Alcohol addiction is a serious problem. If you are dealing with this issue, you can learn a lot by reading this article. Hopefully, you will gain more understanding of this addiction. We will be sharing the available treatments for alcohol addiction.
Also, read along to know about how you can stay clean when you have stopped the habit of drinking alcohol. Let’s begin by understanding what is alcohol addiction.
What is Alcohol Addiction?
Throughout a heavy intake of alcohol, a person may become reliant on it, and the chances of an individual becoming more and more dependent on drinking alcohol associates with many different determinants. These factors include social status, genetics, the kind of family an individual has, as well as the manner as to how the person grew up.
A person’s emotional well-being can also play a massive part in the risk of alcohol abuse. Exposure to alcoholism at a very young age or those people with a history of alcohol abuse in the family are likely to be facing a more significant risk of becoming addicted to it.
Individuals who are suffering from depression or mental breakdown can also lead to considerable risk. It is because these people affected by loneliness or mental illness believe that alcohol assists them to feel at ease.
People with mental illnesses, hence, tend to drink liquor to self-medicate. Any of these circumstances mentioned above can indeed put you at a higher risk of becoming an alcohol addict.
Instant Effects of Alcohol
Known as a Central Nervous System (CNS) depressant, alcohol slows down bodily and mental operations. With the person’s first alcohol drink, he can feel a smooth decline in feelings of stress or anxiety.
A lot of people praise alcohol and call it a social lubricant. It suggests that people who drink alcoholic beverages tend to feel more confident in meeting new individuals. It is also that they’re not that concerned with how others perceive them.
Since alcoholic beverages are legal and universally accepted in our society, it can be challenging to recognize the difference between casual drinking and abuse. In general, when drinking alcohol results in adverse outcomes, then we can consider it as abuse, and some of these negative outcomes of drinking alcohol include:
- Physical injury or sickness
- Struggling relationships
- Problems at doing the job
- Financial crisis
However, when alcohol abuse becomes more habitual, then it might escalate into alcohol addiction.
Related article: Five Warning Signs of Alcoholism
What are the manifestations of alcoholism?
Symptoms of alcohol addiction can vary between people, but tolerance is usually the initial sign of addiction to alcohol. You need more of your usual drink to feel the very same effects that you used to. Also, you may observe that you can drink much more alcohol than others without that feeling that you’re drunk.
Another vital sign of alcohol addiction is experiencing withdrawal symptoms the moment you wake up. You might feel that you want to have your first alcoholic drink as soon as possible to calm yourself and help you get through the day.
- Additional warning signs of alcoholism include:
- Requiring to drink alcohol to relax
- Missing time from school or work because of unhealthy drinking habits
- Exhibiting a lack of enthusiasm in things you enjoyed before
- Experiencing alcohol blackouts after drinking
- Developing a considerable tolerance to alcohol
- Making explanations for your drinking habit
- Agonizing about running out of alcoholic drink
- Drinking more alcohol than you plan to
- Facing legal problems as an outcome of drinking alcohol
- Lying to your family about your inappropriate alcohol intake
- Experiencing issues in a relationship due to addiction in alcohol
- Exhibiting symptoms of withdrawal between drinks
- Hiding alcohol beverages in many different places in your household or car
- Performing dangerous acts, such as drinking while driving or drinking alcoholic beverages while pregnant
If you start to display any of these symptoms of alcohol addiction, then you need to seek an alcoholism treatment program as soon as possible to help you defeat the addiction. With proper support, you can move a step closer to a sober, healthy life.
Related article: How Does Someone Become an Alcoholic?
How can alcohol abuse include periods of intoxication and withdrawal symptoms?
It results in alcohol intoxication when the volume of alcohol in your bloodstream rises. The higher a person’s blood alcohol concentration is, then the more damaged a person becomes. Alcohol intoxication creates behaviour concerns, along with alterations in mental health.
These signs may include unstable moods, slurred speech, inappropriate behaviour, impaired memory, impaired attention, impaired judgment, weakened, and poor coordination.
A person can also experience “alcohol blackouts” in which a person doesn’t remember any events that transpired. Also, take note that extremely elevated blood alcohol levels might lead to a state of comatose or worse, death.
Alcohol withdrawal happens when alcohol drinking has been consistent, substantial, lengthy and is then significantly reduced or suddenly stopped.
Withdrawal symptoms can happen in several hours to even five days later. The signs can be critical enough to damage a person’s ability to perform at work or even in social conditions, and the manifestations include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Hand tremors
- Difficulty sleeping
- Agitation and restlessness
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Occasional Seizures
Knowing if a person is suffering from alcoholism
You can distinguish a person suffering from alcohol addiction. It is when that particular individual craves alcohol consistently and can’t stop drinking even if it breeds social or personal harm.
Signs of alcoholism include steadily drinking more alcohol than intended, desiring to stop drinking but just can’t, developing an alcohol tolerance, experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit drinking, letting individual and social responsibilities struggle to drink, and spending a tremendous amount of time striving to get and drink liquor.
An additional note, there is also a particular kind of alcohol addiction identified as high-functioning alcohol addiction. Individuals who are high-functioning alcoholics can keep their addiction from meddling in their personal and professional lives.
High-functioning alcoholics realize they have a drinking problem until they suffer from severe alcohol-related outcomes. The threat of high-functioning alcohol addiction is that it can last for many years without a person noticing they have an addiction problem, ever.
As adults, it is indeed a challenge to decline from drinking alcoholic beverages, especially after a long, tiring, extremely stressful day. On the other hand, if your habit of drinking ends in repeated notable discomfort and problems performing in your day to day living, then you likely have alcohol use sickness.
It might vary from mild to severe, but even a mild sickness has the potential to escalate and lead to grave concerns, so early therapy is of utmost importance.
Why Do People Get Addicted to Alcohol?
Nearly all adult gatherings provide some alcoholic drink choices. Wedding receptions usually involve proposing a glass of champagne to celebrate the new future of the couple.
A lot of people also love to celebrate particular events such as birthdays, Christmas, New Year, and many more, with alcohol. Even dinner plans and dinner gatherings often involve at least a bottle of alcoholic drink.
Over time, because of the constant urge to drink, people may become established that any social occasion utterly needs to have alcohol. As an effect, the ideas to drink alcohol can become uncontrollable. And, sadly, boozing to excess usually follows.
It’s not that simple to figure out when your alcohol intake has moved past the line from social or moderate drinking to a drinking problem. Drinking alcohol is so well-known in several cultures. The results differ so broadly from a person to another. It is not always simple to determine if you already have a drinking problem.
However, if you drink alcohol to avoid feeling awful or to cope with problems, then your risk of becoming an alcohol addict rises significantly.
You may know what alcohol addiction is, but how does it commence? What drives an individual from having casual drinking to full-scale alcohol addiction? Sadly, the explanation is not that easy.
Alcohol addiction is a consequence of a mixture of social, environmental, psychological, and genetic factors. The more risk constituents a person has, the higher the chance that the individual is to become an alcoholic. And usually, those risk determinants are totally out of the person’s power.
Related article: Reasons Why Teens Experiment with Alcohol and Drugs
Why is Alcohol Addictive?
Taking alcohol triggers the release of endorphins and dopamine within the person’s brain. Both of these chemicals are the ones responsible for producing feelings of happiness and pleasure and function as a natural pain reliever.
Research also reveals that genetic factors play a card when concluding how alcohol acts in the brains of many people. Mainly, the brain of some people released more satisfaction elements in its response to alcohol, and this effect makes them more vulnerable to physical dependency.
Alcohol intake can indeed cause physical modifications in a person’s brain both in functioning and chemistry, which plays a massive component in what makes alcohol irresistible. Alcohol floods the brain’s pleasure and reward centers, and the user feels desires to repeat those experiences of satisfaction.
Although someone might have the plan to stop, alcohol can still compromise impulse restriction as well as decision-making ability, which causes relapse more likely to happen. What begins as alcohol abuse can swiftly and effortlessly develop to alcohol dependence.
Alcohol addiction, like other obsessions, is eventually a learned response, and an individual’s beliefs and thoughts come to play a role. For instance, someone who doesn’t buy the idea in recovery and treatment is unlikely to establish the effort needed to complete therapy.
Also, don’t slash out the developmental maturity of a person because it can also be a relevant factor.
Stress and anxiety also play a significant role, particularly in alcohol addiction, with alcohol giving a brief and harmful answer from those uneasy feelings or pressures. This coping process can become a practice that seems extremely difficult to break.
Additional to drug and alcohol rehabilitation, psychotherapy can assist with the stress-reduction approach and motivation and need to be one component of the healing process. Also, bear in mind that people who are alcohol dependent have higher tendencies of other psychiatric diseases than the overall population.
While not every individual looks for alcohol to reduce stress, some people usually do. When a particular person has a stressful work, for instance, they might be more susceptible to drink alcohol heavily.
It is frequently the problem with certain professions such as nurses and doctors because their day-to-day experiences can be remarkably stressful. To reduce this risk factor, think about taking the opportunity to de-stress using healthy habits, like exercising, taking a rest, or even reading a book that stimulates your interest.
In particular situations wherein your parents and relatives are into the habit of consuming large volumes of alcohol, then your risk of becoming an alcohol addict automatically rises.
A chunk of this theory is because of genetics, but the other aspect has got to do with the environment you are currently in. Spending more time around people who practice heavy drinking or alcohol abuse can lead you to act the same.
Drinking Alcohol at a Young Age
Those individuals who start drinking at an unusually young age have a higher chance to develop an alcohol problem or even a physical dependence on alcoholic drinks as they grow older.
Not hardly is this because alcohol drinking might become a comfortable practice, but also due to the tolerance levels of the body might increase.
Mental Well-being Issues
Bipolar disorder, loneliness, anxiety, or any other mental health problems can double the risk of alcohol addiction.
It is straightforward to look for alcohol when an individual is feeling lonely or anxious, and the fleeting effects of alcoholic beverages may appear to ease those uneasy feelings momentarily. This habit can resort to drinking way much more, which then leads to addiction in alcohol.
Related article: Do Something When You See the Frightening Signs of Alcoholism Today
Individuals who are dependent on alcohol and abruptly stop drinking undergo a process of detoxification that can have many physical and psychological manifestations. These symptoms include:
- Hand tremors
The process of withdrawal is complicated and very challenging to go through, as the body and brain beg the volume of alcohol they are used to receive.
Avoiding these withdrawal effects is an excellent motivator for an alcoholic person to continue to drink. This notion can produce a vicious series, where the alcoholic person drinks to dodge the pressure of withdrawal.
Many determinants play a specific role in an individual’s risk of alcohol addiction. Always remember that it is crucial to recognize your chances of becoming an alcoholic. You should also execute those healthy habits to lower those risks as much as possible.
How do You Know You’re an Alcoholic?
Most people enjoy a glass of wine or two at social gatherings or a cold bottle of beer after a workday. However, are there times when you can’t survive a day without alcohol in your system? You’re aware that you’re drinking in excess, yet you still do it anyway.
In North America, 15.1 million people struggle with alcoholism, with 3.3 million deaths resulting from alcohol abuse. This problem stretches across various age groups, and that makes it very alarming.
If you do drink alcohol, how can you determine that you’re an alcoholic? An alcoholic, or a person with Alcohol Use Disorder, is someone who can’t control his alcohol consumption. The substance occupies your thoughts, and it causes adverse effects in your life. Read on to know more to know if you or someone you know is an alcoholic.
Stages of Alcoholism
Alcoholism has phases, and you might not be aware that you have Alcohol Use Disorder. Check the stages and see if you’re on the way to being an alcoholic.
Do you find yourself drinking more alcohol, yet you don’t get drunk as quickly as before? A higher tolerance can mean that you’re going through stage one, or the pre-alcoholic stage. Assess your reasons for drinking, and this can determine if you’re on the way to stage two.
Have you experienced getting so drunk and blacking out? It is a sign of an early alcoholic stage. You become dependent on alcohol. You know that your growing dependence can cause other people to worry, so you hide alcohol and withdraw from other people.
If your relationships are affected by alcohol abuse, you’re on the middle alcoholic stage. Your body also changes negatively. You might experience weight loss or weight gain, and stomach bloating.
Heavy drinking is a part of your life, and this can be your priority. Your life probably won’t be going well by this time. You might have lost your job, or you don’t have a social life anymore. You can also get severe or fatal diseases caused by alcohol abuse at this point.
Other signs that you’re an alcoholic
If you’re not sure that you’re going through the stages, maybe these other signs will help you. You can determine if you are a social drinker, or you have Alcohol Use Disorder.
You hide when consuming alcohol
Do you prefer drinking alone? Maybe it irritates you when people comment that you’re drinking again. To avoid having people tell you off, you’d rather hide and drink by yourself. You don’t call up your friends anymore because they don’t drink as much as you do.
It can lead you to be isolated from your family and friends. Since you’re alone most of the time, you don’t like spending time with them. It can put a strain on your relationships. Alcohol is now your companion, not the people who love you and care for you.
You want to drink alcohol frequently
Do you think of alcohol even when you’re doing other things, such as when you’re at work or the gym? It can be a sign of Alcohol Use Disorder. If you do, you’re probably going to make excuses for you to drink.
You’ll think of ways to pass it off as something else. You might say that you need a drink to help you relax because you’re stressed, or you want to feel good about yourself. An alcoholic will never run out of excuses to drink even when other people will tell him to stop.
You consume alcohol excessively
How much is too much when it comes to alcohol drinking? It varies according to what you regularly drink. A serving is 12 ounces for beer, 8-9 ounces for malted liquor, 1.5 ounces for brandy and similar drinks, 2-3 ounces for a liqueur, and 5 ounces for wine.
However, it’s not about how much you drink in a day. It can also be how frequent you drink. Maybe you drink in small amounts, but you drink at least five times a day. Perhaps you’ve already noticed that you feel adverse effects but can’t stop drinking even if you want to quit.
You blackout and you can’t remember what you did
Are there times when you were so drunk, and you can’t remember what you did? You wake up somewhere, and you can’t recall how you ended up in that place. These lapses in your memory should alarm you, mainly if it keeps happening again.
Alcohol causes your blackouts. It can occur when your body’s alcohol content reaches 14% above. When you wake up, you might find it hard to talk or stand. Your vision can also get blurry, and you can’t make sound decisions.
What’s more alarming is that blackouts can be permanent. If your blackout is partial, things can trigger your lost memory, and you can still remember things. A complete blackout means that whatever you do, you’ll never retrieve your lost memories.
You include alcohol in your daily routine
Do you include alcohol in your regular activities? You drink when you get home, or after eating a meal. It’s okay if you do this sometimes, but what if you do this every day? You also get annoyed when people tell you that you’re drinking too much.
It can also affect your relationship with others because your irritation with people can lead to conflicts. You’d say that you don’t need alcohol, but the signs say otherwise. If a day goes by and you can’t stay away from alcohol, that’s a sign.
You experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms
Withdrawal is a challenging experience. If you tried to stop drinking, and you have experienced some of these symptoms, you can be an alcoholic. Minor hand tremors, sweating, mood swings, headaches, and nausea are signs of alcohol withdrawal.
Stage 4 alcoholics can experience delirium tremens or severe alcohol withdrawal delirium. It can include confusion, agitation, seizures, mood changes, deep sleep, and even excitement.
Alcohol Use Disorder affects a lot of people worldwide. If you think that you’re an alcoholic, assess yourself and check if you see any signs. If you do, it’s best to cut back as early as possible before your progress to the severe stages of Alcohol Use Disorder.
How to Stop Drinking Alcohol?
Merely thinking about the idea of having to stop drinking alcohol can be a long and tough scheme. Usually, we may believe that it is impossible, but it is entirely not.
If you are eager to stop boozing and now ready to get the assistance you require, you can heal from alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. You can do this regardless of how heavy you drink or how helpless you may seem.
Besides, you don’t need to remain steady until you reach the lowest possible level because you can start a change at any specific period. Whether you desire to quit alcohol drinking altogether or cut down your boozing to healthier volumes, this article can assist you in starting heading to the path of recovery now.
Accept the Drinking Problem
If we put our drinking habits into consideration, we sometimes ask ourselves: Am I an alcoholic, or a casual drinker? As the traditional adage goes, the first step towards acceptance is acknowledging that you have a problem.
Ask the appropriate question.
Stop questioning yourself as to whether or not you are an alcohol addict. If you are asking yourself this question, then you seemingly are one. Instead, try asking yourself if drinking is stopping you from having the life you desire. If your answer is “yes,” then the first step is over since you admit the problem.
Cease yourself from comparing.
Noting the similarities and dissimilarities between yourself and others will only cause you harm because their lives are not yours. Bear in mind that you are a person with a different, yet complex experience. Comparing your drinking habits to that of other people will only lead you to self-rationalization.
Picture yourself in the future.
Imagine yourself several years from now with your current drinking habits. Now, ask yourself, are you okay with what you see? If you think not, then you might have a concern regarding alcohol. It is always better to admit it so that you can start fixing it.
If you don’t have any boozing problem, but your loved one has, then these following approaches might help you. These steps can assist you in shedding light on your loved one’s drinking problem. Written below are some suggestions on how you can support an alcoholic to stop drinking.
Allow them to talk comfortably
Have them feel free to talk about the causes that contribute to their problem in drinking.
It is particularly unlikely for people to drink utterly to drink. Usually, people who have a drinking problem struggle with anxiety or loneliness and they drink to ease their uneasy feelings.
It is essential to acknowledge that you believe there might be an underlying concern about mental health that results in alcohol drinking. But try not to appear accusatory, particularly if the person doesn’t recognize that he’s suffering from stress or sadness. Instead, kindly ask them if they believe there could be a particular cause that leads them to drink.
Promote communication with your loved one
This method might cause a difficult discussion for both the drinker and yourself, but it is crucial. You may call this as an intervention, or merely a conversation. Interventions usually are more serious and have more people taking part in it, so it depends on the kind of situation.
Whether a free conversation or a serious intervention, the aspired result is still the same. It is to bring awareness to a loved one’s unhealthy drinking problem, and wish that the individual can acknowledge where the concern is coming from.
Don’t hesitate to offer support
Sobriety and healing will become a lot less stressful if a person knows he has a reliable support system. Be firm in leading them to a treatment program you believe may be an excellent fit. There is a wide array of information about rehabilitation, and it might be confusing to decide where to begin, particularly in the early phases of sobriety.
If you can make that assignment a bit manageable, then your loved one will try to encourage themselves. It is to take good advantage of the work you put for the individual’s well-being.
Ask people who had the same problem
In situations wherein you know persons who have happily quit drinking, try to speak with them. Ask these individuals how they eventually came to terms with their drinking issue and how they were able to address it.
Without a doubt, what goes smoothly to a single person will not certainly go easily for everyone. On the other hand, if you believe their experience seems comparable to that situation of your loved one, then ask them if they would be open to having a talk with that person for you.
Do not pass disappointment or judgment
Making a person with drinking problems feel more regret or lowering their self-confidence will only do no good specifically in a situation like this. Keep in mind that alcohol addiction is a sickness.
So, if you are fortunate enough to not suffer from any significant loneliness in life, do your very best not to display any judgments or disappointments. Be kind and understanding when someone you love is coping with it.
Not merely do you not realize it firsthand, but you might also do more injury than good. Humiliating a person suffering from alcohol addiction will only make them return to practices that hide their emotions, which is, of course, drinking.
Become the positive reinforcement at all times, and never think about the approach of shame and judgment because it will only make things worse.
Nearly all people with alcohol issues don’t choose to execute a considerable change so suddenly or modify their drinking practices overnight. The path to recovery is a slow, continuous process. In the initial steps of change, denial is a huge obstacle, which is why a person must learn to admit first.
But, even after acknowledging you have a drinking issue, you may create excuses and avoid the problem. It is critical to recognize your uncertainty about quitting drinking. You may not be sure if you are willing to change or you are struggling with your decision. It might help to reflect on the benefits and drawbacks of each choice.
Related article: Effects of Alcohol on Mental Health
What are the Treatments for Alcohol Addiction?
Alcoholism, or alcohol addiction, has been deemed as a brain disease and cannot be treated by willpower. Though it may be possible, the chances are slim because your brain can have changes caused by alcohol that makes it harder to quit. You have to know what kinds of treatments are available and there is a lot to choose from.
As the famous line goes, “It all starts within yourself,” and this may also be true with alcoholism. Though again, there might be a slim possibility, at least you’ve got that motivation in you to quit. There are a lot of stories from former alcohol addicts who quit because there was something that motivated them. Maybe you can find yours, too.
Perhaps the best first step in your treatment. You can always go to an expert even for mild cases wherein you abuse alcohol but aren’t dependent on it. Usually, three symptoms might tell you it’s time to seek professional help:
- The feeling of having to drink
- Not being able to control how much you drink
- Not feeling good when you cannot drink
There are a lot of care experts who can help you out with your alcoholism. Be sure to decide whether you want to lessen your drinking habits or completely stop drinking. There are a lot of treatment plans for each alcoholic abuse.
Alcohol Addiction Expert
When thinking of seeking professional care, your doctor would be the first to come into mind. Other than the fact that your doctor can refer you to the most appropriate expert, they can also do the following:
- Assess the individual’s drinking pattern
- Construct a proper treatment plan
- Figure out a patient’s overall health
- Examine if there are needed medications
Behavioural Treatment Expert
Behavioural treatment, commonly known as alcohol counselling, is a type of alcoholism treatment that includes seeking out help from health professionals. You may go to experts like a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or an alcohol counsellor. This treatment focuses more on the factors that lead to heavy alcohol consumption, and this includes:
- Identifying the needed support to stop or lower down drinking habits
- Creating a better peer support system
- Setting achievable accomplishments
- Endure, or better yet, avoiding relapse triggers
Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, is a type of behavioural treatment that focuses on an individual’s way of thinking and processing of thoughts that lead to excessive drinking. It can be done one-on-one with your therapist or maybe in a small circle. CBT can also help you cope up with your body’s stress that may lead to relapse.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy
From the name itself, it suggests boosting your motivation to stop drinking. It also includes the benefits and disadvantages of seeking treatment and creating an ideal plan in making changes to your drinking habit. Also, a part in boosting self-esteem and identifying factors that can help you stick to the goal.
Marital and Family Counseling
This type of treatment involves the active support of people closest to you who can be of great help with your treatment process. It includes your spouse and other family members who can significantly influence you with your decisions and improve family relationships. With this, studies also show that this is a more effective way of ending your drinking habits compared to people who undergo individual counselling.
Brief Intervention treatments are short and time-limited counselling usually one-on-one or small group sessions. This treatment aims to provide you with information on your drinking habit patterns and what the risks might be. After identifying, you will work then with the counsellor to formulate solutions on how you can achieve your goal.
Getting the alcohol ejected from your body is a crucial step when wanting to eradicate alcoholism which usually takes days. It is ideal to go to a hospital or a rehab center because alcohol addicts tend to experience withdrawal symptoms, especially for those who have been drinking for years. Some of the symptoms include:
Nonetheless, undergoing detox in hospitals or treatment centers guarantees you a safe journey throughout the process. Doctors and other experts will keep an eye on you and give you certain medications to help you.
If there’s one thing about drugs, it’s that there’s no “cure” to alcohol addiction. However, medicines can undoubtedly help you in recovering. Currently, there are three medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help you combat alcohol usage disorder.
Acamprosate makes the maintaining of abstinence easier by repairing the natural balance of chemicals in the brain, or so-called neurotransmitters. However, before taking this medication, make sure that you are under counselling and is no longer drinking alcohol. Though, if in case, you’ll start drinking alcohol again, do continue taking the medication and tell your doctor promptly.
Disulfiram is an effective medication that makes you feel sick when indulging in alcohol. This drug aims to stop the breakdown of alcohol in your body. In turn, this causes unpleasant effects on your body as it is rejecting alcohol. This include:
- Chest Pain
- Breathing Difficulty
Naltrexone should also be available for recovering addicts along with counselling and support. This medication should also not be used as treatment if you still are a heavy drinker. What Naltrexone does is that it decreases the craving for alcohol and the satisfaction you get from consuming one. It somehow reduces the “good feeling” you get when you are drinking.
Generally speaking, there certainly is never an easy way out of alcohol substance abuse and addiction. Always be mindful of the symptoms and observe yourself. Seek out the help of other people and get treated. Don’t wait for the time when everything’s too late, or a relationship with someone suffers from brokeness.
You can go to care experts and professionals who can tend to your needs. Yes, recovery may take a long time, but it will always be fulfilling to finish the process and tell yourself you’ve succeeded. Get help now.
How to Stay Clean and Sober from Alcohol?
Every alcoholic who is new to recovery knows that there’s a struggle after quitting the addictive behaviour of drinking alcohol. Even if you want to stop your alcoholism altogether, there are withdrawal symptoms that push you into relapsing.
According to research, 80 percent of alcoholics who have been sober for a long time had at least one relapse in their recovery process. The rest had many relapses before they find long-term sobriety.
The good thing is that you can do something to avoid having a slip back into your alcohol addiction. If you want to stay clean and sober from alcohol, you must follow these tips for your freedom from alcohol addiction.
Related article: Choosing an Addiction Treatment Centre
Stay Away from Your Old Habits
Getting rid of your old bad habits is difficult. However, you can do it if you have the willpower to change for the better. Just keep in mind that you need to adopt a new lifestyle now and that you don’t want to be dependent on alcohol anymore.
One step that you must take is to stay away from past routines that enable you to remember and crave for alcohol. Also, you must avoid your old drinking buddies who are obstacles to your recovery.
Try to make friends with people.
Do so with those who are taking the same path to recovery. It is so that you can share experiences and you won’t feel alone in your journey. Being with your family can also help in making some changes in your lifestyle.
Moreover, you must develop a structured schedule every day or every week to make your life more organized. Make sure to create short- or long-term goals so that you have something to focus on in life. Experts say that having a secure way of life paves the path to long-term sobriety.
Do Some Physical Workout
Many people who become addicted to alcohol for a long time have poor health and are not in their best physical shape. If you’re one of this group, it’s time that you do some exercise and workout to get yourself physically active.
Becoming physically active is an excellent way to help you have a healthy lifestyle after alcohol addiction. It also helps you reduce stress and withdrawal symptoms after quitting alcohol, which are primary triggers for relapse.
Get a Job or Do Something Meaningful
If you’ve struggled with alcohol dependence for a long time, you’re likely in financial ruins right now. In this case, it’s time to get back on track and find a job that will help you recuperate financially.
Getting a job and having something meaningful to do in life also helps you avoid relapse. Many alcoholics who always fell into the trap of going back into drinking had work-related problems and financial issues, which are triggers for slipping back into old drinking habits.
Likewise, finding a job is essential in recovery as it helps you to focus on something. Aside from the fact that it helps you get your finances in order, having a meaningful job enables your mind to get rid of your former cravings.
Just keep in mind that you don’t have to hasten things to find a job. Sometimes the process can add up to your stress and possibly contribute to your relapse. Take it one step at a time until you find work that fits for you.
Join a Support Group
It’s an excellent idea to join an alcohol abuse support group to help you in your recovery. When you find a connection with people who are going the same path to recovery as yours, you will find the journey immensely comforting and worthwhile.
Joining a support group for people who are struggling with alcohol dependence will allow you to learn experiences and strategies to cope with the problem. It’s also an excellent way to get rid of emotional baggage within yourself by sharing with them your experiences. And they will understand you because alcoholics go through similar experiences as yours.
The most popular support group for recovering alcoholics is Alcoholics Anonymous. However, you can find other available support groups that will help you in your recovery.
Seek Out Long-Term Treatment
Seeking out long-term treatment can help you face and understand the reality of alcohol addiction. Also, learn coping skills to help manage your cravings and avoid dealing with self-destructive behaviours.
For a long-treatment of your alcohol addiction, you need to undergo therapy sessions with qualified mental health professionals. They should have experience dealing with patients struggling with substance abuse and addiction issues.
Deal with Your Past Failures
A lot of people who are going through recovery are carrying emotional pain and suffering from their past mistakes. Their past failures can often cause them to feel guilty and ashamed. Feelings of shame and guilt can be toxic and destructive when you’re trying to stay clean and sober. Most of the time, they can also be the reason for relapse.
Recovering alcoholics can experience negative feelings about their past behaviours as well as negative beliefs about their self-worth. They may suffer thinking about the people that they have harmed in the past because of their addiction.
If you want to have long-term sobriety, you need to learn from the past but not dwell in it. Live in the present moment, and think of the better things that you can do now to live a life that’s worth living.
Many recovering alcoholics have some problems dealing with anger. They may feel restless and emotional at times that can be destructive to themselves and the people around them. Having emotional and anger issues is one of the symptoms of withdrawal.
So, if you want to get on the path to recovery, you must learn to manage your destructive emotions. Stay cool and keep calm when stress hits you. Learn coping techniques on how to deal with anger appropriately to make your recovery process successful.
Staying clean and sober is not easy for many recovering alcoholics. But some ways can help them overcome their addictive impulses to help them change for the better.
Getting rid of old habits, finding a balanced lifestyle, getting a meaningful job, joining a support group, seeking out long-term treatment, dealing with past failures, and staying composed are the ways to successful recovery from alcohol addiction.
Related article: Alcohol Addiction Treatment: Is There a Way to Change?