Entering into rehab for alcohol addiction can be a difficult and time-consuming process. It may not be a quick recovery that you go through, which means that losing motivation and momentum is very possible. Turning your life around from abusing alcohol takes a lot of effort, and recovery can be an isolating process.
Overcoming alcohol dependence may be difficult, but it is completely worth the struggle. Life after alcohol addiction is possible; you just have to put in the work and stay committed to your goals.
Getting help at a treatment facility, surrounding yourself with support, and setting reasonable standards for yourself can propel you into a successful recovery.
What Is Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol addiction is a chronic relapse disorder that makes it difficult for someone to function while staying sober. It is often referred to as both Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) and alcoholism, and it can impact anyone.
People may experience alcohol addiction at different levels, with some having more severe addictions than others. At any level, suffering from alcohol addiction is no way to live, and getting treatment is necessary to live your best life.
Those that suffer from AUD aren’t consciously deciding to. Rather, their brains have adjusted to the amounts of alcohol being put into the body and therefore learn to need it in their systems to survive.
It Impacts People Differently
Anyone can suffer from alcohol addiction. Different factors contribute to someone’s path into addiction, like genetics, family history, societal pressure, and various environmental factors.
Sometimes it can be difficult for a person to see that they have issues with alcohol because not all of the tell-tale signs are there. Some people can retain a job or relationship while struggling with alcoholism, and others may not be able to maintain any form of stability.
For many, other people begin to pick up on the changes in their behavior and notice an issue before they can for themselves. There can be a lot of resentment toward treatment at first, but it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself.
How Do I Recover from Addiction?
Overcoming addiction is going to look different for everyone who struggles with it. There is no one right way to overcome your addiction to alcohol. To see success, you have to be prepared to follow a very individual and specialized treatment plan.
You may be able to get advice from others who have gone through the process and are in active recovery, but how you find success for yourself is dependent on your own specific needs. That’s all to say that there is no one process that will help everyone overcome addiction; what works for you might not work for others.
However, you can go through a few steps to put you on the right path and help figure out your needs.
1. Confide in Someone You Trust
You may have heard it said that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. While noticing signs of an alcohol problem, like excessive drinking habits, alcohol cravings, diminished brain function, and co-relating health conditions, is a great first step, confiding your drinking problem to others is truly the beginning of recovery.
Figuring out your support system early on can be instrumental in your recovery process. Recovery can be isolating, but having people behind you showing support is very encouraging. Whether it’s your family members, your closest friends, a neighbor from across the street, or someone you work with, finding someone you trust to talk about your struggles is helpful in the recovery process.
For those that don’t feel comfortable sharing with anyone, there is a major benefit of entering into sober spaces or Alcoholics Anonymoussupport group meetings geared towards addiction. Here, you are both anonymous and understood. Building community in sober spaces can help you to open up and confide in those around you for support.
Going through alcohol-related addiction and drug abuse alone is heartbreaking, but it can be more difficult to uphold your goals without support in recovery.
Along the same lines, consulting your primary healthcare provider for medical advice is an important step. Even short-termalcohol misuse or an evening of binge drinking can lead to negative health effects and risk factors for other health conditions.
If you don’t feel like you have a trusted support group, you can always call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s helpline. While not a trusted family member, a SAMHSA representative can listen to your confession and guide you toward treatment providers and smart recovery options.
2. Think About the Positives and Negatives of Alcohol
You may be thinking: Positives? What positives?
It’s important to understand why you might associate alcohol addiction with positive things in your life so that you can get to the bottom of your reasoning. For instance, some might feel more confident and less anxious in social settings if they are drinking.
Isn’t it positive to be more outgoing? Yes, but not when you need alcohol to express that side of you!
The positives of drinking might be:
- It helps to forget any stress.
- It is a way for you to relax and have fun.
The negatives of drinking are:
- It can cost a lot of money.
- You can wake up feeling very mentally and physically unwell.
- It gets in the way of jobs, school, or relationships.
- It can contribute to health problems down the road, like heart disease, high blood pressure, liver disease, and cirrhosis.
Then you can reframe the question as, “what positive things could come out of me not drinking?”. You might be able to hold onto your responsibilities better and feel better both physically and mentally.
You can save money and focus your time and energy on new hobbies and experiences. You can meet people who support you and want the best for you. The list goes on and on!
3. Cutting Back vs. Quitting
Not everyone has the goal of quitting using alcohol immediately. Quitting cold turkey can be very difficult and cause adverse reactions like alcohol withdrawal, especially when you try to do it alone and not in a treatment facility.
If your goal is to quit drinking alcohol, your best bet is to undergo the detoxification process inside a treatment center where you can be monitored and cared for properly. This is especially true for heavy drinking and long-term alcohol abuse, where the effects of alcohol withdrawal may be stronger.
It may be easier to start trying to cut back your alcohol consumption and go from there. You can remove alcohol from your house, so you aren’t tempted to have a drink on you at all times and limit the nights you go out to eat or to a bar.
You should record how often you drink to better understand how much you consume in a day, a week, and a month. This will help you come up with more attainable goals for your detox and recovery process.
4. Set Goals and Keep Them
When entering into alcohol rehabilitation, you will want to set goals for yourself that are actually achievable. If you set goals that are too big or premature, you may let yourself down, which can be very discouraging.
Instead, set small, realistic goals — as many as you want! Checking things off can feel really good, but boxes that go unchecked for too long can cause stress and feelings of defeat.
Consider some of the following goals and then create some that are specific and unique to you:
- I will stop drinking on weekdays.
- I will be able to hold a job for at least three months.
- I will spend X hours with my family/friends daily.
- I will limit my weekday drinking to two drinks a day.
- I will quit drinking by (date).
Share your goals with trusted people around you so that they can help hold you accountable. Don’t be afraid to ask for more support, and don’t feel discouraged if you don’t reach a goal. Instead, rewrite the goal and set out to try again.
5. Look Into Entering Treatment
You can begin recovery at any point, but it can be more difficult without entering a treatment center. The goal of many addiction treatment centers is to come up with personalized alcohol treatment plans that pinpoint your specific healthcare needs.
Treatment centers often provide an individual with around-the-clock care and various treatment options like behavioral health therapy and exercise. Plus, treatment centers are meant to help people who suffer from addiction, so getting help at one can help you on the path to recovery.
Get Help With Soba Recovery
Treatment centers like Soba Recovery in San Antonio, Texas, can help you get the treatment you need to overcome alcohol addiction and other substance use disorders. It may not be easy, but with the support from trained professionals who are there to help, it feels like you can accomplish anything.
Soba Recovery works to develop a plan specific to your needs so that we can help treat all aspects of your addiction. By providing services like detoxification to help with withdrawal symptoms, inpatient or intensive outpatient, and sober living, you can match with the right recovery method.
Everyone responds to treatment differently, so it’s important to look into both your mental health and physical health needs. With individual and group therapy sessions, you can build community and trust within yourself.
Reach out today if you or a loved one could benefit from the treatment services here at Soba Recovery. To find recovery from alcohol addiction, you should begin your journey today!
The Cycle of Alcohol Addiction | NIAAA
Chapter 5—Specialized Substance AbuseTreatment Programs | NCBI
Benefits Of Peer Support Groups In The Treatment Of Addiction | NCBI