How to Quit Drinking Alcohol: What to Look Out For

Bridget Mulroy
How to Quit Drinking Alcohol: What to Look Out ForPhoto by(@wilpunt/iStock)

If you’ve ever had a heavy night of drinking and woken up the next day telling yourself, “I’ll never drink again,” and then found yourself having a few drinks not too long after saying that to yourself, know the scenario is quite common.

Yes, hangovers can be intense, and they’re usually enough to make anyone swear they’ll never touch a drop of alcohol again in their life, but the societal pressure of ‘just having one drink’ is a force some are constantly struggling with.

Of course, no one wants to drink to the point of being hung over the next day, but if you’ve ever thought to yourself, ‘I don’t want to drink today,’ and had a difficult time not drinking, it’s important to consider the pressures you’re giving into.

Taking a day or two off is possible, but it’s more difficult for people who regularly consume alcohol. Quitting ‘cold turkey’ isn’t always a safe option for those who are drinking more than average because the symptoms caused by withdrawing from alcohol can be dangerous.

If you’re considering a break from booze, ask yourself two questions. How often are you drinking? How much do you drink when you do drink?

If the answer is more than three drinks a day, medical professionals encourage having an evaluation before quitting so you know what withdrawal symptoms to expect based on how much you drink, and how to cope with them.

More than 17 million Americans struggle with an alcohol dependence disorder, according to the CDC. This number increased significantly following the global health crisis. If you or anyone you know find themselves saying they’ll ‘never drink again,’ and then they’re drinking again, chances are they’re a member of the 17 Million Club.

Don’t try quitting on your own. Speak to someone. Know the signs to look out for and learn ways to overcome them.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms (American Addiction Centers):

  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors or shakes
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Mood changes
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances
  • Heart palpitations
  • Increased blood pressure or heart rate
  • Hyperthermia
  • Rapid abnormal breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

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Hi, I’m Bridget.

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