If you want to know how to stop drinking – there are a few things you need to do. But first you need to understand that if you have a serious drinking problem – there is a big difference between stopping - and staying stopped.

With a bit of will power, almost anyone can stop drinking for a short period of time – but it’s maintaining that, that is the hard part. And that’s the part most people struggle with.

So how to stop drinking comes in two main parts. What you do initially to get sober – and then what you need to do on an ongoing basis to maintain your sobriety.

These then are the steps you need to follow to not only stop drinking successfully – but maintain a successfully recovery.

Step One : Find Your Reason

You need to find a reason why. Why do you want to stop drinking? Without sufficient motivation it becomes too easy to give up when things get tough. And there will be tough times – make no doubt about it.

I was sick of being miserable and hating myself and my life the way it was. What is it for you? What might you lose – loved ones, friends, a job, your dignity? What might you gain – your self-respect, meaning, purpose, to repair damaged or broken relationships? Find whatever it is that’s important to you – and hold onto that image with all your might.

Step Two: Make the Decision to Quit

Once you’ve found your reason – you need to make the decision that ‘this is it.’ Draw a line in the sand and say ‘no more.’ Because once you really make the decision to stop drinking – you will do everything in your power to follow through.

A big reason for such high relapse rates is that many people trying to overcome an addiction make pretty flaky attempts at quitting. Going through the motions – never really serious about wanting to quit.

I remember when I made the decision for myself – I told myself I’d sooner kill myself than go back to living the life I was. I just couldn’t face living in that misery anymore. I really was determined to do everything I had to do to make sure I maintained my sobriety.

So by making that decision for yourself – so that you know there is no turning back and you’ll do whatever it takes.

Step Three: Get Proper Help

In rare instances people manage to stop drinking and overcome an addiction successfully by themselves and without any outside help. But why make it hard for yourself? Being in the middle of an addiction or problem with alcohol is usually a very lonely place to be.

And because a proper treatment program will expose you to others in a similar position to what you are – you suddenly don’t feel the same sense of isolation and can take strength from the fact that you are not alone in the struggles you’re facing.

But most importantly – a proper treatment program will put the foundations in place for you to stop drinking successfully and maintain that going forward. You will gain so much by putting yourself in the hands of specialists that deal with the treatment of addictions. Find the best in your area – and go get the help you need.

Step Four: Follow a Proven Recovery Program

Remember what I said in the beginning that how to stop drinking comes in 2 parts – the stopping and staying stopped. Professional help and treatment is essentially about the stopping and getting an initial period of sobriety under your belt.

Maintaining that sobriety and preventing relapse is what recovery is basically all about. And this is something you have to work at on an ongoing basis. 12 step programs like AA are great in this regard – because they provide you with a proven blueprint to follow in the form of the 12 steps.

But I know some people just can’t get their head around a 12 step program like AA – so in those cases I recommend finding something that has a spiritual core that works for you and that will help you continuously grow, develop as a person and help you leave those addictive tendencies behind you. Because addiction is first and foremost a spiritual problem – and to successfully overcome it requires a spiritual approach.

So Yoga, meditation and similar practices that form the heart of your recovery program can then provide the rock on which you build your new life. Focus on creating a balance in your life that covers the spiritual, mental/emotional and physical aspects of yourself – and before long your life will be unrecognisable from what it was before.

Author's Bio: 

Carl-Peter has been in recovery for close on 8 years now - and has used his knowledge and experience to write a Book on Alcoholism and Addiction, which has helped people on more than 6 continents deal with their addictions - and in which he provides his personal blueprint on How to Stop Drinking and break the cycle of addiction successfully.