In order to overcome an alcohol addiction, it is usually necessary to go through alcohol withdrawal, typically through a programme of detoxification. This is often the first step in the recovery process, during which, individuals must quit drinking and then wait until all traces of alcohol has left the system. It generally lasts from a few days to a couple of weeks, and most people will experience some kind of alcohol withdrawal symptoms that can range from mild to severe.
After detox, the process of rehabilitation begins, and this is when the recovering alcoholic learns how to live an alcohol-free life. Various therapies and counselling sessions will give the individual the tools and skills required to avoid temptations and to replace the addictive behaviour with positive alternatives.
In an ideal world, a programme of detoxification and rehabilitation will be enough to help alcoholics quit alcohol forever; however, we do not live in an ideal world, and it rarely works this way. Sadly, some people will continue to return to alcohol no matter how many times they try to quit. It may take years for some individuals to finally be able to quit alcohol for good, but others people never manage it and will be consumed by their addiction.
Marianne Zeck finally succumbed to her alcohol addiction after years of battling it. She was found dead on Wimbledon Common on April 23rd (2016) with an empty bottle of vodka in her hand. The coroner has ruled that her death was the result of alcohol poisoning and that there was no intent to kill herself.
Zeck had been reported missing by the father of her two sons the day before and was discovered the following morning by two golfers on Wimbledon Common. She had worked as a complementary therapist and youth worker and had spent many years volunteering at various charity organisations.
Dr Paul Brain of the Wimbledon Recovery and Support Team said that Zeck drank alcohol to cope with her anxiety issues, but that these were primarily caused by the fact that she was abusing alcohol. He said it was a vicious cycle, adding, “We tried to disentangle what was anxiety, and what was caused by alcohol. Suicide was discussed with her at every meeting we had. There wasn’t an occasion when she expressed suicidal thinking, in fact quite the opposite. She would always impress that it was something she would never consider, and despite her problems, there was a sense of her wanting to take active steps to improve her situation.”
Like many other people with alcoholism, Zeck felt she would be unable to cope without alcohol, and it was this fear that held her back in terms of recovery. Dr Brain said, “There was a sense that she didn’t, for the most part, engage well in the process of allowing us to help her to lessen the drinking. There was a certain amount of conflict in terms of acknowledging the impact it was having on her life and a sense of concern that she couldn’t cope without it.”
The impact of Zeck’s alcohol abuse was apparent considering she had had accidents while intoxicated. She fractured her wrist when she fell while under the influence of alcohol in two separate incidents in July and October 2015.
Obstacles to Addiction Recovery
Many people with alcoholism are unable to admit that they have a problem, and this is often because of the fear of being forced to quit. Not being ready to give up alcohol can often prevent those with alcoholism from reaching out for help; many will then continue with their destructive behaviour while denying the problem exists.
It is only when an individual is able to stand up and accept the diagnosis of alcoholic that he or she will be able to move forward towards the process of alcohol withdrawal and recovery. Sadly, some never get to that point.
To overcome alcoholism, it is necessary for the affected person to want to change and to want to live a clean and healthy sober life. No amount of begging or pleading from a loved one will work if the addicted person is not ready for change.
Once a person can admit that alcohol is a problem in his or her life, he/she will be ready to move forward to treatment. Here at Addiction Helper, we can put you in touch with a suitable treatment provider based on your needs and circumstances.
We have information stored in a database regarding the many addiction services in towns and cities across the UK. This could include alcohol withdrawal centres, inpatient clinics and outpatient programmes funded by the NHS.
For more information on our free service, or for a fully comprehensive assessment and referral, contact us here at Addiction Helper today.