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What is the Best Way to Stop Drinking? Alcoholics Anonymous

If you or a loved one has ever struggled to stop drinking, or have little-to-no control over how much you drink, you have undeniably asked yourself, how the heck do I stop? Well, according to a new study, Alcoholics Anonymous may be your answer to the best way to stop drinking.

According to a study conducted by Stanford University’s School of Medicine, through the work of 145 scientists and 10,000 participants, Alcoholics Anonymous stood out as the most effective treatment for substance use disorder. In particular, when 12-Step Facilitation in Alcoholic Anonymous paired with a certified counselor that encouraged participation with the steps, such treatment proved to be the most effective modality for those who wish to stop drinking.

Dr. Keith Humphreys, a Stanford professor and contributing researcher to the study, indicated that Alcoholics Anonymous could be the best way to stop drinking because of the social support, inspiration, and availability it provides.

As an individual, sometimes reluctantly, begins a journey on a life of abstinence, he/she will be forced to change many aspects of their current environment. In particular: their social network. Too often, many folks in early recovery slip and fall in the delusion that they can can go to the bar with their friends and just not drink. Or, perhaps, they are in such fear of drinking, they completely isolate themselves from the world in utter loneliness. In either circumstance, the individual in recovery will always feel to be on the outside-looking-in completely void of any real connection.  Alcoholics Anonymous establishes an entire network of sober individuals who are ready to help and make anyone feel less alone.

Alcoholics have a unique ability that no one else on the planet has: they can reach an entire population of fellow alcohol abusers when no one else can. Each alcoholic’s story carries depth and weight for the next person that is struggling, and they can provide hope when no one else can because they have been there before. Consider this example: a young 24-year old man has just started his journey in recovery and feels utterly hopeless. At his first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, another young 25-year old man who has been sober for a year approaches him and says, “Dude, I know exactly how you are feeling. That was me not too long ago. Come with me and I can show you the best way to stop drinking and have an awesome life.” Simple, but pretty inspiring, eh?

Here’s a little inside information about Alcoholics Anonymous: it’s free. It requires no health insurance or medical payments. The only requirement for membership: you want to stop drinking. Meetings are regularly available throughout the world, and can be easily found online.  The availability of Alcoholics Anonymous makes it a sustainable, long-term treatment option in comparison to medical or clinical supplements. You can show up everyday for your free support group.

So, what all of that being said, what is the best way to stop drinking? Well, according to this new study, Alcoholics Anonymous will put you on a solid, long-term road to recovery.  However, with addiction can come many other mental health disorders, so it is important to couple your daily dose of AA with proper clinical and mental services as needed.

As always, if you or a loved one need help, please reach out to Ian, our Executive Director, who is ready to help get you started.