The first step in any successful recovery program treating alcohol addiction has to be taken by the individual themselves. In order for rehabilitation to work and to succeed in stopping drinking the problem drinker must truly and genuinely WANT to stop drinking. They must be ready to commit to steps to achieving this. If they are not ready or committed, then any attempts at breaking the addiction to alcohol are likely to be futile.
Someone admitting to actually having a problem may only be the start of the rehabilitation process, but it is no mean feat. It may take a long time for someone actually to admit their drinking is out of control. They may have denied having a problem to family and friends, and have gone to considerable lengths to hide the amount or frequency of their drinking. Lying is common place and a person who was previously open and honest may become secretive and devious, determined to continue to drink no what matter at what cost to themselves or others.
The reasons not to drink are seemingly obvious. Even the health implications alone should be a deterrent to heavy drinking, but even they will not stop an alcoholic reaching for another drink. Again, denial plays a large part in this. Alcohol is responsible for thousands of deaths in the UK alone every year.
Alcohol inhibits not just movement and thinking patterns, but it has a detrimental effect on just about every major bodily function. It can cause long term problems with blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, cancer, pancreatic diseases and respiratory functions. It can also exacerbate and trigger a whole host of problems with the nervous system and mental health.
Alcohol addiction is always detrimental to the mental health and wellbeing of the sufferer. The obsession with drinking may cause an alcoholic to spend less time with family and friends as they try and hide their addiction. Work lives are often affected too, with hangovers and impaired health. Relationships become strained and it can spill over into work life too. The financial cost of feeding an addiction to alcohol can be considerable, placing livelihoods and homes at stake.
Alcohol abuse also can also trigger and worsen other health problems. It is proven that people suffering from depression may be more likely to suffer from addiction problems, especially to alcohol. Heavy drinkers are more likely to suffer from depression: alcohol, is by definition, a depressant, any short term mood boosting properties are far outweighed by its negative effects. Women are especially at risk from suffering from alcohol dependency and depression.
It is often said that alcohol addiction cannot be cured, but it can be treated. There are a whole host of treatments available to help and alcoholic stop drinking and live a more rewarding, healthier, sober life. Staying sober requires strength and determination, but the rewards are infinite.
The first step to achieving sobriety is a genuine will to give up drinking. There is no point for the alcoholic to try and give up for someone or something else, they must want to do it for themselves. Until an alcoholic is ready to make that commitment to giving up drinking there is little point in starting a course of rehabilitation as it is not likely to be successful. Without a true desire to give up drinking, an addict will not be able to successfully give up drinking.
There is lots of help available, both NHS and privately. Treatment is often available as an outpatient, but different courses of treatment are recommended depending on the severity of the addiction. #
Some time spent in residential rehabilitation is recognised as a great way to help beat some of the symptoms of addiction – giving the recovering alcoholic support from their peers also in the same situation and professional help where need be. Residential rehabilitation provides an environment away from the temptations of alcohol and time to reflect away from everyday life and distractions on the reasons why they drink and how they can stay sober in the future.
Changing every day routines and breaking habitual drinking triggers will be necessary to help facilitate successful recovery. This may require a change of habits or activities on your personal life. The pub may not be the best place to go and meet friends and you may have to change some of the places you go.
Friends and family should be willing to help you in this and help you avoid drinking. IT doesn’t mean you have to avoid social occasions, though. Research has shown that alcoholism may diminish social skills, but with time and professional care, this can be helped to give you confidence without the need for alcohol.
Taking a good look and not kidding yourself about the effects that heavy drinking has on family, especially children make give you more motivation to give up drinking. Children of parents who drink heavily suffer from the parent’s drinking too, making a fallacy of the drinkers belief that their alcohol addiction affects them and them alone. Children fall victim to the uncertainty of day to day living with an alcoholic and suffer from low self-esteem. They may, misguidedly, blame themselves for their parents drinking and may be on the receiving end of alcohol related out bursts. There is a higher risk of neglect and violence when a parent is a heavy drinker. It has been shown in research Women who have depression, post-partum or otherwise may be more likely to develop problems with alcohol.
The best thing to do if you think you have a problem with alcohol is seek help immediately. Ask for help from family and friends. There is plenty of help available. Beating alcohol addiction is hard but will save your life. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help, it is possible to beat an addiction to alcohol and change your life for the better.