Can I Quit Drinking Without Rehab?
If you’ve been thinking about cutting down or stopping your alcohol use, you might be wondering whether you can quit drinking without rehab. Quitting alcohol can be difficult, and you may encounter many obstacles along the way that could hamper your efforts to get sober. Keep reading to learn more about why it’s often not advisable to quit drinking without the support of a rehab and find out how to seek help to stop drinking and take back control of your life.
Can it be Dangerous to Quit Drinking Without Rehab?
Alcohol withdrawal can be a serious concern when you stop drinking. It can cause a range of symptoms depending on your unique situation, including how long you’ve been drinking, how much you normally drink, and whether you are physically dependent on alcohol. Dependence means that your body has adapted to the presence of alcohol and you need it to feel normal, to function, and prevent withdrawal symptoms. Some of the signs that you may be physically dependent on alcohol include:
- Needing to drink first thing in the morning.
- Feeling shaky or irritable if you don’t drink.
- Worrying about when you’re going to be able to drink again.
- Planning social, work, or family events around alcohol.
- Being unable to stop drinking once you start.
- Drinking despite the negative effects it has on your health, life, and overall well-being.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you stop drinking.
Some typical withdrawal symptoms include:
- Feeling tired.
- Mood swings.
- Cognitive problems.
- Sleep difficulties.
In more severe cases, people may experience a form of withdrawal known as delirium tremens, which can be life-threatening and causes symptoms such as seizures, fever, hallucinations, agitation, and confusion. You should always talk to your healthcare provider before you stop drinking to determine whether you may be at risk for having more severe withdrawal symptoms. If you try to stop drinking without rehab, you may end up in a situation where you aren’t able to access immediate medical care and attention if you do develop more serious withdrawal symptoms.
Cravings Can Be Challenging
Cravings can be difficult and very challenging when you are trying to stop drinking. They may cause you to relapse and resume drinking. This is one of the reasons that people going through alcohol detox often receive withdrawal medications, such as benzodiazepines or anticonvulsants. These medications not only help to minimize uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, but they also help reduce cravings. A medication called naltrexone is also often used to block the pleasurable effects of alcohol so that if you do drink, you won’t feel the effects of alcohol.
Pitfalls After you Quit Drinking Without Rehab
Dealing with triggers—the things that make you want to drink—can also make it challenging to stay sober. Everyone has different triggers, but some common ones include:
- People with whom you used to drink.
- Places where alcohol is available.
- The time of day (such as after work).
- Distressing emotions, such as anger or sadness.
Triggers can be so strong that you may be unable to withstand the pressure to drink. You need to be able to identify and deal with your triggers. This is best done by learning healthier ways to cope with stress and live without alcohol. That is why treatment is beneficial, and why it’s usually not as successful to try to quit drinking without rehab.
How to Find Alcohol Rehab
If you drink moderately and just want to cut down, you might not necessarily need rehab if you have a strong support system and you can set healthy limits with yourself and others. But if your drinking is interfering with your life and affecting how you think or feel, then you may have a problem with alcohol. If you want to know how to quit drinking alcohol without rehab and suspect that you’re dependent, then you should know that rehab is a worthwhile and potentially even a life-saving option to consider.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism explains that no matter how severe the problem might seem, most people struggling with alcoholism benefit from some form of treatment. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Call the American Addiction Center free, confidential, 24/7 helpline at (888) 966-8152 today to talk to a treatment advisor about rehab options that might be best for your individual needs.