Have you ever thought about how much money you spend on alcohol?
Cost differs depending on where and what kind of alcohol you drink. A six-pack of beer might be $8, a cocktail could be $11, and a 4-glass bottle of wine might be $15. But let’s say you average around two drinks a night at $7 a week.
That adds up to $400 a month. For some people, that’s half their rent. That amount might be even more if you struggle with alcohol addiction.
We know you might have heard a lot of “it’s time to quit drinking” talk before. It’s usually either easy to ignore or hard to listen to.
But it doesn’t have to be the same tired speech that you’re used to hearing. Taking a look at new perspectives doesn’t have to try and convince you of anything. With the right understanding, unique perspectives can help you want to take the next step on your own account.
That’s why we’ve put together a list that’s worth reading if you or someone you know needs alcohol addiction help.
So keep reading for 6 key points to help put an end to your alcohol addiction for good.
1. Be Open
The longer you ignore something, the easier it becomes to ignore.
But that’s not because it grows less important. We just get used to ignoring it.
However, that only makes things worse in the long run. Especially in a situation where your actions can affect those around you, like struggling with alcohol addiction.
Recovery Starts With Self-Acceptance
The truth is, facing reality only looks hard from the outside. Making the decision to be honest with yourself or those around you is really the biggest hill to climb.
Being open to your situation might not seem like it could feel like an accomplishment. It might seem like it only brings guilt and self-doubt.
But you’ll be surprised! Climbing that first hill actually brings a huge feeling of accomplishment.
Support Helps You Empower Yourself
But don’t let it stop with yourself.
Research shows that support and encouragement are some of the most beneficial factors in beating addiction. But it’s easy to look at reaching out as an unwanted invite for criticism.
Here’s another way to think about it: it’s another thing you’re taking control of. And it’s another hill you’ve climbed yourself.
It’s a huge deal to humble yourself and invite others into your struggle. But it’s an accomplishment for you.
2. Assess the Situation
It’s estimated that each American drinks an average of 2.3 gallons of alcohol per year.
But that’s a collective average, which means it factors in those who are sober, participate in “dry January,” and only have a couple of drinks on occasion. If a drink is about 6 ounces, then that averages out to about 50 drinks a year. A little less than one a week.
Do you drink a bit more than that? Don’t worry, a lot of people do. People drink more than they did in 1910, just before the Prohibition Act passed.
That means people are drinking more than they have in 30 years.
Many people need alcohol addiction help. But instead of looking at it like it’s a losing battle, we want to suggest another perspective.
There’s a Lot of Help Out There
There are many well-established places for alcohol addiction treatment.
That doesn’t mean that people can’t overcome this struggle. It does mean that people are only getting more and more equipped to help.
One reason there’s so much help for alcohol addiction is that there are case-specific resources available. That means more accurate help!
For example, if you’re a veteran, there are great options for VA alcohol rehab. The same is true for adolescents, parents, trauma victims, students, and those with co-occurring disorders.
3. Track Your Spending
Remember those alcohol spending statistics we mentioned earlier? Let’s get back to those. Grab a notebook—you’ll thank us later.
Want to know the secret to curbing alcohol addiction? Take a long, hard look at how much you spend on drinking.
Before you write this off as another thing to annoy, let us reassure you. People waste a lot of money on a lot of things other than alcohol. Having this understanding available isn’t to make you feel bad, because there are a lot of spending habits we all could feel bad about.
But it can motivate you if you use it to think about how much you could save. Or how much you could spend on other things you want to buy. To track your alcohol spending, try this:
- Write down how much you think you spend on alcohol per year, month, and week
- Take a look at your bank records, or keep a notepad over the next few months
- Compare how much you thought you spend with how much you actually spend
- Multiply that over the past five and ten years and take a look at that amount
- Compare how much you spend with some of your other bills
- Write a list of other things you could (and maybe should) buy or save with that money
A lot of people drink to cope. We get it.
But when you track how much you spend because of your alcohol addiction, you’ll see how much less you’ll have to cope with when you’re in a stable financial situation.
4. Set Some Goals
Who says you can’t dream big?
Envisioning success is one of the greatest ways to actually achieve it. It’s actually impossible to reach your goals if you’ve already convinced yourself you can’t.
But allowing yourself to think you can do something actually helps you really do it.
Using the same notebook where you took a look at your alcohol spending patterns, write down some goals. Both for overcoming alcohol addiction and for yourself and your life as a whole.
And here’s a secret to goals that seem too hard: break them down into smaller, more achievable goals!
Set a goal for a week and keep that going for a month.
Once you see that you were able to do that, you’ll feel more able to reach a month-long goal. Then, two months! Before you know it, you’ll have months behind you that you’re proud of.
Keep track of these. The more you see yourself accomplish, the more you’ll realize you really are able to overcome alcohol addiction.
5. Set Yourself Up for Success
Believing you can achieve your goals is the first step. But you can’t achieve them without a little effort.
But don’t think of these tasks as an added responsibility. Think of them more like a safety net. Or a cheat sheet.
Welcome Overall Wellness
When you feel better, you’ll be better.
Drink a certain amount of water every day. Add exercise into your weekly schedule. Prioritize healthy sleep.
We know that’s not a one-and-done effort. But when you gradually add those things into your lifestyle, it’ll only become easier and easier to quit drinking.
Alter Your Environments
Fighting an addiction is hard when you’re around whatever it is you’re trying to quit.
If you’re able, try to change your routine to increase your distance from alcohol and the people who might encourage you to have a drink.
But it’s not just about being around alcohol. Drinking addictions are often a response to stress. Altering this aspect is twofold:
- Try to avoid high-stress environments
- Add in environments that bring contentment and help de-stress your life
When you add all of these things together, you’ll see that those long-term goals don’t seem that impossible anymore.
6. Get Your Feelings Out (and Document Them)
It’s important to have a way to express how you feel. Even and especially when those thoughts and feelings don’t feel great.
Write them down in your notebook. Audio-record them on your phone. Take videos venting on an old camera.
Knowing something is taking note of your thoughts, feelings, and experience feels more therapeutic than you might imagine. And documenting along the way gives you a great resource for three reasons:
- It shows you that you made it through those feelings, so you can make it through even more
- It holds you accountable
- It helps you find more empathy for yourself, which helps you want to be better because you want to—not because you have to
When it comes down to it, beating alcohol addiction is about and for you. It’s important to show yourself that you’re a priority.
Alcohol Addiction Isn’t in Control
Whether you were hereditarily presupposed or accustomed over a long period of time, the same is true. Your brain was taught addiction.
It’s hard to shake. But instead of feeling like alcohol addiction has control over you, think about it like this: your brain can be taught to rid that same addiction. It only gets easier from here.
We know you can do it. You knowing you can do it is how it happens.
Make sure you know an alcohol addiction national helpline if you or someone you know need it. The one from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration is 1(800) 662-HELP (4357).
Ready to learn more about health for your new wellness journey? Check out more important information in our health section.