Stop Drinking: How To Quit Alcohol

For many, alcohol serves as a means of celebration, relaxation, or escape. However, for others, what begins as a casual indulgence can quickly spiral into alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder (AUD). Alcohol use disorder involves a compulsive consumption of alcohol despite adverse consequences, affecting individuals from all walks of life. It’s not merely a matter of excessive drinking. It’s a complex condition that involves biological, psychological, and environmental factors.

At Indiana Center for Recovery, we understand each individual experiences addiction differently. We are dedicated to providing evidence-based treatment tailored to every patient’s unique needs. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol use disorder, our facility is here to provide the support you and your family deserve.

Man sitting in a chair and holding his hands to his heart. The most effective way to quit drinking is to seek help from a treatment facility.

Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder

At its core, AUD is characterized by a compulsive pattern of alcohol consumption despite adverse consequences to one’s health, relationships, and overall well-being. From occasional binge drinking to chronic alcohol dependency, AUD encompasses a broad range of behaviors and experiences.

What may begin as experimentation or social drinking can gradually evolve into a full-blown addiction as the brain becomes increasingly dependent on alcohol to function. Additionally, environmental and social factors, such as peer influence, family dynamics, and cultural norms, play a significant role in shaping patterns of alcohol consumption and susceptibility to alcohol use disorder.

Common Signs and Symptoms

Identifying alcohol use disorder involves recognizing the different behavioral, physical, and psychological signs and symptoms displayed by those with this condition. While the presentation of AUD can vary widely among individuals, here are a few common symptoms to look out for:

AUD vs. Binge Drinking

While both alcohol use disorder and binge drinking involve the consumption of alcohol in excessive amounts, they represent distinct patterns of behavior with different implications for health and well-being. Understanding the differences between the two is essential for accurately assessing the risks associated with alcohol consumption and identifying individuals in need of intervention or support.

Binge drinking is defined as consuming a large quantity of alcohol in a short period, typically resulting in a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 grams per deciliter or higher. This pattern of drinking often occurs socially, such as during social gatherings or celebratory events, and may not necessarily indicate a chronic or long-term problem with alcohol. Unlike binge drinking, AUD involves a persistent pattern of alcohol consumption that may be accompanied by physical dependence, tolerance, and withdrawal symptoms.

Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse

While alcohol may initially offer a temporary reprieve from stress or emotional turmoil, its prolonged abuse can have a heavy toll on both the body and mind. Over time, the chronic consumption of alcohol can affect parts of the body, such as the liver, heart, digestive system, and brain. Below are a few common long-term effects of alcohol abuse.

How to Quit Drinking Alcohol

The most effective way to quit drinking and stay sober is to seek help from a treatment facility like Indiana Center of Recovery. Professional treatment provides a safe and structured environment for recovery and allows access to a range of evidence-based treatment options tailored to your unique needs and circumstances. These comprehensive approaches utilize a combination of medications, therapy sessions, and various other interventions that help guide people toward recovery.

Alcohol Detox

Detoxification, also known as detox, is an essential first step in overcoming alcohol use disorder. This process involves the removal of alcohol from the body, allowing individuals to safely manage withdrawal symptoms and begin the process of physical stabilization.

During alcohol detox, individuals may experience a range of withdrawal symptoms as their bodies adjust to the absence of alcohol. These symptoms can vary in severity depending on factors such as the duration and intensity of alcohol use. Common withdrawal symptoms may include tremors, sweating, nausea, anxiety, insomnia, and, in severe cases, seizures or delirium tremens.

Because of the potential risks associated with alcohol withdrawal, detoxification should always be conducted under the supervision of medical professionals in a specialized treatment center. Medical detox programs provide around-the-clock monitoring and support to ensure the safety and comfort of individuals undergoing withdrawal.


There are several FDA-approved medications that may be used throughout treatment that each target different aspects of the addiction cycle. Medications such as naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram work by reducing cravings, decreasing the rewarding effects of alcohol, or causing unpleasant reactions when alcohol is consumed. These medications can help individuals manage their alcohol cravings and reduce the risk of relapse.

Medication management for AUD often involves close monitoring and regular follow-up appointments with healthcare providers to assess treatment response, adjust medication dosages as needed, and address any emerging concerns or side effects. Overall, the goal of medication management during treatment is to reduce discomfort and keep individuals on track toward recovery.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy offers individuals practical strategies and coping mechanisms to address the underlying thoughts, emotions, and behaviors driving their alcohol consumption. One of the most widely used and evidence-based forms of behavioral therapy for AUD is Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). During CBT, patients work with a trained therapist to identify and challenge negative thought patterns and beliefs associated with alcohol use, develop healthier coping strategies for managing stress and cravings, and acquire skills to resist the urge to drink in high-risk situations. The overall goal of behavioral therapy is to create lasting habits that result in life-long recovery.

Maintaining Sobriety

Maintaining sobriety requires ongoing commitment, dedication, and a proactive approach to managing the challenges and triggers that may arise along the way. Surrounding yourself with understanding friends, family members, peers in recovery, and supportive professionals can provide encouragement, accountability, and guidance during rough times.

You may also benefit from participating in support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which can offer a sense of camaraderie and connection with others who understand the challenges of addiction.

It is important to stay mindful of potential relapse triggers and avoid places or situations that are associated with your past alcohol use. By staying proactive, connected, and committed to your recovery journey, you can successfully maintain sobriety.