At one point in your life you realize that drinking and smoking is not cool, but stupid. How to become free from addictions that poison your life? The path to a healthier and better life begins with a decision.
1. Commitment to stop drinking and smoking
1.1 Write down how tobacco and alcohol affect you. If you write down the negative effects of alcohol and tobacco, then you will have a constant reminder of why you need to stop drinking and smoking. Hang this list where you can see it so you stay motivated.
Alcohol and tobacco adversely affect physical and mental health. Did you gain weight or your athletic performance declined after you started drinking and smoking? Do you feel angry if you haven't had alcohol in a long time? Do you feel anxious if you don't smoke?
Many people decide to get rid of addiction because they get tired of feeling sick and tired, and addiction has more negative than positive effects.
Think about how alcohol and tobacco affect your relationships and social life.
Think about the financial cost: how much you spend on alcohol and tobacco.
1.2 Find your triggers. Keep a small notepad handy and write down when you drink or smoke. Write down your feelings or situations prior to using alcohol and tobacco. Try to avoid similar situations in the future.
The trigger or "trigger" may be a fight with a relative or a bad job.
Because alcohol and nicotine are often linked together, one can be a trigger for the other. For example, when you drink, you may want to smoke.
1.3 Set goals. Be honest with yourself and decide whether you want to stop drinking and smoking right away, or get rid of bad habits gradually. Some people decide to quit drinking and smoking for social or health reasons, others need to do so for medical reasons because they are already addicted. Determine for yourself the reasons why you want to quit drinking and smoking, and then set goals. If you're suffering from alcoholism, then it's probably best to stop drinking immediately, rather than gradually.
People who smoke are much more difficult to stop drinking and are more likely to start drinking again compared to people who do not smoke. Set goals that apply to both smoking and drinking.
Write down deadlines, a kind of milestones, for each of the goals.
2. Preparing for change
2.1 Get rid of household supplies of cigarettes and alcohol. Throw away all cigarettes and pour all alcoholic beverages down the sink. Ask family or friends with whom you live to support you and get rid of all alcohol and tobacco products at home - so you will not be tempted to drink or smoke.
2.2 Throw away anything that reminds you of alcohol or smoking. Don't keep your favorite lighter, flask, or glasses. Such major lifestyle changes are much easier to get used to if you get rid of all reminders of old habits.
2.3 Avoid places where people smoke and drink. Being in places where people smoke and drink alcohol when you are trying to get rid of bad habits can be dangerous. Try not to go to bars or other places where people drink alcohol or tobacco products.
Sit down in restaurants and cafes in a non-smoking area or choose rooms in non-smoking hotels.
2.4 Stop associating for a while with people with whom you regularly drank or smoked. Try to stay away from people who might make you fall back into old habits. Explain that you have decided to stop using alcohol and tobacco, and try not to involve yourself in activities where you used to drink or smoke. Stay away from people who do not support you in your decision to stop drinking and smoking.
2.5 Avoid risky situations. Extremely risky situations in which you can break loose can be situations when you experience feelings of loneliness, fatigue, anger or hunger. It has been proven that in such situations, people are more likely to drink or smoke. Watch your feelings and analyze them, try to predict situations in which you can feel the above, and prevent them.
Try to get enough sleep, eat well and do not isolate yourself from social life to avoid risky situations. If you get angry at someone, force yourself to relax and let the negative emotions go away on their own, without alcohol and tobacco.
3. Fighting cravings for smoking and drinking alcohol
3.1 Replace alcohol and tobacco products with more harmless things. Remember that alcohol and tobacco have some positive effect when you use them as they relieve stress and tension. Try to track these positive effects from the use of these substances, feel how alcohol and tobacco affect you, and learn how to get the same effect without them. Deep breathing techniques, a simple conversation with another, or a simple walk can be helpful.
3.2 Go in for sports. Physical activity helps relieve withdrawal symptoms, it allows you to be distracted when the desire to drink or smoke arises. In addition, exercise reduces stress levels. Ride a bike, do yoga, walk your dog or jump rope.
3.3 Find a new hobby. By choosing a new hobby, you can redirect your energy in a positive direction and even find a new meaning in life. Try something that seems interesting or exciting to you.
You can go surfing, knitting, playing the guitar, or even start writing books.
3.4 Distract yourself from the strong desire to drink or smoke. If you're experiencing withdrawal or a strong urge to drink or smoke, learn to distract yourself with something else. Distract your mind and body: chew gum, take a walk while talking on the phone, open a window, or do something.
3.5 Learn to relax. To get rid of bad habits, it is extremely important to learn how to relax. Tension and stress can lead to relapse. If you feel like you won't have time to relax, think about how much time you spent on alcohol and smoking before, and just use the free time for other ways to relax.
Activities such as walking, reading, and meditation are effective in relaxing.
3.6 Allow yourself small pleasures. All people need some joys and rewards - just try to make these joys more useful. Treat yourself to ice cream or buy fizzy drinks from time to time. And while it's important to take care of your health, give yourself some freedom so you don't feel deprived of all of life's former joys.
3.7 Stay motivated. The better you manage your cravings for alcohol and tobacco, the less likely you are to "break loose." People who stop drinking and smoking at the same time are less likely to experience withdrawal symptoms and are less likely to "break loose".
4. Dealing with withdrawal symptoms
4.1 Pay attention to withdrawal symptoms. When a person stops drinking or smoking, the body may experience a withdrawal syndrome. Withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, depression, fatigue, headache, nausea, cramps, abdominal pain, and heart palpitations.
4.2 Monitor withdrawal progression. Tobacco withdrawal can be accompanied by physically and emotionally unpleasant symptoms, and alcohol withdrawal can be downright dangerous. The severity of alcohol withdrawal can vary, depending on how much and for how long you have been drinking, as well as your medical condition. Some symptoms may appear after a few hours, reach a peak after a few days, but after a week, the condition of patients, as a rule, improves.
Alcohol withdrawal can lead to symptoms that cause severe psychiatric and neurological disorders, including tremors, agitation, restlessness, fear, hallucinations, and seizures. If you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible.
If you have been drinking alcohol for a long time and in large quantities, then detoxification under the supervision of specialists is recommended.
4.3 Consult a doctor. Currently, there are no prescription drugs that can cure alcohol and nicotine addiction, but there are drugs that help reduce the negative effects that accompany the withdrawal of alcohol or tobacco.
Some prescription drugs can be used to treat alcohol dependence. Drugs such as naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram can help with withdrawal and relapse.
Choose a method of dealing with withdrawal syndrome when getting rid of nicotine addiction. Today, there are several different means available that are quite successful in helping to quit smoking. To replace cigarettes, there are special chewing gums, patches, nasal sprays, and prescription drugs (such as bupropion) that help the body better adapt to reducing nicotine levels.
5.1 Find a doctor. Coping with addiction alone is very difficult, and in this case, the doctor can be a reliable support. Working with a doctor may include discussing emotional triggers, finding strategies to overcome alcohol and tobacco cravings, relapse prevention, and deep learning about the emotional causes of addiction.
It is very important to adhere to the course of treatment, especially in order to prevent relapses.
Addiction can accompany or contribute to various psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. Together with the proper course of therapy, drugs can cure mental disorders that contribute to alcohol and tobacco addiction.
5.2 Get a medical examination. A small medical examination will help determine how much cigarettes and alcohol have affected the body. See a doctor to improve your health condition. The doctor will also recommend one or another remedy to reduce dependence on nicotine.
Both alcohol and nicotine have a negative effect on the body. Be honest with your doctor and ask for a referral to check on your liver, heart, kidneys, and lungs.
5.3 Consider institutional treatment. If you are afraid that you will not be able to cope with addiction on your own, consider getting treatment in a specialized institution. There you will be helped to cope with physical and emotional difficulties and will allow you to get rid of addiction under the supervision of specialists and in a supportive environment that will provide you with support. A special program will help you detox and track your physical and emotional state while getting rid of alcohol and nicotine addiction. Very often, treatment programs include intensive medical and psychological support.
Treatment most often includes intensive individual and group therapy aimed at maintaining mental health. Very often, doctors prescribe certain drugs to help the patient deal with mental disorders in the course of treatment.
6. Seeking support
6.1 Ask friends and family for help. You are more likely to quit drinking and smoking if you are supported by the people around you. Ask your family and friends for support, ask them not to drink or smoke in your presence.
6.2 Follow the progress with your friends. If you have friends who also want to stop drinking and smoking, then make something like a bet or contract. Monitor each other daily and demand a full account.
6.3 Find support groups. Reaching out to support groups (such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Smoking Cessation) can be helpful. Sometimes it is important to talk about your attempts to quit drinking or smoking, and also to share your feelings in a society of understanding and supportive people, and then listen to other people's experiences, perhaps find something useful in their stories.
6.4 Settle in a sober community. If you're worried that you're living with people who might cause you to start drinking and smoking again, consider moving to a community that has a complete ban on drinking and smoking. All people who settle in such sober communities are required to stop smoking and drinking alcohol.
Avoid parties and events where people drink alcohol and smoke.
Do not go on "smoke breaks" with friends and colleagues.
Try to plan activities where you are unlikely to be able to drink and smoke, and choose the company of people who do not use alcohol and tobacco products.