The New Year is a time when people make all types of resolutions. This is because waking up on the 1st of January is like getting a clean sheet. People want to do things a bit differently than the year before. A common resolution for people to make as the clock strikes midnight is to quit alcohol. Such a change can bring many benefits to the life of the individual. For some, it will mean escaping a life of misery. Unfortunately most people do not keep their resolution to quit alcohol for long. They may have reverted to their old drinking patterns within a matter of weeks. There are things that people can do to increase their chances of being successful with this resolution.
Motives for Giving Up Alcohol in the New Year
These are some of the most common reasons people may decide to give up alcohol in the New Year:
* The most common reason for why people decide to give up alcohol is that they are worried about their current level of consumption. Such people may not yet have developed any of the symptoms of addiction, but they just feel uneasy with the amount they are currently drinking.
* If people are already addicted to alcohol they may decide that the New Year is a good time to end their misery.
* Those overweight individuals who are serious about shedding the pounds in the New Year may decide to eliminate alcohol. This will mean that they will avoid consuming all those empty calories that are found in alcoholic drinks.
* Many individuals decide to give up alcohol because they just want to live a healthier life. Excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for a great deal of ill-health and disease.
* Some individuals who want to follow a spiritual path may decide to give up alcohol for the New Year. Practices such as meditation will be almost impossible for people who abuse alcohol, because of the impact the alcohol has on concentration levels.
* Some people just give up alcohol because of boredom. They have been spending too much time in bars or drinking at home and want to experience something new in the New Year.
Good Reasons to Give Up Alcohol
People do not need to have developed serious alcohol problems before deciding to give up alcohol.
These are some of the good reasons for giving up alcohol:
* If people continue to abuse alcohol, it can lead them into physical and psychological dependence. Alcoholism sucks all the good out of life. If the individual is unable to escape the downward spiral, it will lead them to insanity and death.
* Alcohol intoxication means that the individual loses a degree of self-control. This is because their inhibitions are lowered. This is one of the great attractions of alcohol because it means people feel more sociable, but it is also the biggest dangers. It can mean that people are more likely to engage in foolish, risky or illegal activity.
* The individual does not need to be addicted in order to begin developing alcoholic liver disease. It is believed that 90 percent of all heavy drinkers will develop fatty liver, the first stage of alcoholic liver disease.
* Alcohol can cause a lot of damage to the heart. Those who drink excessively are at risk of developing alcoholic cardiomyopathy, which can also increase blood pressure. It is believed that 2 percent of all coronary heart disease is caused directly by excessive alcohol intake.
* Excessive alcohol consumption increases the likelihood that people will develop diabetes.
* Drinking too much can cause alcoholic lung disease.
* Alcohol abuse can have a devastating impact on mental health. It can lead to serious problems such as depression. Most cases of suicide involve people who have been drinking alcohol prior to the act.
* When people drink too much, they do not have time for hobbies and other forms of entertainment. This means that life can begin to feel a bit unsatisfying.
* If people abuse alcohol, they do more than just harm themselves. They also usually inflict pain and suffering for their friends and family. It is not necessary for the individual to be a drunken tyrant before alcohol begins to harm their relationships.
* Alcohol can be expensive, especially if people regularly go to bars. During a night on the town, a heavy drinker could easily spend a couple of hundred dollars. This money could be better used to buy a nice car or go on an exotic holiday.
How to Stop Drinking Alcohol in the New Year
The problem with New Year resolutions is that people tend to give up on them by the time February comes. It takes a real effort to make such resolutions and stick to them.
These are some tips for increasing the likelihood of staying away from alcohol in the New Year:
* Those who have been abusing alcohol for a long time they may be at risk of withdrawal symptoms. These can make life uncomfortable for a few days, but most individuals only have to put up with mild symptoms. Anyone who has ever had a seizure while attempting to quit alcohol in the past will need to be medically supervised while going through the withdrawal period. It is recommended that heavy drinkers seek advice from their doctor before going through withdrawals alone.
* Heavy drinkers may find that they need support when giving up alcohol. There are a wide variety of resources when they can find such support. Not only are there fellowships such as Alcoholics Anonymous, but also online communities offering support to anyone trying to quit alcohol.
* Many individuals have found that practices such as mindfulness meditation can be a great help when giving up alcohol. This simple practice allows them to deal with cravings without succumbing to them.
* Keeping a journal can be a good idea for anyone who is attempting to quit alcohol. This not only a way of tracing progress, but it can also keep the individual committed to their goal. While trying to quit, most people go through a period in which their commitment begins to waver. Looking back over their journal entries can remind them of their hopes and dreams for the future.
* Modern technology has provided some great resources for people who are trying to quit alcohol in the New Year. Those who have an iPhone or iPad will find that there are a number of useful apps. There are also similar applications available for Android devices.
* If people are coming from a serious alcohol addiction, attending rehab may be the best way to ensure success in their recovery. An impatient program will give the individual the opportunity to stay in an environment that is conducive to escaping addiction. During their stay they will be able to develop the skills and knowledge they need to build a good life away from alcohol.
* Giving up alcohol will often mean saying goodbye to or spending much less time with drinking buddies. It is no longer a good idea to spend time in bars. As they say in Alcoholics Anonymous, if you spend too much time in a barber shop, you will eventually get your hair cut. In order to increase your chances of success, it helps to find sober friends and spend more time with them.
* If people normally spend a great deal of time drinking, they will suddenly have an excessive amount of time on their hands when they become sober. If people become bored, they will be tempted to return to alcohol. It is therefore vital that the individual develop new hobbies and interests that do not involve alcohol.
Alcoholics and Rock Bottom
It is often claimed that alcoholics need to hit rock bottom in order to escape their addiction. This idea often gets misunderstood to mean that the individual needs to lose everything before they can get better. This type of thinking is not only wrong, but it is also highly dangerous. The individual does not need to lose anything in order to put an end to the alcohol abuse. The rock bottom only refers to the point where they have had enough. This is sometimes described as an elevator descending down into hell. It is up to the passenger to decide where they want to get off. Some people have a high rock bottom, where they lose very little. Other people will take the elevator all the way down to the bottom. This is where insanity and death await.
No Need to Wait Until After the New Year to Stop Drinking
There is no requirement for people to wait until after the New Year before enjoying the joys of sobriety. The best time to quit is right now. The problem with waiting for a special date is that the individual may no longer have the motivation to quit when that day arrives. Those who have a serious alcohol problem will only be adding additional suffering to their life by waiting. New Year can be a good time to embrace sobriety, but it is even more enjoyable to be sober for the New Year.
Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat offers a full continuum of care including: Acute Medical Detoxification, Rehabilitation, Residential, Partial Hospitalization and Recovery Residences.