Best Books to Quit Drinking Alcohol
Let’s be honest quitting anything addictive, especially something like alcohol is hard. Alcohol has become so ingrained in our society and typically dominates many of our social engagements with friends and family. While self-help books shouldn’t be used in isolation, they are a brilliant way to explore if quitting or abstaining from alcohol is right for you. These books will help you kick start you’re quit drinking journey and are an excellent resource to read by themselves or in conjunction with hypnotherapy sessions for abstaining from alcohol.
It is well published that binge drinking (typically defined as drinking five or more alcoholic beverages on one occasion for men or four for women) greatly increases health risks. This 2018 study found that consuming more than five alcoholic beverages a week could raise the risk of a stroke and heart diseases. More startling is that the according to research from the National Institute of Alcohol, Abuse and Alcoholism in the United States one in 10 deaths among US adults is contributed to over-consumption of alcohol. Clearly this is a big issue in our society so don’t worry if you over-consume alcohol - you are not alone!
Should you quit alcohol altogether or moderate instead?
While many people can learn how to moderate their drinking successfully, but for others quitting alcohol may be the only option you have left. It has been well published that excessive drinking does long term damage to your body both physically, mentally and emotionally. If you have tried moderating your alcohol consumption numerous times before and unfortunately failed, then firstly look at the reasons why your moderation didn’t work and review. Did you have a plan to moderate? Were you anxious or stressed? What triggered you to drinking more? Remember to review and re-adjust your moderating goals after each relapse in order to get back on track.
If however you have tried moderating and you can’t cut down without going back to your old habits, then quitting alcohol is your logical next step. But remember that books and therapy are typically designed for people who have psychological dependence on alcohol. There are people though that have a physical addiction and should seek medical advice first, before ceasing alcohol consumption. Reading a book or googling something is not a substitute for seeing your doctor, so if you are wish to stop drinking then please ensure you speak to a doctor as the first step.
Want to find about more about moderating alcohol? I also did a book review of my top 3 books for alcohol moderation.
What to look for in a quit drinking alcohol book?
Like any self-help books there can be both good and great books out there, so what makes a great self help book for alcohol abstinence? Here are a few key points I like to look for when choosing a book to help you quit alcohol for good,
- Has the author taken this journey themselves?
- Does the author give you actionable steps to take or tools to use to aid in your quit or stop alcohol journey?
- How has the author gained their experience in this field? Is the author a practicing therapist or conducted research on quit drinking alcohol?
- What do other readers and book critics think of their book and techniques they advocate?
So with the above points considered below you can find my top 4 books to help you how to quit alcohol for good. Please remember to take notes along the way through each book and try to do any exercises that are detailed in most of them. You might find that a book you end up purchasing doesn't really resonate with you, please don't despair I have read many books on changing behaviours and you will resonate with some authors and their strategies or tools and not others. The key is to not give up on your abstinence goals and try another book from the list below or from the many books that are released each year.
By Stanton Peele
While this book isn't specific to quitting alcohol, it is an excellent book to give you a values based framework and practical set of skills to work apply to addictions like alcohol or other addictive substances of behaviors. What I like about this book is that it doesn't put the reader in a state of guilt, shame or fear which convey to you that you are powerless to stop alcohol or its a disease like the approach other '12 step type' programs typically take. The author cleverly draws on research conducted by different scientific studies over time in drawing his conclusions and even gives the a conclusion that being once addicted to something does mean always addicted, giving many people light at the end of a dark tunnel of their addictions.
I really found this book inspirational and it really resonated with me as it really makes you think about why you want to quit in the first place, what are your values and life goals you want to achieve and how will quitting alcohol help you achieve them. This book allows you to not be the victim to your addictions anymore and instead empower you to take control of your life life and learn how to put your addiction behind you.
By Catherine Gray
Written as more as a memoir and with practical advice rather than a detailed 'how to guide' , the author provides a raw yet humors account of her journey to giving up alcohol. This is a well written book with personal stories dotted throughout that help the reader relate their own troubles with alcohol such as the denial phase and your 'inner voice'. Catherine doesn't leave out any details when describing her downward spiral that was happening in her life before giving up alcohol and then how her life had changed since quitting alcohol and how she adapted.
This is a book that really makes you reflect on your own lifestyle and why you may also want to take the leap to quit alcohol. Overall if you are after a well composed, short but to the point book that helps reinforce your mindset and commitment to start a quit drinking journey then this book may be for you.
By Allen Carr
Allen Carr is most known for his best selling stop smoking book - The Easy Way to Stop Smoking. Allen has taken his 'easy way' to quit any addictive substance and now tackled how women can sop drinking for good by removing their desire to drink altogether. Allen begins the book by challenging readers why they believe they get some benefit from drinking alcohol in the first place and then starts to break down any common misconceptions and traps about alcohol and the drinks industry. Ultimately the book aims to change the way you think about alcohol and the perceived benefits that come with consuming it, once these perceptions have been broken you will view alcohol in a completely different light.
The book is well written and dotted with personal stories from people who have gone on the journey to quit alcohol. While the book doesn't offer as much as s structured approach as 'The Truth About Addiction and Recovery' it does an excellent job of addressing the major fears everyone has deep down when worried how they could ever quit alcohol.
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