How do you deal with alcohol addiction?
Studies show that people become alcohol dependent due to a number of reasons, including personal issues, stress and peer pressure.
Alcohol addiction will disrupt your life and destroy personal relationships. But the problem for most alcoholics is that they realize these negative effects at a later time, making it hard to accept the reality and seek treatment.
Recovery from alcohol addiction is a process that involves several steps; you can’t get into the next one without taking the first one. There are various treatment programs available and with help from a medical professional, it will be easier to work on a treatment plan that can cure the addiction.
In order to have full recovery an alcoholic will go through these stages during treatment:
- Realize the problem.
Denial is one of the dominant attributes of an alcoholic. In order to prepare for treatment, realizing the problem is the first step. Acknowledge that your drinking has become uncontrollable and that it has started to have a negative effect on you physically, as well as on your relationships and mental health.
- Learn about recovery.
Finding the solution is the next step toward solving a problem. In this case, the solution involves learning about possible ways to recover. Talking to medical professionals will help. They can answer questions about different treatment programs and options such as finding a rehab facility or sober living house where you can seek treatment.
- Seek medical treatment.
Enrolling in an alcohol treatment program involves discipline and determination. Therapy programs are available and it can be a one-on-one session or group sessions where alcoholics share their thoughts and experiences. Programs also can be outpatient, where patients are not required to stay inside the facility for a specific period of time. Inpatient care often is suggested for those who are in a severe stage of alcoholism.
- Relapse prevention.
Alcohol recovery programs usually last from 30 days to about six weeks and patients who complete the program are given the liberty to once again get back to their normal lives. Being sober is easy when alcohol is not in the picture, but outside of a treatment program alcoholics must resist the temptation of a relapse. This is a crucial stage for any recovering addicts because it defines the future path, whether seeking further treatment or continuing toward full recovery. Support groups are available for recovering alcoholics during this stage.
Recovering alcoholics are not cured after a 12-step process. It is a continuous cycle until the alcoholic is able to adjust to the environment. Even when in sobriety, former alcoholics still go to therapy sessions or counseling in order not to lose focus. Maintenance of a healthy lifestyle is very important in order to get past the addiction episode and learn how to cope with life’s stress and adversities without alcohol.
Having a strong support system such as family members and friends will provide alcoholics with a sturdy foundation toward recovery. During the initial stage of treatment, patients experience withdrawal symptoms that can take a toll physically and emotionally. It is important to have encouragement coming from individuals who wish to see improvement and recovery.
If the environment becomes hard to resist after sobriety, some former alcoholics decide to make changes in their lifestyles, such as staying away from bad company or even relocating in order to stay away from the temptations that originally led to alcohol addiction.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 Sep 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Aribon, M. (2013). Steps Toward Recovery from Alcohol Addiction. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/09/26/steps-toward-recovery-from-alcohol-addiction/