At one point in life, you realize that drinking and smoking are not cool, but stupid. How do you become free of the addictions that poison your life? The path to a healthier and better life begins with a decision. Very often, drinking and smoking go hand in hand, and quitting two bad habits at the same time can be very difficult. However, when you are able to manage these habits, you will surely feel more freedom, and be able to maintain an optimistic attitude and a desire to live a long, addiction-free life.
1. Commit to quit drinking and smoking
1.1 Write down how tobacco and alcohol affect you. If you write down the negative effects of alcohol and tobacco, you will have a constant reminder of why you need to quit drinking and smoking. Hang this list in the most prominent place so you don’t lose motivation. Alcohol and tobacco negatively affect your physical and mental health. Maybe you gained weight or your athletic performance declined after you started drinking and smoking. Do you have feelings of anger if you haven’t had alcohol in a while? Do you get feelings of anxiety if you haven’t smoked? Many people decide to get rid of an addiction because they are tired of feeling sick and tired, and the addiction has more negative than positive effects. Think about how alcohol and tobacco affect your relationships and social life. Think about your financial costs: how much you spend on alcohol and tobacco.
1.2 Find your triggers. Keep a small notebook handy at all times and write down when you drink or smoke. Write down your feelings or situations that precede alcohol and tobacco use. Try to avoid similar situations in the future.
The trigger or “trigger” could be a fight with a relative or a setback at work. Because alcohol and nicotine are often related, one can be the trigger for the other. For example, when you have a drink, you may want to smoke.
1.3 Set goals. Be honest with yourself and decide whether you want to quit drinking and smoking all at once, or whether you want to get rid of your bad habits gradually. Some people decide to stop drinking and smoking for social or health reasons, others need to do it for medical reasons, because they have already formed an addiction. Determine for yourself the reasons why you want to quit drinking and smoking, and then set goals. If you suffer from alcoholism, it is probably best to quit drinking right away rather than gradually. People who smoke have a much harder time quitting and are more likely to start drinking again compared to people who don’t smoke. Set goals that address both smoking and drinking. Write down deadlines, sort of checkpoints, for each of the goals.
2. Preparing for Change
2.1 Get rid of your home supply of cigarettes and alcohol. Throw away all cigarettes and pour all alcoholic beverages down the sink. Ask family or friends you live with to support you and get rid of all alcohol and tobacco products at home so you won’t 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 glass. This kind of major lifestyle change is much easier to get used to if you get rid of all reminders of previous habits.
2.3 Avoid places where people smoke and drink. Being in places where people smoke and drink alcohol when you are trying to kick your bad habits can be dangerous. Try not to go to bars or other places where people use alcohol or tobacco products.
Sit in restaurants and cafes in non-smoking areas or choose non-smoking hotel rooms.
2.4 Stop hanging out with people with whom you have regularly drank or smoked for a while. 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 may snap can be when you are feeling lonely, tired, angry, or hungry. It has been proven that people are more likely to have a drink or smoke in these situations. Monitor and analyze your feelings, try to predict situations in which you may feel the above and prevent them. Try to get enough sleep, eat well and don’t isolate yourself from social life to avoid risky situations. If you are angry with someone, force yourself to relax and let the negative emotions go away on their own, without alcohol or tobacco.
3. Combat cravings for smoking and alcohol
3.1 Replace alcohol and tobacco products with more innocuous things. Remember that alcohol and tobacco have some positive effect when you use them because they relieve stress and tension. Try to track these positive effects of using 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 Engage in sports. Physical activity helps alleviate withdrawal, it allows you to distract yourself when the urge to drink or smoke arises. In addition, exercise reduces stress levels. Ride a bike, do yoga, walk the dog or jump rope.
3.3 Find a new hobby. Finding a new hobby can help you redirect your energy in a positive direction and even give you new meaning in your life. Try something you find interesting or exciting. You can go surfing, knitting, playing the guitar or even start writing books.
3.4 Distract yourself from the strong urge to drink or smoke. If you are experiencing withdrawal or have a strong urge to drink or smoke, learn to distract yourself with something else. Distract your mind and body by chewing gum, taking a walk while talking on the phone, opening a window, or doing something.
3.5 Learn to relax. Learning how to relax is crucial to getting rid of bad habits. Tension and stress can lead to a 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 joys. Everyone needs some kind of joy and rewards – just try to make those joys more rewarding. Spoil yourself periodically with ice cream or buy fizzy drinks. And while it’s important to take care of your health, give yourself some freedom so you don’t feel deprived of all the old pleasures of life.
3.7 Stay motivated. The better you cope with your cravings for alcohol and tobacco, the less you risk “falling off”. People who quit drinking and smoking at the same time are less likely to experience withdrawal syndrome and are less likely to “fall off”.
4. Coping with Withdrawal
4.1 Pay attention to withdrawal symptoms. When a person quits drinking or smoking, the body may experience withdrawal symptoms. Signs of withdrawal may include anxiety, depression, fatigue, headaches, nausea, cramps, abdominal pain and heart palpitations.
4.2 Monitor the development of withdrawal symptoms. Tobacco withdrawal can be accompanied by unpleasant physical and emotional symptoms, and alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous. The severity of alcohol withdrawal can vary, depending on how much and how long you have been drinking and on your health. Some symptoms may appear as early as a few hours, peak in a few days, but after a week, the condition of patients usually improves. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome can lead to symptoms that cause severe mental and neurological disorders, including tremors, agitation, anxiety, fear, hallucinations and seizures. If you experience one of these symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible. If you have been drinking alcohol for a long time and in large quantities, supervised detoxification is recommended.
4.3 Talk to your doctor. Currently, there are no prescription drugs to cure alcohol and nicotine addiction, but there are remedies that can help reduce the negative effects that accompany quitting alcohol or tobacco. Some prescription medications can be used to treat alcohol dependence. Drugs such as naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram can help with withdrawal and relapse. Choose a withdrawal control method for getting rid of nicotine addiction. There are several different remedies available today that are quite successful in helping you quit smoking. There are special chews, patches, nasal sprays, and prescription medications (such as bupropion) to replace cigarettes, which make the body better able to adapt to lower nicotine levels.
5.1 Find a doctor. Dealing with addiction alone is very difficult, and a doctor can be a reliable support in this endeavor. Working with a doctor can include discussing emotional triggers, finding strategies for overcoming cravings for alcohol and tobacco, preventing breakdowns and digging deep into the emotional causes of addiction.
It is very important to follow a course of treatment, especially to prevent relapse. Addiction can accompany or contribute to a variety of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, depression, anxiety or bipolar disorders. In conjunction with an appropriate course of therapy, medication can treat the mental disorders that contribute to alcohol and tobacco addiction.
5.2 Get a physical exam. A small medical examination can help determine how much cigarettes and alcohol have affected your body. See a doctor to improve your health. Your doctor will also recommend a remedy to reduce your dependence on nicotine. Both alcohol and nicotine have negative effects on the body. Be honest with your doctor and ask for a referral for an examination to check the condition of your liver, heart, kidneys and lungs.
5.3 Consider treatment at a specialized facility. If you’re afraid you can’t cope with an addiction on your own, consider getting treatment at a specialized facility. There, you will be helped with the physical and emotional challenges of addiction and be able to recover from it under the supervision of professionals and in a supportive environment. A special program will help you through detoxification and allow you to monitor your physical and emotional condition while you recover from 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 will prescribe certain medications to help the patient cope with mental health problems during treatment.
6. Finding Support
6.1 Ask friends and family for help. You are most likely to quit drinking and smoking if the people around you support you. Ask your family and friends for support, ask them not to drink or smoke in your presence.
6.2 Keep track of your progress with your friends. If you have friends who also want to quit drinking and smoking, make some kind of bet or pact. Monitor each other on a daily basis and demand a full report.
6.3 Find support groups. Talking to topical support groups (like Alcoholics Anonymous or a smoking cessation society) can be helpful. Sometimes it can be important to talk about your attempts to quit drinking or smoking and share your feelings in a community of understanding and supportive people, and then listen about other people’s experiences, perhaps finding something useful in their stories for yourself.
6.4 Settle into a sober community. If you’re worried about living with people who may cause you to start drinking and smoking again, consider moving to a community that has a total ban on alcohol and smoking. All people who settle in such sober communities are required to give up smoking and drinking. Tips Avoid parties and events where alcohol and smoking are consumed. Don’t go with friends and coworkers to “smoke breaks.” Try to plan recreational activities where you are unlikely to drink and smoke, and choose the company of people who do not use alcohol or tobacco products.