There is a drinking problem in the US, and every year it destroys millions of lives while millions more become caught in the cycle of alcoholism. It’s becoming so incredibly common because there is so much pressure for young adults to drink. Not only is it considered a pastime in general, but major holidays are often spent consuming incredible amounts of alcohol, and 21st birthdays are seen as the first official legal binge drinking opportunity. This has led countless people to wonder if they’ve developed an alcohol use disorder and if they should quit drinking.
How to Know if You Should Stop Drinking
The clinical term for alcoholism is known as alcohol use disorder or AUD. To help determine if someone should stop drinking, here are some of the signs of AUD:
- Being unable to personally control the amount they drink
- Wanting to drink less but being unsuccessful in attempts
- Spending large amounts of time getting, using, or recovering from alcohol
- Neglecting obligations at work, school, or home due to the alcohol use
- Using alcohol and then engaging in dangerous behavior like driving
- Becoming more tolerant of alcohol and needing to drink more to get the same effect
- Starting to experience withdrawal symptoms when not drinking or drinking specifically to avoid withdrawals
Benefits of Quitting Alcohol
Alcohol is a powerful depressant, and it has serious effects on nearly every system of the body. Here are some of the benefits you could see if you made a plan to quit drinking and stick to it:
- Improved cardiovascular health
- You give your liver and pancreas a chance to heal the damage
- Weight loss
- Improved family and personal relationships
- Potentially lowering your risk of certain cancers
- Improvement in your sex life
- Better sleep
- Improved immune response
- Lower blood pressure
- Clearer thinking & less brain fog
What Does it Mean to Quit Cold Turkey?
For those that have been drinking heavily or who have been drinking for a long time, quitting cold turkey instead of tapering down can present significant health risks. These can include more difficult physical withdrawals, as well as the risk of seizure. Working with a healthcare professional to determine if it will be more effective to taper off drinking or to quit drinking cold turkey will be crucial to an effective recovery.
How Long Does it Take to Detox from Alcohol?
Alcohol detox time will vary from one individual to another. The most significant factor in determining how long the alcohol detox will take is the amount that the individual drinks regularly. The amount of time that they have been engaging in that level of drinking will also be an important factor.
Those that drink more heavily on a more frequent basis will have a longer detox, as well as those that have been drinking for a long time. This will often result in more severe withdrawal symptoms and a longer overall alcohol detox time frame. Those that take action quickly and get professional help sooner are likely to have a comparatively more manageable detox and acute withdrawal stage, and the acute withdrawal stage is more likely to be finished sooner than it would be otherwise.
What is the Safest Way to Stop Drinking?
The safest way to stop drinking is to contact a professional and get help with medical detox. This will involve determining if you need an inpatient program and how intensive it will need to be. Once you have determined your first step, you will check into the medical detox facility, and begin your treatment.
Generally, you’ll be there for several weeks, and during this time, you’ll undergo several types of treatments. Initially, you’ll complete a full detox, where the residual alcohol is metabolized by your body, and your body enters the acute withdrawal stage.
The acute withdrawal stage is where you will encounter the most common uncomfortable physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can present medically significant risks, so your healthcare professional may prescribe you medication to help deal with these symptoms and to minimize their severity. There may also be medication involved that will shorten the overall timeframe of the acute withdrawal stage.
During this time, and in the period following acute withdrawal, you’ll also attend therapy. There will likely be individual therapy sessions as well as group therapy participation, where you can discuss your issues privately as well as with others going through similar struggles.
Once the acute stage and detox are finished, you’ll move on to the post-acute withdrawal stage, where you’ll likely encounter many of the psychological symptoms common to those who quit drinking. Therapy and discussion during this stage are also essential to creating more effective and healthy coping mechanisms for future drinking triggers.
Is a Medical Detox Facility Like a Hospital?
While some medical detox facilities can look and feel a lot like a hospital, the Agape facility is nothing like that. At Agape, those struggling with alcohol use disorder can find a nurturing and supportive environment that feels more like visiting a beach house than receiving treatment. Our inviting facilities are the perfect place to start your journey towards sobriety.
Each room is designed with the utmost care and attention to detail. This provides patients with a warm, home-like atmosphere that helps them feel at ease. Additionally, there are numerous outdoor activities to partake in, such as table tennis, badminton, or simply taking in some sunshine dockside. Need a distraction? There are plenty of places to watch TV or find something to stream.
Stop Drinking with Agape Detox Center
If you or a loved one feel that it’s time to stop drinking, t may be time to work with local addiction professionals for personalized treatment. Reach out today and take the first step by discussing your treatment needs with a trusted addiction professional, and begin building a treatment plan tailored to your needs. The first step on the road to recovery is often the hardest, but the healthcare team at Agape can help make it as easy as possible.
Stephanie Catalano is an accomplished Clinical Director at Agape Behavioral Healthcare. With a Master of Social Work degree, LCSW license, and extensive training in Rapid Resolution Therapy under her belt, she brings a wealth of expertise to her role. Her unique combination of education and experience allows her to provide exceptional care to clients and lead her team with confidence. Stephanie’s joy comes from witnessing the moments when her patients creatively connect the dots and bravely move toward reclaiming their power. Her purpose is to help individuals understand their past so they can create a future full of hope, growth, and success. Stephanie attributes a large portion of her success to the supportive culture and strong sense of community fostered by the Agape team.