Get help today 888-287-0471 or sign up for 24/7 text support.
American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

How To Stop Drinking – Medications, Counseling and Treatment

The decision to stop drinking can be a lifesaving course of action for individuals who feel they are at risk of developing an alcohol addiction problem. For a person who is wondering how to stop drinking alcohol, it’s important to understand that there are many different paths to sobriety.

One of the most challenging tasks involves rebuilding your life without alcohol.

The key is to find the method that works best for you and your family. If you have a friend or family member who need help finding the treatment and support to be able to find the method that works best, we can help. Call one of our admissions navigators at and start on your path to recovery.

Establish a Solid Social Support System

When you decide to quit drinking alcohol, one of the most challenging tasks involves rebuilding your life without alcohol. The following strategies may be beneficial for anyone who is seeking to lead a sober life:

  • Educate your family and friends and inform them that you’re refraining from alcohol.
  • Surround yourself with individuals who will support your sobriety.
  • Find new hobbies, activities and pastimes that do not involve alcohol consumption.
  • If you visit a restaurant or attend a party, ask your friends and family members to refrain from consuming alcohol while in your presence.


According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control, excessive alcohol abuse is attributed to 80,000 deaths per year.

Finding Alternatives to Drinking

If you find that alcohol consumption accounts for a significant portion of your life, rethink how you spend your time. Renew old friendships and establish new relationships with individuals who do not drink. Develop a new hobby or join an organization to avoid boredom and develop new interests.

If you find that you use alcohol as an emotional crutch, seek out healthy alternatives and new coping strategies such as exercise, discussion, journaling or therapy. If you, a friend or family member has an alcohol problem and wants to know how to stop drinking alcohol, we can provide support and solutions. Call us at .

Avoid Activities and Situations That May Cause You to Drink

As you’re seeking ways to stop drinking alcohol, you may find that certain events, situations or people lead you to drink, even though you wish to remain sober. It’s important to evaluate your relationships, activities and habits. Do you find that you drink when you’re home alone? Is there a certain person who causes you to drink, even when you didn’t plan on drinking? Identify situations and emotional triggers that are associated with alcohol consumption, then develop a strategy to cope with or avoid these triggers in order to overcome your urge to drink.

How to Decline Offers to Drink

If you’re seeking answers to the question of how to quit drinking alcohol, you must learn how to deal with situations that may result in relapse. What will you do if you’re at a party and someone offers you a drink? Develop a plan. In this instance, it’s best to politely decline the offer and move on. If you pause to consider the offer, this gives you time to think of a justification or excuse to drink. Plan your response and follow through.

Unsure where to start? Take Our Substance Abuse Self-Assessment

Take our free, 5-minute substance abuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with substance abuse. This evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are designed to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result. Please be aware that this evaluation is not a substitute for advice from a medical doctor.

When to Seek Medical Help

If you feel that you are dependent upon alcohol and can’t stop on your own, it’s important to seek help and support. When you are dependent upon alcohol, quitting cold turkey can lead to life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. If you feel you are addicted and cannot stop, seek professional help with the withdrawal process.

Recover From a Relapse

If you are trying to figure out how to stop drinking alcohol after you have had a relapse, do not worry; help is available. Relapses do occur on occasion; it’s important to keep your eye on the road to recovery. Consider the following points:

  • Relapse is just a bump in the road, an obstacle that you must overcome.
  • Each day is a fresh start.
  • Understand that setbacks will happen.
  • Many organizations offer the help and resources you need to overcome your addiction.

Professional Help

If you’re wondering how to quit drinking, remember there are many resources available. Options include medications to treat alcoholism, special intensive treatment programs and alcohol addiction counseling.


“…there are many medications on the market that can be used to treat alcohol abuse.”
If you want to know how to stop drinking alcohol, and the methods you have tried are not working, know that there are many medications on the market that can be used to treat alcohol abuse. Some of these drugs include naltrexone, topiramate and acamprosate. These medications are non-addictive when used under a doctor’s supervision, and they should be used in conjunction with therapy, counseling and other forms of treatment.

Alcohol Counseling

Talk therapy methods are often very effective for treating alcoholism. Some of these therapy methods include 12-step programs, behavior modification therapy and motivational programs. Discuss these options with your doctor and select the approach that’s most appropriate for your current situation.

Special Intense Treatment Programs

Traditional addiction treatment methods do not work for every patient. If you find that you are in this situation, consider an intense treatment program designed specifically for alcohol abusers. If you, a friend or family member is suffering from alcohol addiction, we are here to help. Call us at .


According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control, binge drinkers ages 65 and over report binging five to six times per month.

Was this page helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Read our full editorial policy

While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.