Many people with drinking problems cannot tell when their drinking is out of control and controlling their life. Knowing what type of drinker you are may be the first step.
Talk with your health care provider about your drinking. Your health care provider can help:
You may have tried to stop drinking alcohol many times in the past and feel you have no control over it. Or you may be thinking about stopping, but you're not sure you’re ready to start.
Change takes place in stages over time. The first stage is being ready to change. You can learn from each of these important stages
Many people go back and forth through the stages of change several times before the change really lasts. Know what you will do if you slip up. Try not to be discouraged.
Talk about your drinking with your health care provider, an alcohol counselor, your family, or your friends. Weigh the pros and cons of quitting with them.
These tips will help you control your drinking:
After talking with you about your drinking, your health care provider will guide you to a program to help you quit drinking.
Your health care provider will:
The next step will be a referral to an alcohol support or recovery program.
Other places where you can find support are:
You may be at risk for symptoms of alcohol withdrawal if you stop drinking suddenly.You will likely need to be under medical care while you stop drinking if you are at risk for alcohol withdrawal.
Bush K,Kivlahan DR,McDonellMB,FihnSD, Bradley KA. The AUDIT alcohol consumption questions (AUDIT-C): an effective brief screening test for problem drinking. Ambulatory Care Quality Improvement Project (ACQUIP). Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test. Arch Intern Med. 1998; 158(16):1789–1795.
In the clinic. Alcohol use. Ann Intern Med. 2009 Mar 3;150(5).
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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