Despite the fact that few individuals consider it to be a drug substance at all, alcohol is actually the most broadly used addictive drug substance in our country. Perhaps it is because alcohol is both legal and socially acceptable that few individuals recognize alcohol addiction when it first occurs. It is so easy to slip from having a casual drink every now and again to having a drink with every meal to needing alcohol from the moment you wake up until the moment you lie down, but depending upon this substance in any way can have a marked effect on your health, happiness, and life. Unfortunately, resolving alcoholism is normally far easier said than done.
Handling Alcohol Addiction
The first major step to handling alcohol addiction is to admit that it is occurring. An individual who is absolutely certain that they are not addicted to alcohol and can stop consuming it at any time simply does not have the urgent need to pursue full and lasting recovery. If, however, the individual recognizes that alcohol is adversely affecting their life and they want to do something about it, they have taken the first step toward recovery.
Once an individual has decided to resolve their alcohol addiction, they often desire a quick, easy solution. Unfortunately, recovery is neither quick nor easy, and there is no single, magical solution that works perfectly for everyone. However, it can and has been successfully and permanently resolved time and again by those who remain dedicated to their recovery. Following are the ways one is most likely to achieve success in overcoming alcohol addiction:
- Only detox under medical supervision. Detoxing from alcohol is not only difficult and uncomfortable, it can also be incredibly dangerous. Among other things, the individual can experience disorientation, confusion, severe anxiety, hallucinations, seizures, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, fever, and severe tremors. It is absolutely vital to have trained medical professionals around to ensure that one is detoxing as safely and comfortably as possible.
- Take action to change your life. Of course, a necessary part of overcoming alcohol addiction is to stop consuming alcohol, but it’s easy to see how difficult this can be if one adheres to the same patterns and routines they had when they consumed alcohol regularly. Instead, you have to learn how to have fun, handle tough emotions and resolve problems without the use of alcohol. You will need to develop healthy new relationships with sober friends and disconnect from those who condone or encourage your alcohol use.
- Improve your physical health. Regular alcohol use deteriorates your physical health, which can cause you to want more alcohol in order to suppress the resultant discomfort. If you focus on improving your physical health through good diet and exercise regimens, you may find that you are not only able to feel much better, but you also become more interested in recreational and other activities that can help you to manage stress and reduce anxiety.
- Improve your self-esteem. It is understandable that struggling with alcohol addiction can damage your self-esteem, especially if you have struggled with what you want to do (stop drinking) and what you cannot seem to do (stop drinking). However, continuing to operate with low self-esteem is not beneficial to your future. Instead, invest some time and effort on building your self-esteem by finding friends who truly care for you, trying new hobbies and activities, taking care of yourself, and helping others.
- Set and reach new goals. Even if your goals begin with things as simple as “try one new thing today,” these new goals will help you to focus on your future and what you can do, not what you may still be struggling against.
- Build a strong support team. Some individuals who are working to recover from alcohol addiction are under the mistaken impression that they are alone in their struggles that no one understands what they are struggling with and that no one truly cares. This is far from true, and the individual needs only to take a look around to find that they have a strong support team ready and able to help them through the difficult parts of recovery.