You already know that how smoking and drinking is ruining your health and looks as well. Drinking can even work as a primary reason of issues in your relationships and even in your work life. Quitting both at the same time might seem to be difficult, but if you are really serious to give your life a fresh turn and to recover from the damages that have already been done to your body then quitting both together is the right way to go.
If you plan to quit smoking and continue with drinking at the same time, things are surely going to be much difficult for you, as after a drink you are sure to feel the high urge to get the smoke. So, trying to quit smoking and drinking at the same time is the right way to go. However, before you proceed on your mission, it is important to be fully aware about the expected withdrawal symptoms of both the addictions, so that you can be prepared to deal with them. The severity of the withdrawal symptoms also varies depending on how much you are into the addiction. If you are an alcoholic, things are surely going to be much worse and in that case, seeking for medical attention might be important.
However, if you are not an alcoholic but you want to discard the habit totally, being aware about the withdrawal symptoms and taking precautions to deal with them can be sufficient. Some of the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol include the following and some of them might or might not appear in a person after quitting alcohol,
- Sweating and Tremors
- Not being able to focus
- Felling scared
- Increased sensitivity to light and noise
There is no certainty that all of these symptoms will appear in a particular person after quitting alcohol. The extent of these withdrawal symptoms also varies extensively depending on a number of factors. Unlike alcohol, smoking has no such severe withdrawal symptoms, even if you are a chain smoker. Once you stop smoking, you will start experiencing a better health within a week. Once you stop smoking you might experience some of the following withdrawal symptoms,
- Difficulty in focusing
Being fully aware about the withdrawal symptoms you might or might not experience after quitting both drinking and smoking makes the first step of quitting these addictions. Once you are aware about them, move on to the next steps.
How about treating every now and then?
Make it a point to reward yourself for trying so hard. It is not easy to quit smoking and drinking. They are the most addictive habits a person can develop. So, treat yourself to a meal of your favorite cuisine or buy a cone of ice cream for yourself. You can even indulge in fizzy drinks or mocktails. Although, these choices might not be extremely healthy, you can indulge them in every now and then.
Learn how to cope up from such withdrawals
When a person stops drinking and smoking, a lot of problems might start to erupt at first. There are a lot of symptoms that a person faces, which are depression, anxiety, headache, fatigue, shaking, nausea, elevated heart rate, cramps and so on.
Ceasing the habit of smoking might cause a certain degree of unpleasantness to the mind and body. But, quitting alcohol can be extremely dangerous. The withdrawal symptoms for alcohol depend on how much you drank, how often you drank and for how long you continued drinking. Symptoms start occurring within hours, days and some might even take a week.
Neurological problems and mental health is critically damaged once you quit alcohol. Agitation, tremors, fear, restlessness, seizures and hallucinations are some of the problems. You have to visit a doctor if you face these problems.
Take the help of medical intervention
Till date there is no medicine that can take care of the alcohol and nicotine withdrawal. But, there are interventions which will help to deal with nicotine and alcohol addiction.
The use of acamprostrate, disulfiram and naltrexone can be used to take care of symptoms of withdrawal as well as relapse. There are quite a few ways of dealing with nicotine. People often quit eating cold turkey. Use sprays and patches as well.
Take the pledge
It is the most vital step to quit smoking and drinking together. You have to take an oath to yourself to make your life free from the addictions that are killing you in every possible way. Write down how these addictions are affecting your physical and mental health as well as your relationships and this document can work as a great motivator to stick to your pledge. Writing it down is necessary, because a written record is most expected to be more effective in this case and you can always refer to it every time you feel like getting back to the addictions. Writing down the ill effects of drinking and smoking on your life and body is the best way to make your pledge strong.
Find the situations that triggers the urge
Note down the situations or the times of the day when you feel like smoking or drinking. This will help you to point out the triggers in your life. For many, it is work pressure that triggers them to drink or smoke, where as there are also many others who opt for these choices to kill their loneliness. An argument with your family or an issue at the job can also work as the trigger for you. So, make sure to note down these triggers so that you can deliberately stay away from them. Being aware about the triggers will help you to deal them in the right way without resorting to an addiction.
Fix your goals
If you are planning to quit smoking and drinking at once your goal should be to stay sober completely every day. In case, you are planning to quit both slowly, then it is important that you maintain a diary and note down the goals clearly. You should set the final time limit by when you want to be completely clean and then you can divide the time in between to progress slowly towards the goal. Once you have divided the course of each day to reach your goal within the set time limit, make sure that you stick to the everyday goal accurately.
Once you have completed the preparatory stages as mentioned above, now it is time to get into action. Do the following things to ensure that getting back to smoke or alcohol becomes really difficult for you.
Destroy your home collections first
If you are addicted to smoking and drinking, there is maximum chance that you have a good collection of both in your home. The first step to quit these addictions is to destroy the collection, no matter how expensive and dear they are. Gifting these to someone close to you, is never a good option, because you do not want to put someone near and dear go through the same problems you are going through. So, simply destroy them. Destroy the cigarettes fully, and pour down the alcohols in the basin to get completely rid of them. Make sure, that you do not keep even a single ounce of alcohol or a single cigarette anywhere in your home or workplace.
Discard the related items
It is a wise decision to discard all the items related to drinking and smoking that are present in your home and office along with the drinks and cigarettes. Starting from the ashtrays, lighter to the glasses that can remind you about the addiction, remove all of them from your sight.
Do not mix with friends who drink or smoke
Leaving all your friends because they drink and smoke might not be a very feasible idea, but when you are trying to quit these addictions, hanging out with people who drink and smoke can actually trigger the urge in you too. So it is best to take a break from them at least for the time being. Let them know clearly that you are trying to come over your addictions and until you get full control over it, you will prefer to be left out. If your friends are really your friend, they will understand you and will give you the space and support you need in this time.
Avoid places where people drink and smoke
The places where people drink and smoke can work as a high trigger for you to get back to the addictions. Right after quitting smoking, even passive smoking might feel comfortable for you, so better stay away from the smoking zones. On the other hand, visiting a pub can trigger your urge for drinking, as you will see your favorite drink flowing around you everywhere. So, till the time you are able to control your urge, stay steer clear from these places.
The next and most critical part of quitting drinking and smoking at the same time is to control the urge. To control the urge it is best to indulge yourself in the following things and also refer to the pledge you have written down to keep the urge in control.
Find ways of relaxing in the right way
Addiction often becomes a part of our lives because they relax our senses in some way or other. So, when you are trying to quit these habits make sure that you are able to relieve stress and relax your mind and body through some better ways. A visit to the spa or a body massage after a hectic day in the office can be a great way to relax your mind and body without having to be a victim of addictions.
Do something interesting
Many people often take up addiction to kill boredom. So, make sure to pick up a hobby that is good for you and is interesting as well. If you do not like to spend time planting the trees or reading the books you can plan to talk with your family and friends in your free hours. You can also start learning something new, like dances, karate or a new sport to make sure that you have something to look forward to.
Get daily exercise
When you are trying to quit smoking and drinking together, exercising regularly can be most helpful for you. It will not only help your body to get back to its normal rhythm but will also keep your mind fresh and relaxed. The feel good hormone secreted in the body during exercising can be an effective tool to fight any mental depression or agitation caused as the withdrawal symptom of alcohol or smoking.
Keep something at hand to distract yourself
When you are feeling the urge to drink or smoke, make it a point to keep something else to eat or drink at hand. Having a chewing gum or a glass of fruit juice or some other food can be helpful to kill the urge quickly.
To quit these addictions together you can also take help from an addiction specialist. You can also join a group where people trying to come over their addictions meet and discuss about their problems and experiences.