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What is alcohol addition

Alcohol addiction or alcoholism is one of the leading factors affecting the life of a vast majority of people today. Known to cause a number of diseases, particularly liver, alcoholism is a severe form of alcohol abuse where an individual is unable to manage his/her drinking habits. 

Individuals addicted to alcohol are often under the impression that they cannot function without alcohol intake. Alcoholism thus impacts a lot of aspects of livelihood such as personal relationships, professional goals and overall general health. Also, if consistent, long-term effects of alcohol can produce complications which could be life-damaging.

Alcohol addiction can be categorized as mild, moderate or severe which may have serious consequences if left unchecked. The symptoms and side effects of alcohol addiction vary for each category. 

(Read more: Liver disease symptoms)

  1. Signs of alcohol addiction
  2. How to quit alcohol
  3. Exercise to quit alcohol
  4. Meditation to quit alcohol
  5. Acupuncture to quit alcohol
  6. Home remedies to quit alcohol
  7. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms
  8. Takeaway
Doctors for How to Quit Alcohol

The warning signs of alcohol addiction differ from person to person and the amount of time for the signs to be noticeable is also varied. The chances of recovering from alcohol addiction also increase if the signs are observed in the early stages itself. The noticeable signs of alcohol addiction usually include the following:

  • Unchecked consumption of alcohol.
  • Alcohol craving when you are not drinking.
  • The urge to keep drinking more until you pass out.
  • Different, especially aggressive behaviour after drinking.
  • Putting alcohol above responsibilities and over-spending on it.

If you have noticed the signs of alcohol addiction, do not be threatened. It is not too late as yet as long as you are willing to do what it takes to help you quit. In case, you have been a heavy drinker in the past, quitting is unlikely to be easy. This could be made simple with the help of a few techniques. The most effective ways of quitting alcohol addiction have been discussed in detail below.

One of the main techniques that can help in quitting alcohol is exercise. Regular exercise helps the body increase the muscle mass and decrease body fat. Internally, this increase in muscle mass leads to stronger muscles that allow better movement and control throughout the day. Exercises involving weightlifting help the skeletal system to become stronger with the increase in bone density.

Implementing a cardiovascular routine of any type helps to counter the disrepair of the cardiovascular system by lowering the dangerous levels of low-density lipids which cause heart attack and stroke. Cardiovascular exercise, including weight training, encompasses an elevation in heart rate for a prolonged period of time, The fatty cholesterol blocking the arteries begin to dissipate causing a more efficient cardiovascular system allowing better oxygenation of cells.

Proper oxygenation of cells across the body allows the body to begin healing. The immune system becomes stronger due to the boost in white blood cells leading the ability to remove problematic germs faster.

The increase in improved circulation benefits your kidneys by making them better equipped to function well. Unfortunately, diabetes is not a curable disease, but resistance training can help regulate blood sugar levels lessening the need for medications.

Alcohol-induced fatty liver disease is another illness that cannot be reversed completely, but exercise and a healthy diet full of vegetables and fruits can help. Mental fog from prolonged alcohol use begins to clear after a short time of consistent exercise. The brain release chemicals that improve mood, increase brain functions and provide the body with a stronger control centre on a whole.

(Read more: Fatty liver symptoms)

Another effective way of quitting alcohol is meditation.  In recent years, the therapeutic benefits of mindfulness meditation practice have been clearly documented. Many well-conducted programs and studies show that meditation can help people react to stress and discomfort in various ways. People in alcohol addiction recovery centres have been found to recover better with the assistance of meditation.

With the help of mindfulness-based therapies, people with addictive tendencies find that they are better able to tolerate and work with undesirable thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. In a recent study, it was concluded that sitting mindfully just 11 minutes a day significantly helped drinkers on the verge of addiction reduce their alcohol consumption.

(Read: Anulom vilom benefits)

Acupuncture has widely been used as a treatment to reduce dependence on alcohol. The technique involves the use of thin needles inserted at specific points in the body. It is an alternative form of medicine that has been used in the Chinese tradition for long. A recent study found that acupuncture is potentially effective in reducing alcohol craving and withdrawal symptoms and could be considered as an additional treatment choice and/or referral option within national healthcare systems.

Apart from seeking medicinal treatments, there are also certain remedies which can be tried at home that can prove to be effective in helping you quit alcohol. The home remedies that can be employed for quitting alcohol have been described in detail below.

Talk to friends

It is important to discuss your problems with your close friends and family. Talking can help you get a long way in the path to recover from addiction. Such people can help to keep you on track by reminding you why you chose to quit in the first place.

Avoid situations or places where alcohol is served

In the early stages when you are trying to quit alcohol, it is best to avoid situations where one is generally tempted to drink. Try to take your mind off in case there is an urge. It is always best to resort to healthier drinks such as fruit juices to keep the body hydrated.

Take care of your diet

It is important to maintain a properly balanced diet to help the body cope up with the process of recovery. Alcohol addiction damages the body in a number of ways. A nutritious diet will help repair that damage and speed up the recovery process.

(Read more: Diet chart for weight loss)

Acknowledge your progress

If you are successful in quitting alcohol, then as time progresses you need to acknowledge your progress. Treating yourself to that new dress or that restaurant you have been wanting to try out by utilizing the money that you would have otherwise spent on alcohol. This will remind you of your success and provide the motivation to keep going further.

Reap the benefits

Once you are able to get rid of alcohol from your life, you are likely to start noticing a number of improvements to the way you look and feel. Among other things, you might find you have more energy, that you’re sleeping better, or that you’ve lost a bit of weight.

In the long term, you will also be helping to reduce your risk of developing alcohol-related cancer, alcohol-related liver disease or alcohol-related heart disease and your blood pressure could be lowered as well.

People undergoing de-addiction often suffer from alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms could be either physiological or physical or both. Psychological symptoms can include irritability, poor concentration, feeling shaky, fatigue, difficulty sleeping or bad dreams.

Physical alcohol withdrawal symptoms include trembling hands, sweating, headachenausea, vomiting, palpitations and lack of appetite. These signs are less common but are often a sign that the sufferer was drinking at worrying levels. Severe physical side effects include seizures, confusion, fever and even hallucinations.

It is essential to see a doctor on an immediate basis if you experience physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal of any kind. Your doctor may be able to prescribe medication that can help with alcohol withdrawal symptoms and will be able to refer you to a specialist alcohol team for support. Such support groups offer counselling and psychological support and can put you in touch with local support groups to help you stay on track.

There are various measures to help you with quitting alcohol. However, the essential step is realizing that you are addicted to it and are willing to do the needful to come out of it. Once you are through this, you can then figure out the best method to help you discover your path to recovery.

Dr. Priyamvada Tiwari

Dr. Priyamvada Tiwari

Alcoholism Treatment
2 Years of Experience


  1. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; How to stop drinking
  2. National Health Portal [Internet] India; Quit Alcoholism
  3. Charlotte Southern et al. Acupuncture as an intervention to reduce alcohol dependency: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Chin Med. 2016; 11: 49. PMID: 28018479
  4. Alcohol Rehab Guide. What is Alcoholism? Recovery Worldwide [Internet]
  5. American Addiction Centers Resource. Recovery From Alcoholism. [Internet]

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