Have You Tried to Stop Drinking On Your Own and Couldn’t? Pt. 7 of 7

by Oct 1, 2018SUD Resources0 comments

At Heartland House, we have learned a lot about substance abuse disorder over our many years of serving men in recovery. Throughout our history, we have utilized an array of recovery tools that have their roots in 12-step programs, government initiatives, and studies and surveys.

We want to reach the still suffering alcoholic or drug addict. If you are questioning whether you might need help with addiction, we are developing a series of blogs on the subject that will be of interest to you. This one poses one of the key questions that we ask our clients:


Have you tried to stop drinking or using on your own and found that you couldn’t do it?


As mentioned above, most people who have engaged in binge drinking or experimented with drugs in the past can stop on their own when they want to, or if they must due to a bad experience or run-in with the law. If you have had similar experiences but have found you cannot stop drinking or using on your own, even when you really want to, you may be an alcoholic.

There are many people who can stop or moderate their drinking if their drinking results in an arrest, a family conflict, or a warning from a doctor. When these circumstances occur, the drinker may have no problem stopping or moderating their drinking.

On the other hand, it is well documented in the book Alcoholics Anonymous and countless other references that real alcoholics usually have a hard time stopping or moderating under the above circumstances. On page 44 in the AA book, it states “If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely…you are probably alcoholic.”

In the chapter preceding that statement, the authors challenge the problem drinker to try and leave alcohol alone for a whole year, because they had found that most real alcoholics could not make it the through the whole year without drinking. The AA book also notes that anyone who can stop for a long period of time usually cannot stay stopped, and then when they start drinking again, they quickly sink to a condition that is just bad as that where they left off, or worse.

Alcoholics Anonymous, Chapter 3

If you have tried to stop on your own and found that you can’t, reach out to us and let us see if we can help. Take a look at our other articles that address a variety of questions surrounding this topic.

You can also take the quiz on the AA website:

Twelve Questions Only You Can Answer


In case you missed the other blogs in this series:

Part 1 – How do I know if I’m an alcoholic?

Part 2 – Is it hard for you to imagine life without drugs or alcohol?

Part 3 – Has your substance use caused problems in your personal or professional life?

Part 4 – Do you need to use drugs or alcohol to feel “normal”?

Part 5 – Have you ever felt defensive, guilty, or ashamed about your drinking or using?

Part 6 – Do you have a habit of drinking or using alone?

Part 7 – Have you tried to stop drinking or using on your own and found that you couldn’t do it?

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