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Implementing Your Plan

Taking Action

Many heavy drinkers reach a point  in their lives where they realise that their drinking has developed into a dependency, and has come to dominate all aspects of their lives in one way or another. Many would desperately like to quit drinking but they are unable to do so because the pattern of addiction has become too strong for them to break out of.

For some though, the pain and misery of continued drinking is enough to move them beyond the contemplation stage of change to a point where they are committed and determined to take the necessary actions to stop.

If you are in this position right now, and have taken the time to honestly assess your own situation; have considered all the options open to you, and have developed your own unique strategy to kick the drink, then this is the time to turn preparation into action.

This section provides a quick action point checklist which you can compare your own strategy against – to recap all key areas, and to ensure you have considered all the relevant issues for your own personal situation.

Implementation Checklist

  • preparing to give up drinkingWhere are you on the “stages of change” model? Have you fully accepted that you have a problem with alcohol and are you ready, willing and committed to making changes? Have you spent enough time in preparation, or are you jumping straight from contemplation to action?
  • Do you know how many units of alcohol you are drinking on a weekly basis, and does this vary much over time?
  • Have you assessed your patterns of drinking and understood what the impact of quitting will have on your habitual routines?
  • Have you identified and briefly quantified any other significant problems you have in your life at the moment?
  • Have you consulted with your GP?
    • Have you had a blood pressure/general health assessment?
    • Have you had a blood test?
    • Have you been prescribed thiamine / vitamin B supplements?
    • Have you been referred to a specialist alcohol service?
    • Have you been assessed as safe to detox/withdraw from alcohol on your own?
    • Have you discussed your fitness for work?
  • Have you considered (and investigated) other types of support?
    • Specialist Alcohol Support Team
    • Alcoholics Anonymous
    • Charity based support groups
    • Private Rehab treatment
    • Employer based treatment
  • preparing to quit alcoholHave you decided who to confide in and what to say?
    • Doctor / Health Professionals
    • Close friends and family
    • Employer
    • Acquaintances and work colleagues
  • Do you need medication to detox?
    • Who will prescribe and manage this?
    • Will this be done at home?
    • Will this require hospitalisation?
  • Have you adequately prepared for the 3 distinct phases of quitting?
    • Withdrawal phase
    • Honeymoon phase
    • The new reality
  • Have you planned your withdrawal / detox period?
    • Proper timing
    • Set a date
    • Tapering strategy
    • Clearing the decks
    • Stocking up
    • Planning downtime
    • Exit strategy

 

All the above topics are covered elsewhere in detail on this site, so if there is anything in your strategy you think you may have overlooked, or if you need to dig a little deeper in any particular area then just check back to the relevant section.

Developing and following a strategy based on the above checklist cannot guarantee that you will successfully quit drinking alcohol, just as no other system, methodology or approach can offer such guarantees either.

strategy to stop drinkingBut remember that giving up alcohol when you are both physically and psychologically addicted to it requires more than just willpower, and more than just a desire and the motivation to stop. It requires a planned, thought out strategy – a conscious and deliberate sequence of actions. By setting such a strategy, even though you cannot guarantee success, you give yourself the best possible chance of achieving a positive outcome.

 

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