Alcohol detox: does it really mean we can never drink again? This is a common question that crosses the mind of practically every individual that suffers from an alcohol addiction.  Unfortunately there is no stead fast answer, as everyone is different.  There is a general consensus however that leans heavily towards permanent abstinence.   Looking at the truth of your own alcoholic addiction will help you to decide  if it is likely you will never be able to drink safely again.

You may find answering the following questions helpful in getting to the truth of your own alcohol addiction:

  1. If once you have started drinking, do you often find it difficult to stop or moderate your alcohol intake?
  2. Have you ever detoxed from alcohol before, and then found yourself drinking in an out of control manor once again?
  3. Have you ever needed professional help in stopping or reducing your alcohol intake?
  4. Have you ever needed to go into rehab for your alcohol addiction?
  5. Do you find it difficult to apply logic to the way you drink or think about alcohol?
  6. Do you spend a lot of time wishing you could drink like other people?
  7. Does your experience tell you that you cannot control your drinking?
  8. Do you feel there is little or no point to life without alcohol?
  9. Do you feel like something is “missing” inside when you are not drinking?
  10. Do others deter you from taking the first drink, expressing concern as to what may happen if you do?

If you have answered “yes” to 2 or more of these questions, it would suggest that you would not be able to control your drinking in future.  If that is the case, is it really worth taking the risk to find out?

Only someone with an unhealthy obsession for alcohol would throw caution to the wind in order to find out for themselves.  However, in some cases, it is needed in order to find out the truth of your own addiction.


Does knowledge around the dangers of alcoholism help to control drinking?

In some cases yes, knowledge around the dangers of excessive drinking acts as a deterrent from drinking too much.  However, if you are suffering from an addiction to alcohol, it is unlikely that no amount of knowledge will help you to drink safety again.  The reason for this is that most individuals with an alcohol addiction find it more or less impossible to moderate their alcohol intake once they have started.  Once alcohol has taken its effect, all logic, reason and knowledge tends to go right out of the window as a thirst for more takes over.

Think about it! How often do you see media coverage of celebrities who have attended yet another rehab?  Rehabs don’t just treat the physical addiction, but equip the individual with much knowledge of alcoholism and how that relates to their own drinking patterns.  If knowledge of addiction was enough to help control drinking, these guys would be experts in drinking safely!

Here is a short video featuring recovering alcoholics revealing the real dangers of alcoholism:

Is there anything I can take to help me moderate my drinking in future?

As yet, there is no magical pill to cure alcohol addiction.  Even if there was, wouldn’t that kind of take away from the point of being in control?  Alcohol addiction or alcoholism is a very serious condition. Many die of this condition and never find recovery.  Death by alcohol is excruciatingly painful and not always as quick as some many think.  It may take weeks, months or years, everyone is different and everyone’s body reacts differently.  Some die within a very short space of time in a relapse.  Amy Winehouse was a tragic example of this.  Believing that her body could tolerate the same amount of alcohol that it used to, she died from alcoholic poisoning.  Or maybe she believed she could control it and just have a few?  Whatever Amy’s thinking was prior to taking that first drink once again; the consequences were heartbreaking for her family, friends and fans.

A further example of a celebrity who has repeated the same mistake of the first drink again and again is Paul Gascoigne.  A well loved national treasure, Paul has attended rehab many, many times.  Each relapse taking him a step nearer to an untimely death.  Paul’s battle with alcohol has been widely publicised.  Those who are close to him fear for his safety and sanity.  Yet Paul has had therapists galore at his disposal.  Anyone considering an alcoholic past such as Pauls would think it was madness for him to try and drink safely, yet time and time again he does.  Paul and other celebrities suffering from alcohol addiction usually have a lot of money at their disposal, yet all the money they have, cannot aid them in drinking safely.

Paul Gascoigne

How will I cope if I can never drink again?

The first thing suggested is to keep it in the day.  Many individuals who have previously been addicted to alcohol, and live many happy years sober, keep their sobriety in the day.  Telling yourself straight after a detox that you can never drink again, may at first be too much to handle.  Instead it is suggested that you keep your sobriety to 24 hours at a time.  Most individuals can stay sober for a day, and those who can’t keep it to an hour at a time in the early days of their recovery.  It is also strongly suggested that you seek professional help to tackle the thinking behind your drinking.  Cognitive Behavioural based methods tend to work the best.  Self help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous also offer a program of recovery that tackles the thinking and the underlying issues associated with problem drinking.

If you are thinking about drinking again after a detox, it is probably a bad idea.  My suggestion to you would be to discuss your thoughts with someone who understands and has experience of alcohol addiction.  If they are familiar with your troubles, they are likely to be able to offer you some sound advice and may even share their own experiences with you in order to help.