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Resources to Help Cut Down or Quit Drinking

Does your New Year’s resolution involve cutting down on alcohol? Maybe you want to drink less or stop altogether? You’re certainly not alone. Approximately 15 million Americans struggle daily with alcohol use disorder annually, and many of them are searching for a way out.

If you’ve noticed the detrimental effects of alcohol on your life, there’s hope yet.

By moderating or quitting, you can improve your health, strengthen your relationships, and feel more in control. And, to support you and your loved ones on the road to recovery, we’ve created this comprehensive resource. So, if you’re ready for the New Year, new you, read on.

What Are the Signs You Need a Change?

Alcoholism comes in many shapes and forms. It’s a spectrum that often starts with alcohol abuse and then slowly morphs into addiction over time.

The signs of addiction may not always be blatantly obvious, particularly for those in the early stages who aren’t yet physically dependent. For instance, not every person who needs to cut back will suffer uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Having said that, there are both physical and behavioral signs you should consider:

Social and Behavioral Indicators

The behavioral signs tend to be more readily apparent, especially if a person tries to hide their drinking. Consider whether you notice any of the following signs in your life:

  • Inability to limit alcohol consumption while drinking
  • Wanting to cut down or stop, but failing to do so repeatedly
  • Declining to engage in social activities or hobbies that used to be of interest
  • Failing to fulfill work, life, or school obligations due to alcohol use
  • Drinking alone
  • Using alcohol in unsafe situations
  • Drinking to cope with daily struggles
  • Lying about how much you drink
  • Forgetting about what happened while drinking
  • Getting into trouble with the law (like getting a DUI)

Physical and Physiological Indicators

The physical signs may be harder to notice in oneself than in others. That said, think about whether, in the past year, you have experienced any of the following symptoms:

  • Changes in weight, sleep, appearance, or appetite
  • Lack of mental clarity
  • Increased tolerance to alcohol
  • Blackouts (inability to recall days/nights)
  • Trouble with motor coordination
  • Impaired judgment in-the-moment (i.e., Increased risk-taking)
  • Slurred speech
  • Repeated nausea and hangovers

Increased Risk Categories

You should be especially cautious if you fall into any of the increased risk categories as outlined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA):

  • Drinking before the age of 15
  • Genetics and family history of alcohol problems
  • Mental health conditions
  • History of trauma

What Can You Do If You See the Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder?

Whether you’ve had a run-in with the law or witnessed firsthand the detrimental strain drinking can put on your relationships, you may wonder how to break free of alcohol’s hold on your life.

Here are some of the steps you can take to get your life back on track:

Consult a Doctor

If you feel that your drinking is causing problems in your life, always consult your medical specialist right away. This isn’t something you should hide from them or feel ashamed of.

Your doctor will do everything in their power to support and guide you.

Consulting a doctor in the early stages is especially important if you have been drinking heavily for a long time. People with severe alcohol use disorder will typically require total intervention and rehabilitation to get clean.

Also, for a person at this later stage, quitting “cold turkey” could be dangerous. It can lead to withdrawal symptoms, including seizures, hallucinations, and life-threatening complications.

However, a doctor can help you:

  • Find a rehab program
  • Connect with a clinical therapist
  • Provide medications to manage withdrawal symptoms
  • Monitor progress during detox
  • Provide ongoing support
  • Diagnose underlying conditions that contribute to alcohol use

Put simply, consulting a doctor before quitting or cutting back is an important first step you can take to ensure your safety and success in this endeavor.

Seek Support and Accountability

No matter what you think, you almost certainly can’t do it alone.

Most people lack the personal willpower and control to stop drinking without the support of others, especially if they have become physically dependent.

To increase the likelihood of success, you need to surround yourself with friends, family, specialists, and support groups who will encourage you to stay on the right track. You need people who won’t tempt you to drink and will hold you accountable if you do relapse.

Your support team can provide the encouragement, guidance, and motivation you need to climb that mountain.

Trying to quit can be an isolating experience, particularly if it means cutting out old haunts or relationships. And when you’re lonely, you’re vulnerable. However, by surrounding yourself with a community that understands your struggles, it will be easier to fight off your temptations.

So, if you feel a moment of weakness, pick up the phone and call someone to talk about it.

Check Out the Following Resources

There are countless resources available that you can use to cut down or quit drinking:

  • Support groups – There are several online and in-person sobriety support groups you can join to find a community of like-minded people, including but not limited to:
    • Alcoholics Anonymous
    • SMART Recovery
    • LOOSID
    • LifeRing
    • ClubSoda
  • Literature – Reading self-help, motivational, and biographical books can help you better understand and deal with the ramifications of alcohol abuse. Some examples include:
    • This Naked Mind by Annie Grace
    • Quit Like a Woman by Hollie Whitaker
    • Sober Curious by Ruby Warrington

Speak to a Lawyer

Has your drinking caused you to run afoul with the law?

For instance, you may have recently been arrested for a DUI violation. And you may be wondering whether you can fight to have the charges reduced or thrown out completely.

There’s good news on this front!

If you received a misdemeanor DUI, there’s a strong chance that experienced DUI lawyers could arrange a plea bargain. This is especially true in cases where:

  • You have no criminal history
  • Had a BAC close to the legal limit
  • Have a clean driving history
  • There are flaws in the case

In such a case, you would likely issue a guilty plea in exchange for reduced sentencing.

But What If I’m Innocent?

If you think there’s been a mistake or the arresting officers failed to uphold procedural duties, an experienced DUI attorney in Los Angeles could also fight to have the charges dismissed altogether.

Even if you technically failed the breathalyzer test, the right lawyers could review the arrest materials and determine whether there were flaws in the case. For example, there might have been a failure to demonstrate probable cause or improper police conduct.

However, if you wish to fight the charges, time is of the essence.

For the best chance of a successful outcome, you’ll want to hire a legal team as soon as possible so that they can review the case while the details remain fresh.

Support You Need from Artz and Sturm

Unfortunately, alcohol has had a net detrimental impact on the lives of countless Americans, precipitating physical and mental health problems, financial difficulties, and legal issues. All individuals need to know the risks and harms associated with alcohol abuse in order to make wise decisions about their own habits.

Whether you simply want to change your drinking habits, or if those habits have landed you in hot legal water, the team at Artz and Sturm is here to help.

As your advocate, we can provide legal advice and representation, emotional support, and guidance you need to make the changes you want to see in your life.

If you have legal questions or need to retain the services of a DUI lawyer, contact Artz and Sturm Law Group for a free, private, confidential consultation.


MayoClinic. Alcohol Use Disorder.

NIH. Alcohol Facts and Statistics.

NIAAA. Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder.

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