everyday, just that day, to tell the brain to take a freaking vacation from drinking so the body can recover? Sounds stupid but you find what works one day, one minute, or one second at a time for you. Even if you drink just keep trying every day.
  • Ann
    Hello, my name is Ann and I Drink 2 bottles a night I tell Myself that it helps me sleep. And it does but if I don’t drink I can’t sleep. I know I should stop but I can’t. I can go a day without it. But the thought of not having it or having it in the house freaks me out if it’s here and I don’t want to drink I am ok because I know it in my house. My husband hates it and I told him I would try to quit but I can’t get it out of my mind. I am 49 and a mamaw of 2 and a new one on the way and I know my son hates it to. I just wish I could walk away from it .
    • Heather Waites
      I can relate to you. We are the same age and I am also a mother. It’s hard because many times I have decided to quit and then I see people drinking in a movie or show and think “See, it’s totally normal. What’s the issue?” I’m not at the stage where I skip workouts or miss appointments. I guess I’m a “high functioning alcoholic” but my kids hate the smell of wine and beer and I am ashamed of myself because I drink every night.
      • Carol
        I am 62 and have been what you call a high functioning alcoholic. I have been drinking since I was 14. It used to be only on weekends but when I retired in 1998 I didn’t have to get up to go to a job, (I worked part time from home) I found I would have a drink every night to unwind and then it became, I would drink pretty much till I passed out wither every night or every other. My husband quit drinking 15 years ago because I told him I couldn’t cause he drank. so there went that excuse. I didn’t want to change my way of life, going out on weekends with friends to the bar listening to bands drinking and dancing. I guess I am surprised he never left me, but on the other hand I functioned very well. I worked part time, do all the housework, cooking, cleaning, his business books, I eat right, exercise, take care of my 95 year old mom living with me. So am I an alcoholic? My husband would be after me and say things about my drinking all the time. We don’t do anything with friends anymore, he says cause I embarrass him. I have not had a good relationship with my husband since he quit and I think we have had problems long before that which feeds my drinking. It’s an escape for me. I finally cracked up his “forever” car,. 2006 Mercedes on the way home from a girl party and was so lucky I didn’t get hurt or busted for drunk driving. It was an awakening for me. I quit immediately. I have had a drink or two a few times since then.(3 months ago) I haven’t enlisted going to AA or a therapist but keep telling myself I need to. I have read things online and started a book about living sober. The hardest thing for me is I feel like nothing is as fun without it. I had tried quitting before but was never really serious about it. My husband was going to leave me this time and I think that has helped me decide to quit. I don’t want to start all over at this point in my life, but we still need help and he refuses to do therapy. I use this as a reason to drink for sure. So anyway I did make a call to start going to one myself. I don’t think I have a bad life. I am fairly healthy, have 2 grown boys and 1 grand daughter who I love dearly. I am pretty set money wise for retirement. Your stories here make me think I want to try to help others as a way of fulfilling my life without alcohol cause sometimes I still want to and think I can just be a social drinker and then sometimes I don’t think I can. Thank you for listening, any responses would be welcomed.
        • Patti
          I enjoyed your post. I feel the same as you about a lot of things. How are things going for you now?
    • Deependra
      Dont do like that
      • Tom
        I am 65 years old and have been drinking heavily since the age of 20. Currently I drink over 40 beers a week. My life is good, with a great wife, children and grandchildren. I am well known in the community so AA is very unappealing to me. My attempts to stop drinking have been unsuccessful. I am frustrated and feel like crap. Am I lost cause? Tom
    • KatyB
      I’n Exactly the same as yourself. I say to myself every morning that ‘tonight’ I won’t drink but by 5 o’clock when I’m feeling better, I panic if there is no alcohol in the house and end up buying. It has built up to be a nightly occurrence and I’ve got it into my head I can’t sleep without it. I’m 52 and just coming through menopause.
  • Luke
    You seem like a good person and you must be very stong to go through so many difficult times and yet remain positive. I am not one to say if alcoholism can be overcome, as i am struggling myself, but I do believe it is possible. I know God will be watching over you and helping you to find the right path for the rest of your life. Just remember you deserve good. God Bless you.
    • m.e.malarcher
      AA has saved a lot of people for their personal needs. I know it is NOT the answer to help everyone to have a life without alcohol. I have dealt with drinking since 1978 on a “treatment level.” What I learned over the years is that most people suffer from an emotional disorder complicated by a chemically addictive substance. Even AA says that drinking is a result but only focuses on trying to stop the “result.” Drugs I have learned are a bit different when it comes to addition. I have known some who used a lot of drugs in their early age then just gave d it up. Than I knew a few that only used once and could not stop. What I focused on and was lucky enough to accomplish is doing productive and fulfilling things that are apart of my passions and interest that I live with others. The key is life with others doing what fulfilled my need for purpose. AND I was given the right meds for my emotional problems and made sure I regular saw a therapist. Which is no small endeavor because more than half are a catalysis for suicide. Emotional issues should never be handled on one’s own. The first challenge is finding a good doctor and therapist which I know is extremely hard to find. I found this sight because I spent the last 6 years taking care of my mom. I knew it would bring me to my knees but I took a chance that I had enough in me to go back how I was living 10 years before. Which I am dealing with now. All of this is just another option for you or anyone.
  • Steve
    Alcohol is terrible. I wish someone warned me.
  • sharon
    I think that what we have to do is taper down slowly in order to quit. Don’t want those nasty side effects when you quit cold turkey.
    • Katie
      I got very sick when I was detoxing. The withdrawals were horrible. I almost went to the ER it was so bad. I ended up calling a mobile IV service to come pump me up with fluids and vitamins. It helped a lot but I couldn’t sleep at all that night and was hallucinating. It was horrible. I started drinking since then and want to stop so bad. I will have to go to a detox center the next time so I’m with a medical professional.
    • Maria Cassandra
      Is tapering a good idea is u want to eliminate withdrawal symotoms. Heavy drinking in the last year
    • Nancy
      That worked for me. I use to drink hard liquor. Switched to beer a few years ago. Went down to one bud light a night. Stopped the beer three weeks ago. Have had trouble with insomnia since I stopped the hard liquor. I still have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep.Thought maybe stopping completely would help the insomnia. I will never start drinking again, but wish the sleep pattern would change.
  • Jay
    I suffer from anxiety and insomnia. I literally chug a full bottle of wine (no liquor, no beer) in 2 minutes…. personal best of 30 seconds…. this has only gone on for a few months or so. I’m not religious so AA turns me off. I just want to quit. It’s becoming a problem. Anyone else with this issue please reply to me. Maybe we can rely on each other.
    • Heather
      I can relate. I can’t drink hard liquor of any kind but I seem to be able to drink a high volume of beer or wine. It’s horrible. I only drink at night, but life without being buzzed at the end of the day seems so BORING and HARSH. My life has been on the harsh side for many years now and I recognize that drinking gives me a kind of mini vacation each night.
      • Steve
        Exactly how I am. I only drink at night and never leave home. I didn’t drink for a few days back in March and I felt so much better. Not groggy in the morning. Waking up on time. I’m a type 2 diabetic and my glucose readings were great those 4 days. But it only lasted 4 days (it was surprisingly easy too). I need to quit. I want to quit. I’m tired of it. There’s nothing good about alcohol. There’s a saying; “Go to one AA meeting and you’ll hear your story.” I went to AA meetings every day for a month straight several years ago. It did nothing for me and I never liked speaking. My family has a long line of alcoholics. I grew up around it. And unfortunately I have a very addictive personality.
        • Peggy
          Hi Steve, I have also gone without a drink for a week. I’ve done this twice. I had no withdrawals and felt so proud and happy. I don’t know why I start drinking again, but I do. I have a liver disease, and I still drink despite it. I lie to my doctor about how much I drink. I am ashamed. I have decided to take one day at a time and see how I do. Wish me luck.
        • David
          Hi Heather.that is so me night only.7 till 9 every day two hours of happiness
      • Katie
        I feel the same way! I only drink at night. I feel it’s the only time I’m not stressed. Like you said mini vacation.
      • Susan
        Exactly my situation, Heather. I’ve never been in any trouble, had an accident, missed work or other activities I enjoy and only drink at night, but it’s every night and I can pretty much drink an entire bottle of wine. I’m not happy in my marriage and it offers an escape.
        • Carol
          Never really thought of it that way, but that is totally my situation Susan.
      • Ed
        Heather and others, it’s helpful to hear your stories to try to understand my own. Here goes. I’m over 50 and have 40 years of beer drinking which I have enjoyed and still do. It starts as social drinking each day but progresses to drinking maybe a 6’er alone at home later. I don’t really get drunk since it’s like 1 beer an hour. Yes it keeps me up late and is a mini-vacation, which I totally deserve. And it has begun to cut into my normal life lately, like missing exercise and sleeping late on gorgeous weekends. So I’m concerned enough to explore the issue on the internet today. I quit once for a few months and found it was easy for me (club soda with lime instead, save lots of $$), if properly motivated. I was motivated back then due to my failing relationship (didn’t work), but I’m not motivated anymore. Yet. AA was ok for me – I thought they were really nice folks – but I don’t want to go and share because I think I would be a bad influence on them. I like drinking and still do it, but I am getting concerned about the trend. I’m not one to post online (prefer to read others) but this seemed important. Take care of yourself, I guess. I’ll do the same. Cheers.
      • Patti
        That’s exactly how it is for me. A mini vacation each night, an escape. How are you now?
    • Liz
      Hey Jay. I have similar issues. Would you like to fight this battle together?
    • Lisa
      Feeling the same, here if you still want a friend.
      • Raul Garza
        I myself have now realized that I have a problem drinking I can’t at night it’s affecting my work and costing a lot of money I tried to stop but withdraws were really bad I kept sweating and shaking. I’m going to try to stop again and hopefully with some help from God and reading these stories I I’m going to try to stop. It’s not going to be easy. But tell myself that is has to better then how my life is now
  • Tanya
    I have been an alcoholic for 10 years now. I’m finally starting to admit that it’s a problem. My son is 15 and has been complaining about my addiction lately. I have to quit for him. I’m just really scared of the side effects. I don’t want to go to AA, I want to quit on my own. Any tips?? Much appreciated
    • Bebe
      I have heard of Vivitrol, a medication used to help quit drinking, has been successful with alcoholism. I’m waiting to get my health insurance so I can get it. I hope this helps anyone else out there.
      • Carol
        did it work?
    • Colin Livermore
      Life without alcohol is so much better:after a dry month my whole outlook has changed for the better and abstention is all I’ve done.Just try quitting for a month from now,Tanya.
      • Peggy
        Hi Colin,. My name is Peggy and I’m an alcoholic. This is the first time I have ever written this down. I am 61 and will be married 40 years this June. If a person saw me they would never think that I drink so much. I am a Personal Trainer and have a lot of clients. In the past few years I am slowly losing interest in fitness. I’ve gained weight and feel ashamed. When I’m home in the evening I always have a glass of wine or a beer in my hand. On weekends I sleep late. I still love to cook and feed people, but I’ve gotten lazy about my housework. I was diagnosed with a liver disease a few years ago. I lie to my doctor about how much alcohol I consume per week. Despite the fact that I have liver problems, my lab reports are now normal because of my meds. Because of that, I have continued to drink. For the last 3 weeks I’ve gone to work with a hangover. That’s a first. I had 2 glasses of whiskey last night and didn’t feel well this morning. Duh. I am so sick of this. I have gone without alcohol several times. I would stay off for about a week. I felt proud. I drank flavored water. It was easy and I felt proud. I don’t know why I start up again. I have a supportive husband and I have admitted to him about my battle., but I drink in front of him and he doesn’t say anything about it. He doesn’t drink a lot now, but has in the past and I think he feels like he has no right to judge me. I have decided to take one day at a time without alcohol. I will take one day at a time to work on my fitness. These hangover Monday’s are an eye opener.
    • Natasha
      Tanya, do you want to fight it with me? Natasha. Have the same problems but my daughter is 9, hopefully she will not be ashamed of me 🙁
  • Doug
    I tried cutting back in 2018, did dry January in 2019 and promised myself I would stay within the safe drinking guidelines from then on. That didn’t quite work as I planned and I got back up to 3 or 4 a night and day drinking on weekends. I decided it was time to just quit for good yesterday. I have much better things to do with my time, my money and my life. Dry January was a great trial run so I know I can do it and I know I will feel better for it.
  • Taylor
    Mom of two here, I have severe anxiety and use alcohol to self medicate to sleep. In the last 7 years since my son has been born it’s been hard. I never drank in college or anything. As soon as my kids were born and I started to sooth myself at night and have a glass. When one turned to two and two to three or more I knew there was an issue. I’ve gained weight because it’s right at night before bed and my eating habits aren’t the greatest. I miss my life before I turned to alcohol for sleep / a relief of depression/anxiety. I’m trying to fix the problem before it becomes a “day thing” instead of just a “night thing”
  • Catherine Kenney
    AA is non religious. It helped support me. People will make suggestions to you but just follow your heart to what feels right. Just for one day, try not to drink and try a meeting, try different kinds of meetings.
  • Peter
    I am an alcoholic. I have been drinking daily for 20 years. I am currently drinking 2 bottles of wine a day, sometimes a few beers after that. Starting today will make a concerted effort to taper off – doctor’s advice. Suggestions will be appreciated.
    • Maria
      Im in same situation, is tapering the best way to quit. Frankly fearing the withdrawal symptoms is making more anxious
    • Mitzi
      Tapering is challenging. By brain just told me to drink more! But it’s worth a try. Under (slightly) the influence, I suffered 3rd degree burns. Was detoxed in hospital, safely. Mind you, I don’t recommend it as a way of getting a detox! 8days in hospital, and skin grafts. Still sore, and driven to drink cos sorry for myself. Have sought further help from GP. Naltrexone? For when I weaken?
  • Rosseta
    My child is starting to drink and she’s turning 13 this year…..what do I do with helping without her or me getting in trouble with the law?
  • Kate
    I am a mom of 2. Started drinking in my teens. to fit in. to rebel. when pregnant with my kids i had no problem with not drinking. but otherwise i know i drink an unhealthy amount for a long time. Started out with just beer. When a 12 pack became not enough i started doing shots of anything, whiskey, rum and drinking beer to get a buzz. it’s made me lose jobs, relationships with family, and now that my kids are older they’re expressing how much they hate my drinking. If not for myself I need to quit for them. The only days I don’t drink is if I’m too hungover to consider it. As ready as I am to quit I am scared of withdrawal symptoms. My anxiety is very bad. It’s not an option for any inpatient treatment. And I dont feel comfortable going to a meeting or support group. Has anyone ever successfully quit on their own? And how did you handle the withdrawls?
    • Jose
      I also scared of withdrawal. I live alone and don’t want to die.
  • Peter
    kate, quitting doesn’t necessarily mean withdrawals. I had a friend who was a heavy drinker for years and he quit without symptoms. my doctor told me to taper off by 1 drink a day until I get to 2. then stay at 2 for a week, go to 1 for a week then stop. he said this will avoid any symptoms.
  • Louis
    Hi my name is Louis I been drinking alcohol and abusing substances since I’m 15. Through out the years it lead me to party hard and do all sorts of drugs that later lead to depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. I can go a week without drinking and all the sudden one day I get extremely wasted and violent. Yesterday afternoon after happy hour with my girlfriend and partner I got mad (don’t remember why) I went off and screamed and verbally abused her. I went home destroyed the tv her phone our surfboards. This is the second tv I break and 4 th time I black out and destroy everything around. I have decided to stop drinking today I’m 35 yrs old I have hurt the person I love the most in my life and I don’t think she will ever want to fix things and work things out. We had big plans my 2 toodlers spend a lot of time with her since they stay over she’s an amazing step mother and amazing person that deserves the best.
  • Cristal
    I started drinking heavily about 2 years ago and now although I I can’t seem to stop no matter how hard I try. It started with a nasty riding accident. Tore ligament in my ankle and cracked 3 ribs.. Bedridden for two weeks. Had to crawl across the floor to get to the bathroom and had no food in the house. Had moved to a new town and didn’t know anyone had started making friends. I told them what happened and the condition I was in. I asked for help. No one came to see me or bring me food etc. I became pretty depressed and after that I lost interest in making so called “friends”. After 2 months I was able to hobble around to go the grocery market and started picking up wine. After 6 months I finally started getting better and could start working out again. Then I pulled my achilles tendon and groin. Was alone and back in bed again. Once I was able to get myself to the store I began buying more wine than food. I didn’t drink to get high. It kept the lonelyness at bay. Alcohol became a close friend. Yes Ive tried getting out and meeting people but they are too busy with work and family. A job would help but my injuries took me out for nearly a year. I haven’t been able to get a job even though I’ve been trying to get one. Anything. I’ll stock shelves I don’t care. I’ll be a cashier. I keep getting told Im over qualified. I live alone. I wish I had a dog. Horses and dogs have always been in my life. When I was looking at apartments none of them allowed dogs, iIve offered to volunteer at animal but no one calls me back. I tried living in a shared houses but people either robbed me blind or would into their bedrooms and shut the door. I’ve tried to get back to riding but the stables that offer lessons don’t have school horses. I need to stop drinking so much. I know I need to stop or things will only get worse. Like liver failure or some kind of cancer. But still It feels like Im cursed and have given up trying. It doesn’t seem to do any good. So now I just drink more and more. Im up to a bottle of wine a day. I started about 4 pm because night will be coming soon and I will be by myself in an empty house. Now days it seems like people don’t know how to have real friendships means. They know how to keep their noses buried in their cell phones though. And they know now to live on facebook with their 275 “friends”. I decided to finish my degree in psychology through an online university. I was getting straight A’s. But the lonelyness is crushing. Im losing my motivation and stopped caring. Drinking isn’t ruining my life. Life is ruining my life. This isn’t a pity party. I don’t feel sorry for myself. I keep telling myself things will get better. They don’t. You know the saying “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and getting the same result”. I must be insane. The only reason I want to stop is because I’d like to look in the mirror and not think “Your pathetic” Has anyone been where I am? Do people at do more than just meet at AA meetings? Do they know how to build and maintain real friend relationships? Has anyone out there there made true friendships through AA? Im reaching out to know how one gets through this from someone who has actually been where I am now.
    • Lisa
      Aa is a good community where you can make real friends. I think it’s worth a shot. All kinds go and if you are open they most likely will be too.
    • Kitty
      Yes I have made true friends in AA. I am happy I found a great group to belong too.
    • Alexandra
      Crystal…your comment made me cry…had I been your colleague back then when you had the accident, I would have definitely helped you and kept you company. Feel free to write to me when you feel lonely…I think we live in different continents but let me tell you that I now exactly how you feel! I hope you are feeling better…we can fight this together! please feel hugged…
    • Patti
      I could have written your post. How are you now?
  • Stephanie
    I’m glad to be able to read everyone’s comments(though I’m sorry other people are going through this). I feel less alone now at least. I have been drinking a lot more lately to help with stress…however I end up just getting more upset about things in my life when I drink, so it is not helping. I’m going to do my best to quit today. I’ve tried so many times so it seems impossible. I’ve hit my rock bottom though, so am hoping that’ll be the push I need. Also, I’m so tired of having a hangover on a daily basis.
  • Kristin
    I’m a 30 year old Alcoholic female. It started 2 years ago after my first and only pregnancy ended in a septic miscarriage at 16 weeks. Up until the last week, my pregnancy was going great. During my 15th week of pregnancy I sustained an infection which had quickly spread throughout my whole body. My blood had become contaminated with bacteria and my water had broke. The hospital I went to for help denied I was miscarrying and sent me home. They assured me that I was going to be ok and I was just being a nervous first time mother. I ended up passing my baby 2 days later into the toilet. the hospital knew I was septic during that time but didn’t seem to care. I had a D&C done a few days later to remove placental remains which caused me to go into septic shock and respiratory failure. I had severe hemorrhaging and my blood wouldn’t coagulate. I lost 80% of my blood before the doctors could stop the bleeding. I needed a blood transfusion and woke up on a ventilator because I couldn’t breath on my own. A couple weeks later I began bleeding out again and needed an emergency hysterectomy. This was my only experience of being pregnant and the closest experience I’ll ever have of being a mother. I had contacted several lawyers who said that there was no malpractice. My 2 year statute of limitations ended in January and I’ve been spiraling out of control since then. I don’t have access to mental treatment so been using vodka to self medicate. It’s gotten bad, I drink up to a liter of vodka a day and my body goes through severe withdraw within a few hours of not consuming alcohol. I’m very scared and don’t know where to turn. I fear I’m going to end up dying if I don’t get help soon. I’ve recently quit my job due to depression and anxiety and end up sleeping all day with a bottle of vodka on my side. I finally reached out to a good friend of mine who is going to help me get the help I need. Wish me luck! I’m right there with all of y’all <3
    • Kitty
      Please take the help from your friend. Vodka is the devils drink it’s the worst!! I know that was my poison and it almost killed me.
    • Patti
      Read your post today. I feel bad for you. How are you doing?
  • Jon galloway
    Hi I’m Jon. I am struggling to stay sober. I am a binge drinker- the hard stuff. I go a week sometimes two without drinking, but will find a reason to drink a pint a night for 2-3 days- feel like manure and swear drinking off again. It is having negative impact on my marriage. My wife has not drunk anything in a couple of years. I have wrecked 2 vehicles in the past 1.5 years getting a DWI.09- in first wreck. I am reaching out in hopes of finding an outlet. AA is great, but live in rural unpopulated area with few meetings. I hope this will help me and others will come here agsin
  • Susan
    After waking up hungover and not remembering much of what happened last night, I want more than anything to stop drinking. It’s been going on for years. I hide it from absolutely everyone, including my husband who has no idea how much I drink. I’m ashamed, I’m embarrassed, I’m so mad at myself. I drink every night and although I don’t start until “happy hour”, I think about alcohol constantly. I hate the hold it has on me. I have survived the loss of my daughter – I am strong. Why can’t I beat this dam addiction???
    • Mima
      I do believe all people who are writing here are Good people, it’s just the problems we had in the past or now and I m the same way! I’m so tired of it! Most otthe time when I drink I start arguing with people and I think I’m always right!!!! No!!!! We can stop friends!!!! YES WE CAN!!!! We need Love and the right people who we can talk to! Not someone who will say: OMG it’s terrible, and not someone who will judge!!!! Love to all!!!!
  • Amanda
    I started drinking every night 4 years ago. I used to only drink socially on weekends. I moved to a small town for work, just myself and my daughter. No other family around. After my girl goes to bed I pull out a bottle. Whiskey is my choice. I drink to help me sleep and out of boredom. I like the buzz I get. I can drink a 40 in 2 days. I’m getting tired of it, I am drinking more and more just to get that buzz. Withdrawal freaks me out. I’m a high functioning alcoholic, I dont want to stop drinking, I just want to be able to restrict my drinking to the weekends because I’m worried about my health. I’m finding that marijuana helps, but it hasn’t curbed my drinking. Reading all of these comments helped. Good luck to all of you.
  • Nadia
    Hi. I found this page after another morning of waking up hungover. I am soon to be 51, and am tired of saying to myself only I’m an alcoholic and I need to stop drinking. If there is a day I don’t have a beer, I feel wonderful the next day, and keep asking myself why I don’t like to feel good? Maybe I don’t know how to? When I grab a beer, I swear it’ll be just one, that turns into 2, 4 or 6…or more. I’m tired of feeling crappy, I’m tired of the laziness and overweight it causes. I’m tired of being a disappointment to my family, none of whom drink. I’m hoping I can quit once and for all, before I’m quitting by dying due to disease brought on by this addiction. Please pray for me if anyone reading this believes in prayer. I don’t have time for AA, and I don’t have the money for other treatments.
    • Kat
      Hi Nadia. This is so similar to what I was going to write that I thought it better to reply to your post. The only difference is that almost everyone around me drinks. Monday I was not going to drink anything. Then my husband had a beer so I had one while we were gardening. Then many drinks later, well I think I lost about an hour before bed. Then had trouble sleeping. I haven’t had a drink since then. Last night, Friday, was not as difficult as I expected it to be. But now I have to get through the rest of the holiday weekend including a neighborhood party tomorrow. My tricks so far – don’t have it in the house, keep a drink with me always such as sparkling flavored water, brush my teeth right after dinner. I need to add to this list because these things don’t always work! Will keep everyone in my thoughts as we all work through this.
      • Kat
        I made it through the weekend! Got through a party without drinking any of the adult beverages available. I made sure to always have my drink with me so every time something was offered I could just say that I already had a drink. Weekdays are usually easier for me so I don’t have to much temptation until the weekend.
        • Char
          Good to hear. I’m waking up with a hangover and I’m missing work because of it. It’s happening more and more often and it’s scaring the s**t out of me. I need to stop drinking. My boyfriend does too but I can’t make him. So I need to do it on my own. Today’s day one for me
    • adrian morris
      hi nadia, try recording your abstinence with a diary. your goals, number of days without, things that make you feel good. thank yourself for being alive. im on day 23 and it works for me. addition can be beaten. I suffer from a mental health issue that comes in highs and lows, which can be tricky to manage, but try recording It helped me.
  • Steve
    What is the best way to taper down? How long should it take?
  • Damian Lopez
    I’m sorry to hear so many folks out there are suffering so damn much. Why do these companies keep making more and more of their toxin? $$$ over human lives it seems. I’m also going through a tough addiction to alcohol. I wish every person who left comments the best. I wish and pray for your deliverance. I will be ok.
  • Stephen
    Hello, Caught in the same trap. Drinking way too much, making a spectacle of myself, embarrassing my family etc. etc. Keep saying never again on Mondays, but by midweek, start rationalizing about it. Pretty sure something bad is going to happen as a result.
  • Patti Howell
    Ok, like all of you, I am on here because I WANT TO STOP. I am hoping that by posting this that it will give me the strength to quit. Wish me luck, tonight is going to be my first night of my journey to no more alcohol as my security blanket to sleep.
  • Susan Kaye Elkins
    I think AA would be a good thing to try, Cristal. It is a warm, welcoming fellowship of people all walking down their own difficult paths in life.
  • Kawino
    I am 43 I quit drinking coz it has taken toll on me and my family l lost social connections with even people we share a lot since childhood I felt I isolated but my wife always told me I decided to Isolate myself I now seen sense in that . I lied to my doctors and even counselor. I have been prayed for several times took. This time I decided on my own I am going to meet my counselor tomorrow and my doctors on 11th and I will just tell them that. My priest the am active member of our parish council . What am asking is that can I have daily monitoring form that can help me record my progres I would like to be doing this for at least one year. My wife will help me do this as I journey on. I ask if available please send me this form. I will send my wife e mail for her to be contacted want win my life and health back. Please let me know you can copy your reply to my e mail so I can send my wife mail. I was just going through the internet which I now do daily for at least an hour to find where to get strength this time. And that’s when I got your site read most of the people here and your comments. Help me in this journey when I get the forms I will ask my wife to send feedback every month for your comments and advice. Am living in Canada. THANKS
  • Laura
    Yes this is me exactly. I’ve been drinking for years. I am 54 years old and work for NYS. Lost my partner of 28 years last April and only went three to five days since without a drink. I am lonely and have great friends and family but drink to forget everything. We never had children and both drank. He had hep C and beat it but continued to have health issues. He passed at 63 which is way too young. I feel exactly like all of you do. I want to quit drinking and stop for a day and then I go right back. I go to work and pay my bills but on the weekends, there are days I wake up and drink. I know that it is wrong, but I just can’t face being alone anymore. Please say a prayer for me as well. I know I need help.
  • Cindy
    It’s so difficult to read so many stories that sound so similar to mine- but I feel so much less alone. I’m a 42 and have drank heavily for at least 15 years. Only time I’ve stopped was during my 2 pregnancies. I drink almost daily. I rush through my obligations (work-housework- dinner- homework help) so that I can drink without guilt. I “chug” whatever I’m drinking so I feel it right away…there is no “sipping wine”.I often wake to find my husband angry with me and I have no idea what happened the night before to cause it. I’m sick of worrying about my health. A few weeks ago I drove myself to the E.R. with immense abdominal pain. Tests were run. While waiting for results a woman was placed next to me. She was in her 60s or 70s and I heard her story. She was in liver failure from daily drinking. Had jaundice and goes to the ER weekly to just be told that there is nothing they can do for her. I don’t want to become her! Strange thing was…all my results came back “normal” except for a fatty liver on the CT scan. I feel this was no coincidence that I was placed next to this woman. I need to stop drinking for myself and my babies. I’ve been without a drink for 6 days now and it’s all I can think about. Good luck to you all. Dig deep- you’re worth it.
    • Kim
      I have a liver that hurts and cantstopdrinking I am going to try tomorrow I’m doing it cold turkey so need any advice I’m slowly killing myself with alcohol
  • Taniya
    I am 46 and have been drinking daily for the last 25 years give and take. I was able to stop while pregnant with my child but started again when stopped nursing. I feel like I still have some control since I was able to stop drinking 2 or 3 times for a couple of months, but then it starts again. My husband also relieves the stress with a drink or two, or three…I cannot say that something, in particular, leads me there. I have a wonderful, loving, supportive partner, a good job, nothing to complain about, and this is the scary part. I.just.need.to.drink. No excuse, just a pure thirst for more and more beer, no heavy stuff for the time being. But the hangover almost every morning makes me feel like crap. I am still capable of hiding it from my colleagues, but it is not the point. My son will remember me with a beer can or a glass of wine in my hand. He already made some comments about my not so healthy habits. I feel trapped.
  • Clark
    The alcohol problem is a universal one, not personal, which is the God’s honest truth. We are facing a crisis of spirit. Alcohol needs to go the way of cigarettes. This is a battle that we can win, together. Alcohol is just as unnecessary as tobacco for human life. It is an extremely addictive substance and does not discriminate against who it destroys. We need to be strong and fight together, and never doubt our strength. I believe we are at a turning point in our evolution, and booze should be left behind, there’s no room for it in the future. In other words, there is nothing to miss. Except poisoning yourself. The majority of our society is addicted to this poison, and it is a mass insanity. Alcohol is the only drug that you have to explain why you DON’T take it. If you said you quit shooting up heroine, or snorting cocaine, the whole world would rejoice for you. But if you stop drinking you are immediately stigmatized. Why? Because most people drink, and deep down they know they don’t need to. So if someone quits, it holds up a mirror to their own insane behavior. It’s crazy to me hearing people that want to cut back. You want to cut back on poisoning yourself? You only want to poison yourself just a little? Booze is an addictive substance and can drown anyone. Just like anyone can get hooked on cigarettes. We need to stop beating ourselves up and realize the strength we have as humans is far greater than methanol, which is identical to what’s in your drink. That’s right, the same stuff you put in your car is the same stuff people are drinking to compliment their dinner. Basically, what I’m saying is that none of us are weak for becoming addicted. It happens with TV, internet, cigarettes, sugar, sex, etc. . . I am in the midst of another attempt at sobriety and I feel great. I may make it, I may not. But I know I will not stop trying, and that being sober isn’t weird, drinking poison is. I was drinking every night and passing out so hard I would wet the bed, wake up soaking wet, with a throbbing headache, curse myself all day, and then start over again at night. I might go back to that, and if I do, I’m not going to beat myself up over it, because my Dad gave me a beer when I was 13, and THAT’S what started all of this! Not me being weak or stupid, just the simple consumption of an addictive substance, initiating the spiral of addiction. I quit cigarettes cold turkey after being a chain smoker for 12 years. Why has it been so easy for people to quit smoking in recent years? Because society finally recognized that it was poison and so made it increasingly inconvenient to be a smoker. In fact, smoking is considered anti-social now. We haven’t gotten there with alcohol yet, but we better, because no one needs it. We need each other. We need to put our phones and bottles down, and look at each other, and remember what’s really good about being alive.
    • Kat
      Hey Clark! Well stated. My story is way too long to post. I wholeheartedly agree with the stigmatization that alcohol addiction garners, versus other drugs. I hate relying on any drug (including alcohol). It’s not easy dealing with this disease. Sympathy is not easy to come by. Individuals without this infliction simply say stop drinking or cut back. As I’m sure you already know, it changes your brain chemistry and functioning. It is awful! The cigarette analogy is spot on. Unfortunately, the the industry has seriously deep pockets. Big tobacco did as well, so we can only hope for change in the future. I wish you you, and everyone struggling great success!
    • Carolyn
      Clark, I think your comments are spot-on. The alcohol industry says “drink responsibly”. Hello! It is addictive! They count on that! Then on all the media, movies, TV, in books, EVERYWHERE, people drink to supposedly relax and/or have a good time. It has gotten so that practically nobody contemplates a get-together without thinking about what booze to offer. Thank you for saying the blame is not only ours. Drinking is pervasive in our society and the attitude is that you are a loser if you cannot control it. But I have a feeling that there are a lot more people who drink in secret than we can even imagine. I have been drinking too much for almost 50 years. I get good checkups at the doctors’ offices, but feel like there has to be a time bomb ticking inside me. It scares me. I am embarrassed, ashamed, and tired of being tired. But I will never go to AA. I hope that reading stories on this site will give me strength. My grandfather, aunt and mother all stopped drinking completely without any help. I hope I have their strength. Thanks again so much for your comments.
    • Sheryl
      Please do not despair. There is hope. Don’t give up. I’m 63, been drinking regularly for over 20 years, daily for at least 2 years. We all have different levels of dependence. I drink about 3 glasses of wine in the evening; I think because I see it as relaxing but sometimes just out of habit. This might not seem huge to some but I still can’t seem to kick the habit. I tried something last night. I didn’t drink and knowing I might have trouble sleeping; I took some CBD oil. It helped and for once in a long while I didn’t feel hung over the next day. It seemed to help with anxiety leading up to sleep also. For those of you who have such bad withdrawal symptoms; try to reduce gradually. You are putting your body in shock. Also, I am a Christian who knows of Gods love. I am still working on this but God is helping me. You’re never totally alone. I am praying for us all.
  • Erin
    I’m an alcoholic, too, and have been trying to quit. I started drinking in high school and continued to drink A LOT throughout college to self-medicate for social phobia. After a while, I found that I couldn’t have a good time without drinking. Until my husband died suddenly at 49 a few years ago, though, I just considered myself a social drinker who drank more than most people at parties. Now, I start drinking as soon as work ends and occasionally even sneak a mini-bottle or two at work. My (adult) children have confronted me about the problem, and I feel like a horrible role model, but I still can’t seem to stop. I went to a few AA meetings, and they helped, but then I got too busy (or that’s what I told myself), but I plan to go back. What I’ve noticed in the posts here is that a lot of people self-medicate for psychological problems. I’ve been on antidepressants (SSRIs) for years, and they help a lot with anxiety and helped me cut way down on my drinking for years (until my husband died). Some of you may want to talk to a doctor about antidepressants; they’re not addictive.
  • Paul
    Look at us!! Why? How? It’s a slippery slope! I want to go back to the way I was before alcohol!
  • Jeff Balderrama
    I am a 37 year old male and trying to deal with alcohol abuse and drugs for many years has been a struggle. It’s been hard on me and my husband for years. I’ve put him through so much heartbreak for many years dealing with my alcohol abuse and drug addiction that I wish I could take back. I’m so thankful he’s still here by my side because I don’t know where I would be without him. Too many years has gone by to realize I have a problem and I am an addict and it’s way past time to finally do something about it and seek help. I just can’t keep going through life like this. Today Im admitting I am an addict and it’s time to change my life for good. I know it’s going to be a long road and a struggle ahead and I’m ready to accept this challenge in my life to make it better for me and my husband. Prayers and support for me as of today will be my first day to live an alcohol and drug free life.
  • Tina
    Hi there. , I need help I am 62 and i binge drink then have black outs , I can never remember what I have done .The most awful thing is I verbally and physically abuse my husband . He is a good kind man who has always looked after me and our family but now if I don’t stop drinking I will lose him and our family . Please help .
  • Stacey
    I’m 25 years old and just came to terms that I’m an alcoholic the other night. My husband had tried to say things but of course I ignored them. I have been binge drinking everyday for the last at least 5-6 months. Like fifths in a couple of days as well as beer. I also suffer from anxiety and have been trying to slow it down the past two days. I’ve had bad insomnia and am afraid of anything bad happening to me. I wish it was easy to just stop and go back to normal, that’s all I want. Anyone else dealt with this?
  • no name
    I am sorry for our pain I am sorry for our hurting I am sorry for our fear I am sorry for us Take hope in love Love of one self Love of life love of each other Love of thee I was once in your shoes And I am still wearing the shoes Hold my hand and take a step with me Squeeze my hand cause I cannot move my feet Don’t cry cause I have not given up Take a step with me until we reach our goal First crawl then walk then run from alcohol
  • Peter
    Stacey you’re too young for your problem to be that serious. 5 or 6 months is not that long. Nip it in the bud now before a decade goes by. Do whatever it takes – support group, one on one with a counselor, get a hobby, speak to friends, family, etc. Before you take a drink, go out for a long run. I wish you the best.
  • Shanda
    Hi guys, it’s 7am and I woke up saying to myself I want to stop drinking and found myself here with you guys. Although I hate to hear all these stories of addiction, it is comforting to see that I’m not alone. I’m also a night drinker. Somehow I’ve made myself believe that it’s not as bad because I don’t drink earlier in the day but it’s not. I drink 2-3 cocktails everyday between 5pm-10pm and have been doing it for years. I want to stop. Unlike some of you, unfortunately it has affected my work. I slowly cut back on my hours everyday until I got fired. Oddly I felt relieved. I know this is not fair to my husband as he is the only income in our house. He won’t say anything because he just wants me to be happy. I will be 43 in a couple weeks and vow to change my life before it’s to late. I pray that everyone of you reach your goals as I try to reach mine.
  • Amos, A. Non
    I’m a 52 year old big-idea guy who really hates to work. I’ve started so many creative and successful small-businesses, from music, to inventions, to internet businesses, etc. I think my ideas all have pretty good potential (just like everyone else…I know)…but I’m kinda “oddball-ish” and pretty alone in my small town without like-minded people…so I get a new idea just off the ground, then eventually get discouraged and always drop the ball when the work gets hard and there’s no support…creative failure after creative failure. I’m stuck in a very good day-job which is well-paying with great benefits…but it’s mundane, not creative, and I get myself down as I realize that the best years to have really build a “creative” career are pretty much gone, now. So the last 10 years, I’ve picked up “secret-drinking” as a new hobby. My family knows that I DO drink sometimes, but they probably don’t realize that I do it almost every night before I get home. Two 24 oz cans of 5.9% Beer (about equal to a normal 6-pack)…sometimes that’s enough…sometimes a little more…sometimes it’s an all-out binge night…but almost every evening now ends with me sitting around the house vegging-out on TV & Smart Phones, just watching a super relationship with beautiful wife and daughter slide by while I sit in a stupor pretending that just sitting there together watching our favorite shows is actually living. SO…again today…I woke up Ashamed-Again, More-Fatter-er, and hoping I could truly stop for REAL, this time. I have no withdraw symptoms when I stop. I can always stop for a few weeks…I LOVE it – and feel SO good when I do stop. Then it always happens. One day, I just say…one beer won’t hurt. I do that for a few days, then “how ’bout a couple beers just today?…then I’ll go back to one beer tomorrow.” Then it’s back to planning my entire day around how I’m gonna get to the convenience store before I’m needed at home….just hoping that I won’t be so sluggish after drinking this time…FAIL again. I’m SO good at Failing…I’ve actually brainstormed, trying to think of a creative business idea where Failing and Laziness is the Key to Success….any ideas? 🙂 Oh well…here we go again. Since I have a few weeks off…I can probably get a pretty good start at this, again…the problem is…I have to go back to my dull, perfectly good-paying job (aka trap)…that I’m very good at. For many people this would be the BEST JOB ever. But I allow myself to become so discontent. Thankfully I’m under contract, or I would have either quit or been let go of this great job that I have so many reasons to be thankful for. Clearly…I’m here because THE PROBLEM IS ME. I scheme and dream too Big…but then work too Little…and then get depressed about being stuck in a “very good” mundane job that pays just enough so it keeps me chicken to do something awesome. It’s just easier to knock down a 6-pack each day then actually do something to curb my discontent. It doesn’t help that my retirement system changed several years ago – so instead of retiring after 30 years as planned (which would have been last Wednesday), I now have 4 more years to go. I know…let’s have a pity party for the 52 year-old who can’t retire for 4 more years….hehe. Of course I don’t plan to “stop working” when I retire…but I have several little side-businesses all setup and ready to go. Since these creative and fun businesses are all setup and completely ready…it’s going to be hard and even “more depressing” to drudge through the next 4 years in a very-good boring job. SOOO…I’m really trying to stop the Drinking…Mainly so these next 4 years – and beyond – will be more Vibrancy & Success…instead of more Deception & Shame.
  • mark
    It seems we all have different versions. I can go a couple of months without drinking but if I have one drink I go on a 2-3-4 day runner. Drink til I pass out and wake up and drink all day. I missed 2 days of work this week because I couldn’t stop. I don’t understand how this happened because I used to be able to just drink socially and control it but every time I think I will have a couple it becomes 3 days later. My life is pretty good so there is no reason for this. Didn’t drink yesterday, hopefully can go a few months again or more. I’m so mad at myself and depressed about this lack of control.
  • Jeanine
    I’m a 53 year old female. I started drinking a lot about 10 years ago (10-16 beers in 12 hours). I don’t drink the whole beer so the actual amount I may be drinking is 8-14 beers a day. I want to detox at home. I can’t go to a hospital or rehab clinic. I know it is not safe to just quit cold turkey. Does anyone know what is the safe amount to lower alcohol consumption per day and how long. For example, should I lower it by 1 beer a day for 3 days, or 2 beers a day for 3 days, or what. Any advice would be appreciated.
  • Rob
    I’m 64. A highly successful physician and I drink to much. Wine and beer. Maybe a bottle of wine , sometimes two followed by a couple beers. Then spend the morning hung over . I needed dental surgery 3 days ago. No alcohol after surgery for a week. Thought this would be a good time to stop. I have never been in trouble, never dwi or anything like that and only drink at home. Wife doesn’t so I drink alone. Why? I come up with all kinds of reasons. Stress, boredom, sleep assistance. No good reasons. Been doing this for years and now it’s time to stop. This posts have given me some degree of help in maintaining abstinence. I’ll let you know how it goes
    • Rob
      Well, going on 3 months sober. Is it difficult yes. I try to focus on the positives, better sleep, no hangovers, saving money, more energy. I still think daily about drinking and especially when I am to attend a social event. I get this idea that I’ll just have one and I know it will end badly so I don’t. No aa. My wife has been helpful though she didn’t drink and doesn’t comprehend the desire. I find it interesting that it’s everywhere TV, restaurants, all social events. Don’t ever remember cigarettes that ingrained in society. I’ve decided I am going to shoot for a year and see how I feel. I’ll keep you posted
      • Alexandra
        hey Rob, how is it going? a question: do you like writing?
        • Rob
          Doing well. 6 months in and feel great. I do enjoy writing I actually finally wrote a book. It’s coming out in a few weeks called Longevity
  • Loti
    Today I want to stop drinking. Over the last 2 years I started out having one drink a night and I’ll have five to seven a night now. I tell myself everyday that I’m going to stop and I come home from work and fix myself a drink. I hate myself for it it consumes my thoughts. I’m thinking about going to a AA meeting tonight that I found in my town. Any advice would be very much appreciated thank you
  • Carl
    Hi I am 42 years old and have been drinking for 24 years. I have went a week without a drink. It has been very very hard not to drink. I would 5 or 6 drinks every night and started drink at work. My choice of drinks was Crown. I also did hard drugs for about 12 years ( coke and meth) woke up one morning and said I had enough and didn’t use anymore and been clean from drugs for 11 years now. Drinking is a lot harder to stop. With drugs I didn’t have any cravings to want to use again. But like today all I wanted was a mix drink. Will it ever get easier? I don’t want to go to AA meetings.
  • Dale
    Hello. I’ve been drinking since I was 13. Always seemed to be a high functioning alcoholic. My wife drinks as much as I do.(12+ drinks per day). I know we have a terrible problem and we are both aware of our issues but can’t seem to make the leap or fall woefully short of any serious inroads to dealing with our addiction. One wants to quit other doesn’t ( at any one particular time). I’m becoming concerned as I now have started drinking early and by myself. I know it’s getting worse and am starting to have serious issue with being able to function properly. I have been on anxiety and depression meds before but I’m that unusual guy that you hear all the scary stories about. I quit taking them after I came incredibly uncomfortably close to commiting suicide. My wife’s father had bad addiction issues and did commit suicide so talking about that freaks her out.( She’s admitted to me she sometimes has suicidal thoughts). We have both been through rehab but not since we have been together and our track record is not very successful. I don’t know if I can quit but I know I need to succeed or I believe this will eventually kill me most likely sooner than later. I’m to the point if I don’t drink the dts keep me from being able to hold a cup of liquid one handed. Don’t be like me. Please get help before your life becomes the daily struggle I face. If you don’t it gets harder with time. I’ve had this problem for almost 40 years now and maybe I can save someone the nightmare of dealing with this horrible aditiction.
  • Kim
    I just came across this site as I have been trying to quit drinking for over a decade. Drinking a 12 pack of beer and a bottle of vodka in one night (alone) at home is my norm. I have had some very bad experiences with alcohol that have literally ruined my life on more levels than I care to share. I use to be the strongest person I know as far as will power…. However for the last 13 years since my life changed (Because of Alcohol) and I lost everything from my rights, business, dreams, goals, and many friendships…. When you hear that saying New York Minute… That is how quickly life can change… All it takes is the wrong place ,wrong time , and wrong people and then mix that with two bottles of Jagermeister and redbull… And you can kiss all of your hopes and dreams you’ve worked your entire life to accomplish…Goodbye! I wasn’t a full blown alcoholic back 14 years ago…. However I drank maybe once or twice a week but nothing even remotely to what I drink now and when that New York Minute happened… I swore I would never drink again and here I am unable to kick this addiction and I really truly desperately want to but…. I don’t know If it is because at this point it is all I have ever known and never really done any activities or anything other than alcohol related ones… I don’t know… Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Please and thank you. (Not AA) I have been in and out of AA meetings on and off for years and they do absolutely nothing for me except make me want to drink.
    • Rachel
      Maybe the best place to start is not to look back and beat yourself up but think about what the future might hold without alcohol, small pleasures not giant dreams. Little carrots to tempt you on the way. I can say this because I am in the same boat, otherwise it would be lecturing. When I hear AA I think of my dad and his friend getting kicked out of an AA meeting because they were both blind drunk. That was not going to work, was it?
  • Lolly
    I am really worried about my future, I have started drinking 2009 was on my matric now it`s 11 years. Every weekend I keep telling myself that is the last time I drink alcohol, this thing is disturbing me at work because sometimes I don’t go to work. I even separated with my fiancé, sometimes I feel like my life is over. Really have to stop drinking
  • James
    I agree with many here that believe this is a national crisis. I am 38 now and been drinking since I can remember. The last few years it really has taken a toll on my body and I have been trying to quit for over a year now. I swear I have aged twice as fast. I tell myself I need to stop for good, but end back up at the bar drinking again. The last two weeks I have been trying to quit for good… I will make it 2 days without a drink and on the third day I end up drinking again. Hungover the next day and reading ways to help stop for good. I got rid of drinking friends, have a calendar marking days of sobriety, but seem to keep falling back into it. I have also been trying to quit smoking, so I think this may be extra stress, but I feel I got to do both at the same time. I just don’t think I can take another hangover…so, wish me luck. I have my girlfriends support to help me stop. She won’t let me leave the house at night now. I don’t have the time or resources to go to a clinic, otherwise I probably would. I am saving this post and made a promise to myself this will be the last time.
  • Simon
    Hi Everyone, Like you, I am also an Alcoholic . I have been drinking now for approx. 13 years since I went through a divorce. In that time I did manage to give up for 3 months in 2015, but one eve a social event got the better of me, and put me back to square 1.. On Sunday 1st September (3 days ago) I made a conscious decision to stop. To give you an idea of what I drank, daily was a 200ml bottle of vodka (upto 500ml at the weekend) plus several glasses of wine per day. The vodka was in secret away from my current Girl friend who I have lived with for the past 2 years. So to her, I was only having the wine each eve while she drank prosecco. I have an important job and work for a large company, own my own house. So I guess I would be classified as High Functioning. Anyway, I have now been sober for 3 days, this being my forth. Touch wood and surprising, I haven’t suffered from any physical side effects so far (Touch Wood), but I did start taking multi vits, high dose Vit D and 5HTP. So maybe this has helped. I still have cravings as soon as I walk in the house, but so far I have managed to control them and reduce the urge. This weekend will be hard because I would start drinking Vodka around 9am in the morning on a Sat and Sunday. I guess its just one day at a time.
    • Roy
      Hello from this binge drinker for over 35 years. Once spent 3 years in AA but that came to an end at a pool party. For me I cannot rely on any program to make me stop drinking. I decided I have a choice in what I pour down my gullet. I am on the road of sobriety now and will do my very best to stay on it.. I hope you all will travel it too. I don’t count the days anymore as I found that discouraging when I heard someone with more sobriety! Getting rid of envy is what I am working on. . . These online posts help me and hope they help you all as well. I find if we express something about this addiction we don’t feel so alone in the battle against it.
  • Marilyn Deane
    I just finished 84 hour detox at home and feel safe. I absolutely had to stop! I was suffering from pancreatitus and dark depression. I have been to AA many times and stayed sober for 7 years. It was not because of the program. I suffer from bi-polar disorder which has never been diagnosed until now. I am now on medication which I started 6 months ago but kept drinking with it! Not at all sure why but now that the detox is over I do Believe I’m going to be okay. Had a good laugh today which has been a long time coming.
  • Armando Bashak
    Hi I`m 30Yrs male , I have a problem with my family and they are not happy with me because of drinking alcohol , I promised them many times that I will stop drinking but my friends are the reason of disappointing my family. and I’m not happy from myself , I want all my family ,relative and friends so can I get advances from you ?
  • Alan Coyle
    Hi there I am Alan 35 from Glasgow I have been drinking heavily for the past 10 years and it has made my past relationships fail so I have decided it’s time to call it a day on the drink am going to go cold turkey as I couldn’t face going to aa classes this time I am not going to fail
    • Cory Gore
      My Friend, I lost My beautiful wife and sweet daughter because of Alcohol. Honestly, I can only remember a few times that it was an issue, yet thinking back, I can not remember every day, my ex-wife tells me the things I do not remember. Bro, this is a “black out”. They are gone now and I am still drinking. Do not let this happen to you. My baby girl is 20, in college, and I can not remember much after her age from 1-18. I was there, made all the nightly events, birthdays, etc. Yet I remember only bits and pieces. My daughter is in college and suffers from depression and anxiety to the point she had to go to ER for of chest pains. The unreal thing; My Father was like that too and I still despise him long after his death. At this point, the choice is gone. Go to rehab, AA, Smart Program, hell I just looked into Eric Clapton’s Rehab program. I have researched this malady for years. Alcohol alters your frontal cortex; the part that secrets the normal melatonin to feel good. If you inject your body with alcohol every day at 5, the brain quits producing the “feel good” . When you stop drinking, your brain is seriously confused and the only thing you can think, and for me to settle my stomach, was to get “a drink”. But I do not get a drink. I get a bottle and drink it all! All I can say is this: like it or not (I still have mixed emotions, yet likely going back), AA kept me sober for 1.5 years and they were the best years of my adult life, for me any my family. Forget, the 12 step mess and all that, it gives you a place to go when you are having cravings, it gives you people to call, likewise. Once you admit, you have a problem, just show up Brother. There will be people that chap your ass, yet others who you relate. These latter guys became friends and we had dinner before meetings, yet I tried to moderate after talking to a Psychologist, and 15 years later, drinking at 3 am, alone. Family gone. Do not be me. Start medical, then, like it or not AA, you can switch later, but the meetings stop your cravings. It sounds like a long time, but actually, in 3 months, the cravings go away. Then it is simply substituting the drink for a meeting. I live in a small town, yet there are meetings 24/7, every hour. Damn, I just talked myself into a meeting. Take care my friend. I am struggling too, yet it started after college, fraternity, early success in business, and gelled in my 40’s. I am 61. Now health! Go get it my friend. Get in touch if you like. Not far, just across the pond!
  • Rachel
    What a great place to talk about what troubles us! Thank you. Every time I feel stress I yearn for something, be it a drink or something else to take the stress away. So part of dealing with the problem is dealing with stress. I am 68, single, can do what I want, so why not have a glass with lunch. Or two. And we know where that ends. My son and I have had many discussions about my drinking: how embarrassing as a mother, to be lectured by your 36 year old son! But he has also seen how stressed I get about small issues now (whenI stay with him I don’t drink) and he is right when he says I have to learn techniques to handle it. Family history going back generations of alcoholics, but as an adult child of an alcoholic (great website for insight into what drives your personality if you are one) I know that seeing how people who don’t drink live is a great start. They enjoy a coffee with friends, dinner with water, they have productive evenings instead of flaking out. Even one day without alcohol and I am quicker at solving my sudoku, so imagine what total sobriety would be. My last alcohol-driven outburst with my boyfriend (19 years younger who maybe has a beer a week) made me realise that I have a lot to lose by not going sober.But it’s a problem that needs to be broken into small portions, one day at a time. Otherwise, it just becomes another reason to have a drink……
  • Chris. M
    Drinking comes with binges. I stay sober for years at a time, yhe stuff in life happens, I go back as release or excuse. Sometimes a few days, so etimes longer. But what really makrs me stop is people around me. You can only “hide” it for so long. And the ones who love you akready lnow. Take some time out. Don’t go overboard. Tapper off and trust thaat it will be ok.
  • Craig
    My name is Craig and I’m an alcoholic. I guess I began drinking heavily around 10 years ago. I’m not really sure how I got to this point. I loved single-malt scotch I guess is where it started. Still do but can’t really afford it anymore. Anyway, my one or two glasses on Friday and Saturday evenings became more and more. Now I’ll drink anything except wine. My preference is cheap Vodka. I’m really a binge drinker in that I don’t drink at all Monday through Thursday. Starting Fridays after work though, it’s game on. I can drink an entire bottle of Vodka in a day and still be functional. That is a LOT of alcohol. But I want to quit now. I’m just tired of it. I’m tired of the negative health effects. Tired of being a crappy husband and father. I’m tired of poisoning my body and mind. I’ll be 50 next year. I’m a nurse and a paramedic and I know that I am at the age where bad things start to happen from a health standpoint. My liver enzymes surprisingly haven’t bumped yet but if I don’t stop, they will start to soon. It appears we all have a story and the story’s are similar. Figured I would share mine. I hope I can win this battle. The most important life that I have ever saved my end up being my own.
  • Bev smith
    Hi my husband is drinking to much he waiting for some support he goes work but drinks strong larger snd spirts how can i get help
  • Don
    I have a drinking problem. I am 62 years old. I have decided to stop drinking today. The gradual thing is no good for me. If I have the booze in the house I can drink all night until I can’t function or fall asleep. It has affected my relationship with my family, made me lazy, and I don’t feel good about myself anymore. I know it is going to be hard but I am quitting this very minute. I hope to report back here in time to tell you of my success. I am determined to not fail.
    • Peter
      Almost a week Don. How are you doing?
  • Elly
    hello everyone. I just started googling resources to see what might be helpful for me to abstain from alcohol. I have decided to challenge myself for a dry february. I drink a bottle of wine a night at home and usually starting about 300 or 400 until the bottle is finished. I am not a sipper I am drinking for affect. I have been drinking alcohol since I was 17 years old and i am now 54. went without once for 3 years the first time I went to AA. Since then i have tried a few other times and lasted for a much shorter time. My main problem is when I go out with girlfriends to the bar I have no stop button. I just drink and drink and many times end up very drunk and black out. NOT GOOD. just fractured my wrist from a fall in Christmas day. first bone I have ever broke. it is day 4 today of not having alcohol and i am so craving it. can we perhaps support each other somehow? it would help with my accountability and maybe there are helpful suggestions to help get through these cravings. thank you all. Elly
  • Charlene Ferris
    I am a 72 year old adult female that is in good shape, but drink wine every night- depending on what time I start, it may be two bottles. My husband died 4 years ago. It’s just me and my dog. Have quit before, but now I worry about seizures, etc. since I’m by myself. Have a doctor’s appointment on the 29th. Any other suggestions?
  • Nav Sian
    I need help to cut down and how to control drinking definitely time now I think
  • Waddington
    Great information, Thanks for sharing this informative blog with us. Keep sharing!!