Alcohol Abuse

One of the most difficult things that a person can face in life is quitting drinking once they have crossed over into alcohol abuse. If one is troubled by alcohol abuse or addiction, the negative consequences are quite often not enough to bring a person to the point of quitting. When one does decide to quit, they will want to look into an effective treatment program designed to help them overcome the anxiety and cravings in order to focus on change without sabotaging their recovery.

Even though a person decides to quit, anxiety and cravings can cause a relapse quite easily. However, once the individual is free from these undermining effects, he or she finds it easier to stop alcohol abuse permanently. Such action can lead to rapid and positive changes both in the body and the mind. It is possible to find sobriety, which leads to happiness, peace, and positive changes. Once a clean break is established, the individual can begin enjoying their life.

The Progression of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse typically starts off innocently enough. Someone has a drink at a party, and in some cases, they are off to the races. Most everyone is educated about all the negative aspects of alcohol abuse, and many who start drinking did so hesitantly. They weren’t so quick to start because they had been warned about how bad it can be. Often, they will eventually attend an event where people are drinking and it just won’t seem so bad.

Everyone has heard the horror stories, and it can seem like everyone is having the time of their lives, and it is true, a lot of people do have fun drinking. The potentiality for a problem arises in how the individual responds to the effects of alcohol. For some very good candidates of alcohol abuse, the feelings alcohol gave them are some of the best feelings they have experienced in a long time, and for some of them, alcohol abuse begins shortly thereafter.

For others, their drinking may slowly continue, and they may even drink with their guard up, for they never want to cross the line into having a problem. This is where the insidiousness of alcohol seeps in, for they may start to develop a problem without even their own awareness. This is different for everyone, and most people with any logic are aware of what problems alcohol can bring into someone’s life.

There are a number of warning signs that can indicate alcohol abuse. The signs of alcohol abuse start off with having a negative impact on most areas of their life, often starting off with finances and relationships. Eventually the individual may start taking less care of themselves with hygiene, health, and exercise, which is usually apparent. Then they may start to act irresponsibly with their obligations, often starting to prioritize alcohol into their life.

Alcohol Abuse

Why Seek Alcohol Abuse Help?

Many people avoid seeking treatment due to the time involved. However, consider where you will be in 30, 60, or 90 days if you do not seek treatment. Those same negative effects that have brought you to the place you are today will likely still be around. In fact, if you know you need help today, waiting to find effective help can only further complicate matters.

On the other hand, if you begin overcoming alcohol abuse today, your family, friends, employers, and coworkers can begin seeing dramatic changes in you for the better. Many individuals come to the realization they need to stop drinking. It may be with a morning headache, another traffic ticket, or a fight with a significant person in your life. Despite these negative consequences, the individual continues to drink.

The reason individuals continue to drink despite the consequences is quite often because they are attempting to relieve anxiety and find calmness. Alcohol addiction continues because the individual can no longer feel calm without alcohol. Your continued drinking is not a character flaw or a lack of willpower, but addiction. The brain has built tolerance to alcohol and any attempts at abstinence distort the mind’s normal mechanism for rewarding itself.

This will lead to a progression of the addiction worsening. Until your next drink, your mind can focus on nothing but finding alcohol and everything else, regardless of the value placed on it, is pushed aside as less important. At this stage, until you receive treatment for this condition, quitting on your own will be very difficult. Successful methods of alcohol treatment can all be boiled down to three steps: the individual is ready to change, the individual stops the unwanted behavior, and the individual implements healthy positive behaviors to replace the behavior that is unwanted.

Alcohol Abuse Rehabilitation

Detox can help overcome the addiction, and is necessary to get started. While detox is not the whole battle, it is a great starting point. During detox, the physical cravings for alcohol are mostly overcome. After detox is completed, it is highly recommended that one enters some sort of a rehab program. Once the individual has completed a rehab program, it is important that he take steps to maintain sobriety.

This will involve developing a drug-free approach to life that revolves around one’s work, home life, and leisure activities. Developing this type of practice is a key to maintaining sobriety for a long time. Most professional rehab programs work with clients at replacing previously destructive behaviors with behaviors that are healthier and more productive.

Once the program is complete, it is time to implement these new behaviors. They will help you to be successful at overcoming alcohol abuse. One of the lifestyle changes that must be made is avoiding people directly involved in the older lifestyle you are attempting to overcome. You will need to avoid spending time with drinking buddies. If you also used drugs with alcohol, you will also want to avoid those directly involved in helping you get drugs or who used drugs with you.

Alcohol Abuse Recovery

For many former addicts, recovery could involve developing new friends, leisure activities, and social patterns. If you are continuing to see a counselor (and it is recommended you do), he will help you identify friends or family who are drug-free but also supportive of you during these changes. You should work to improve these relationships and if they are willing to be supportive of your situation and offer you their time, all the better.

If you are unable to identify drug and alcohol-free friends or relatives, you may need to become involved with new social groups and work to make new friends who are supportive. One of the best help for a person overcoming alcohol abuse is developing a schedule that is structured. A daily schedule is often the key to overcoming addiction. Chaos and disorganization in life will soon have you looking for a drink.

During the early abstinence stage of rehab, counselors often work with clients to establish a daily or weekly schedule to structure time and replace alcohol-related activities with healthy alternatives. As patients move further into abstinence, they should not abandon their schedule. Although your top priority must be to maintain sobriety, you may want to identify other goals for the future.

If you have not already reached it, you will soon reach the 90 day mark in sobriety and might begin to have greater long-term goals. These goals could relate to completing education, changing careers, or working toward a financial goal. The goals you identify and your plan to achieve them are often important in maintaining a life that is free of alcohol. You can work with your counselor to learn how to progress toward these goals.v

Many in recovery are first introduced to spirituality during a 12-step group. Spirituality has nothing to do with dogma or religious practices, it relates to developing your own values in life and having goals that reach beyond yourself in order to discover happiness and fulfillment. Spirituality is an important factor in overcoming alcohol abuse. The concept involves connection to a higher power of your own personal definition.

Counselors often encourage recovering addicts to become involved in efforts such as service work, involvement in a religious organization, community service, or volunteer work. While counselors do not attempt to define a higher power for clients, research shows that connecting to a transcendent power greater than oneself can enhance the drug-free lifestyle and improve one’s chances at success.

Alcohol Abuse Relapse Prevention

One place where those recovering from alcohol abuse and addiction get in trouble is by letting their guard down after an initial success in early-abstinence. Sobriety should never be taken for granted and addictions are powerful. Maintaining an attitude that is recovery-oriented is critical for individuals. As recovery continues, be sure to remain honest, both with yourself and others about thoughts and feelings. It is easy to allow subtle changes in feelings, attitudes, or behavior to lead you down the road to relapse.

Relapse did not begin when the recovering alcoholic picked up the drink. Relapse is a gradual process that is often marked with negative changes in feelings, attitudes, or behaviors. Work with your counselor to be able to recognize warning signs and to develop a plan that helps you make a change in direction when you recognize the path you are on is leading in the wrong direction.

According to research, relapse begins with a recognizable set of warning steps. Those who learn to recognize these signs are best able to avoid the wrong path. Work with your counselor to recognize the distinct phases occurring before relapse. When in recovery, clients may choose to continue with the help of a counselor. The counselor continues to work with clients in identifying situations where life is deviating from the recovery plan.

In addition, the counselor can help the person recovering from alcohol abuse to make concrete changes in behavior to move out of the relapse process. Continuing counseling with the individual recovering from alcohol abuse should cover building healthy relationships, developing a lifestyle free of alcohol, dealing with past hurts (those you have suffered as well as those you have caused), anger management, nutrition, exercise, money management, and employment.

Alcohol abuse recovery is a difficult task. At times, nearly every addict finds himself in a downward spiral toward relapse. If you are in that spiral, it is time to do something else. Attend additional support group meetings, spend time with caring individuals who support your recovery, create and maintain healthy structures in life, keep yourself in an environment free of alcohol, and avoid all those external triggers.

Now is a great time to work on resolving personal or employment issues that are adding to the stress in your life. If alcohol abuse is causing problems in your life, now is time to make a change. In most instances, the best way to make the changes needed is by seeking professional help. Caring professionals can help you take the steps to overcome your addiction and live a happy, sober life.

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