You can nip alcohol abuse in the bud by honestly evaluating your habits. If you are addicted to alcohol, you can break the addiction and prevent a relapse by making smart choices about buy codeine support, treatment, and healthy ways to relieve stress.
Keep a record
Keep careful track of how much you drink, or how you’re drinking, and when. Don’t fudge. You may have a problem with alcohol if you often drink more than the amount most experts agree is “okay.” Also, you may have a problem if you hoard alcohol, say you drink less than you do, or get angry if someone confronts you about your drinking.
Try to kick the habit
If you find you’ve been drinking too often, try to stop on your own. Some people can, but it’s very difficult. If this doesn’t work, seek help from a doctor, a counselor, or a support group.
Many people join Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), a well-known recovery and support group. In AA, you learn not only how stay away from alcohol, but you also take well-defined steps to change your values. AA has 12 steps, which include making an honest appraisal of yourself, sharing this appraisal with others, and making amends for problems you’ve caused others.
Every support group is different, though. Alcoholics Anonymous has a spiritual emphasis; others, such as Rational Recovery or Women for Sobriety, do not. Family members may also want to try out Al-Anon Family Groups or Families Anonymous, support programs for the parents, children, and spouses of alcoholics.
Avoid people who use alcohol
One of the chief rules of recovery is to avoid “people, places, and things.” That means: Stay away from people who constantly drink; stay away from bars or other places where alcohol is sold or being consumed; and get rid of all alcohol in the house.
Seek out friends
If you have to attend a party or event where alcohol is being served, stay close to a friend who’s “clean and sober.” If you feel tempted to drink when stress hits, call your doctor, counselor, or members of your support group.
Get help for depression
If you turned to alcohol because you were depressed, talk to your doctor about treatment for this problem.
Get regular exercise. Aim for 30 minutes at least three or four times a week. Exercise boosts your mood and helps you blow off steam. When you’re less tense or anxious, you’re less likely to abuse alcohol.
Alcohol is loaded with calories, but these are “empty” calories; that is, alcohol doesn’t contain any of the vitamins, minerals, fats, or proteins your body needs to stay healthy. Worse, alcohol interferes with the body’s ability to absorb some important nutrients. The result can be a variety of problems, including softening of the bones, night blindness, bleeding, anemia, low blood sugar, and even neurological damage.
Once you quit drinking, your body will begin to recover, but only if you eat plenty of healthy foods, especially fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Also, go easy on saturated fat, the type of fat found in fatty meats, whole milk, ice cream, and cheese. Nutritional supplements can help, but check with your doctor about which supplements will be best.
Don’t stress out
Brief bouts of stress aren’t harmful, but a lot of tension day after day can take a toll. Built-up stress raises your risk of heart and artery disease, as well as your risk of a number of other health problems, including depression and headaches. And some people try to escape stress by drinking.
Exercise will help. Here are some tips for other ways to stay on an even keel in stressful situations:
- Laugh more. Studies show that laughter releases stress-busting hormones.
Don’t be a perfectionist. Set reasonable goals and question whether everything you do has to be the best.
- Control your anger. When you’re angry, ask yourself three questions: Is this problem important? Is my anger justified? Can I do anything to fix the problem? If the answer to any of the three is no, take a few deep breaths and tell yourself to calm down. If any answer is yes, don’t seethe silently; do what you can to change the situation.
- Take breaks during a hectic day to calm down. It doesn’t matter what you do-walk around, chat with someone, water the plants-as long as it’s a time-out. Aim for at least 20 minutes a couple of times a day.
- Keep a cat or dog. They may shed or slobber, but studies show their owners have fewer health problems than people without pets.
- Relax through yoga, deep breathing, stretching exercises, or meditation.